It’s been a tough road translating the fun of video games into cinematic adventures. For the past 30 years, studio after studio have failed to capture the magic and audiences that have made gaming such a huge part of popular culture. Now New Line is the latest to put a video game property into development with their big-screen adaptation of the classic stand-up arcade game, Rampage. However, they have a wild card that will set their video game movie apart from all of the other attempts: they have Dwayne Johnson.
Johnson (The Fate of the Furious) is affectionately known around Hollywood as “box-office viagra,” due to his record of boosting film properties with his mere presence. Clearly, the studio is building a strong foundation for a future blockbuster. Rampage will directed by Brad Peyton (San Andreas) and the production is currently filling out the supporting cast for the upcoming giant-monster action film.
According to THR, Peyton has keyed in on two actors for key roles in his disaster movie, Joe Manganiello and Marley Shelton. The two are reportedly in negotiations to play a “leader of a private military group” and an astronaut, respectively. They join Johnson and Naomi Harris as the only other announced cast members in the upcoming blockbuster.
The details on the plot for Rampage are scant; however, it supposedly will follow the main thrust of the immensely popular 1986 arcade game. It featured three humans who are transformed into a gigantic wolfman, a Godzilla-like lizard, and King Kong-like gorilla. The player controlled one of the three behemoths and the objective was to destroy each new city that they encounter. The upcoming film adaptation will follow Johnson, who is described as an “animal-loving hero,” as he attempts to corral the rampaging kaiju before they destroy everything in sight.
The addition of Manganiello should be of interest, particularly to those following the ongoing saga of Warner Bros’ DC Extended Universe. The actor has already been confirmed for the role of Slade Wilson, aka Deathstroke. However, the movie that he was at one time supposed to shoot this spring, The Batman, has lost its director and has been put on an indefinite hold. So, it makes sense that the actor has suddenly found an opening in his schedule to join Peyton’s monster romp.
While this news may not bode well for fan’s of one-eyed assassins, it is encouraging that production is underway for Rampage. This may be the next great hope for those who have been dreaming of a legitimate video-game-to-movie adaptation. While Manganiello and Shelton haven’t proven to be the same type of draw as Johnson, they certainly seem like a good fit for the upcoming spectacle movie. There should be a lot more to come, as Rampage continues gearing up for production shortly.
Rampage is scheduled to open in theaters on April 20, 2018.