When Doom was released back in 2005, the filmmakers involved acknowledged that most video game adaptations were subpar at best. They insisted that their film would be the exception to that rule – but most of us remember how that panned out.
Doom was a disappointment for a long list of reasons, but one of the overriding criticisms from fans was that the film made several deviations from the core concept of the games. It’s not that Doom has a complicated or particularly dense mythology – but changing the premise the way the filmmakers did is akin to having a Resident Evil movie that decided to use ghosts instead of zombies.
The movie only grossed $56 million worldwide on a $60 million budget, but there were rumors that Universal might still be interested in revisiting the property at some point. According to What’s Playing, those plans are starting to materialize and the studio is preparing a 3D reboot of Doom.
The most puzzling part of this for me is that the success of Paramount’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra was evidently a huge factor in this decision. That film did turn a profit – but only after it performed much better internationally than it did domestically. So even though G.I. Joe 2 is on the way, Paramount made sure to streamline their expenses this time. Can that same business model really be applied to Doom and yield satisfactory results?
In my opinion, Universal already attempted a modestly budgeted Doom movie – and one of my issues with it was that it never felt anywhere near as expansive or diverse as the games. Given the film’s box office performance (and Universal’s current financial situation), I think it’s safe to assume that they probably aren’t going to spend as much on the reboot. Would a Doom film that’s even smaller in scope still work?
In my opinion, to truly capture the experience of the Doom games, you’d be looking at an R-rated horror film somewhere in the $100 million range – and that’s just not going to happen. Look no further than the studio’s recent decision to pull the plug on At The Mountains of Madness for proof of that. I also think the film would need a rather facetious sense of humor in order for it to work correctly and that would be incredibly difficult to pull off.
There’s also the fact that G.I. Joe is a PG-13 franchise. It’s still too early to tell if the Doom reboot will try and appeal to a wider demographic by pulling back on the gore – but I’m not sure I’d be at all surprised if they did. I’m not labeling this film D.O.A. just yet, but I do think it’s going to need a lot more than 3D to make it worthwhile.
We’ll keep you updated on how the Doom reboot progresses.
Source: What’s Playing.