For a few years now, Call of Duty fans have known that a feature film adaptation was in the works. Given the franchise’s popularity it was practically a given that a Call of Duty movie would at least be attempted, but now it appears things are starting to move along.
Just this week, for example, the co-presidents of Activision Blizzard, Stacey Sher and Nick van Dyck, began sharing their vision for the Call of Duty movie universe. Yes, you read that right – movie universe.
According to Sher and van Dyck, the Call of Duty films will be global affairs not unlike the Marvel films. And just like those massive Hollywood blockbusters, Activision Blizzard is hoping to drop Easter Eggs and references to future films within the current ones, in essence creating an interconnected cinematic universe.
“We have plotted out many years We put together this group of writers to talk about where we were going. There’ll be a film that feels more like Black Ops, the story behind the story. The Modern Warfare series looks at what it’s like to fight a war with the eyes of the world on you. And then maybe something that is more of a hybrid, where you are looking at private, covert operations, while a public operation is going on.”
To achieve that goal, Activision has already put together several scripts for Call of Duty films, which will draw inspiration from individual games and game series like Modern Warfare and Black Ops. If it sounds like Call of Duty films will become as ubiquitous as Marvel or Star Wars releases, then Sher and van Dyck have accomplished their goal. Just like Marvel’s producers have a timeline for film releases, so too have the Activision Blizzard execs.
“It’s going to have the same sort of high-adrenaline, high-energy aesthetic as the game, but it’s not a literal adaptation. It’s a much more broad and inclusive, global in scope ... a big, tentpole Marvel-esque movie.”
As far as when fans can expect to see the first of these Call of Duty films, reports currently claim that one might release as early as next year. What exactly that kickoff film will be about is unclear, but as of right now no director or actors are attached to the project. If the Call of Duty movie does release in 2018, however, expect things to start moving faster in the next few months.
No doubt, Activision Blizzard has an ambitious vision for the Call of Duty movie franchise, and if the studio is going to borrow from anyone’s playbook then there are few better options than Marvel. At the same time, it’s hard not to feel as though the studio is putting the focus on building a franchise and not trying to ensure the first movie is worth moviegoer’s time and money.
There are so many video game movie franchises in various stages of development, and all of them have the potential to support numerous releases. The only problem is the first films are usually not as successful as the studios initially envisioned. Warcraft is the closest thing to a major hit, and even that film had its own stumbles domestically despite dominating worldwide. Assassin’s Creed had a similar issue as well, generating solid revenue overseas but failing to resonate with North American moviegoers.
But, if there is going to be a film that proves video game movies can be successful without any qualifiers, it would be Call of Duty. The brand and property is one of the biggest in the world - last year's Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is the best selling game of 2016 - and it has the name recognition. More importantly, a Call of Duty film doesn’t need to sell its audience on any type of outlandish world; its military action set-up is one of the easiest to transition into film.
Source: The Guardian