Activision Blizzard announces a new division called Activision Blizzard Studios, which is developing a Call of Duty movie universe and a Skylanders TV show.
Few would argue that the vast majority of films based on games turn out to be awful, but that trend looks to be turning around thanks to video game companies becoming more involved with the production of films based on their franchises. We’re seeing this with the way Sony is handling the upcoming Ratchet & Clank film, for example, and now we’re seeing it from Activision Blizzard as well.
As announced earlier today, Activision Blizzard is opening a new division of the company called Activision Blizzard Studios, which will be dedicated to creating original films and television shows based on their video game IP. So far, two projects have been announced, with the headliner being a film based on the blockbuster franchise, Call of Duty.
The Call of Duty film is expected to kick off a “robust cinematic universe” with “broad appeal tentpole action.” Whether or not the Call of Duty movie franchise will follow the plots of the games or carve out its own identity has yet to be revealed, but fans will find out within the next few years, as the first film in the planned series will drop in 2018 or 2019.
In addition, television programs based on Call of Duty are also being discussed. While the jury is still out on whether or not Call of Duty will be coming to TV, however, Activision Blizzard Studios will still have a presence on the small screen, as a CGI animated series based on the toys-to-life series Skylanders has also been announced.
Entitled Skylanders Academy, this television project is farther along than the Call of Duty film. While no network has been announced, the show is being written by former Futurama writer Eric Rogers, and boasts a voice cast that gives the star-studded cast of Ratchet & Clank a run for their money. So far, Skylanders Academy will star Ashley Tisdale as Stealth Elf, Jonathan Banks as Eruptor, Justin Long as Spyro, and Norm MacDonald as Glumshanks. Harland Williams and Richard Horvitz are also confirmed for the cast, but their roles have yet to be specified. Skylanders Academy will debut in Q2 of 2016.
Leading the charge of Activision Blizzard’s ambitious new foray into the world of film and television is former Disney executive Nick Van Dyk, who will serve as co-president, alongside another “top creative executive,” who has yet to be named.
This is very exciting news for fans of Call of Duty and Skylanders, and it’s good that video game companies are becoming more involved with how their products are represented in other forms of media. Activision Blizzard is following in the footsteps of Sony and Ubisoft’s film divisions, and hopefully the efforts by these companies result in high quality content for fans to enjoy. From what we’ve seen of these films so far, such as with the Warcraft teaser trailer, it seems like the days of bad video game movie adaptations are behind us.
How do you feel about Activision Blizzard Studios? Would you go see Call of Duty: The Movie? Are you interested at all in the Skylanders TV series? What other Activision Blizzard franchises would you like to see adapted? Sound off in the comments below and give us your thoughts on Activision Blizzard’s new venture.
In the meantime, the latest game in the Call of Duty series, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, is currently available for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.