‘God of War’ Movie Writers Talk Adapting Sony’s Popular Video Game

Published 2 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 10:01 pm,

God of War Movie Update Writers God of War Movie Writers Talk Adapting Sonys Popular Video Game

When Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton were given the high task of revising the script for the God of War adaptation it appeared as if the project, which has been gestating for the better part of three years now, was finally gaining some traction. Working off a David Self-penned script, the Piranha 3DD duo was brought in to breathe a little more life into the popular video game’s big screen adaptation.

While we have nothing to announce as far as a new director or cast is concerned, Dunstan and Melton have provided quite a substantial update regarding how they are approaching the script. Fans of the Sony-published video game might scoff at the idea of the writers behind films like Saw IV and The Collector handling such a precious property, but the two’s take appears to be rather unique.

In its video game form, God of War follows the tale of Kratos, a Grecian warrior who turns to the god of war Ares for assistance. A byproduct of that allegiance is the destruction of Kratos’ hometown and family, which sets him on a revenge quest to kill the god. If this sounds like Clash of the Titans, that’s because in many respects the Sam Worthington-starring films borrow heavily from the game series.

Dunstan and Melton are well aware of this, citing that when original writer David Self turned in a script it was well before films like 300, Immortals, and the two Titans movies were released. Each of those films, while still borrowing from their own source material, feature similar visuals and plot points to the God of War video game. The film’s new writers were going to need to find ways to make those action scenes, which depict epic battles between Kratos and god-like figures, feel original again.

One of the key ways the writers plan to make the project stand out is with their development of the character of Kratos. In the game he’s seen as a blunt instrument, hell-bent on revenge without any concern for self-preservation. In the film, however, Dunstan and Melton wanted to ground the character; give him some back-story before setting him out on this quest.

“In the same way that Batman was grounded with Christopher Nolan’s rendition, we were attempting to do that with Kratos so that when we meet him — like they’re doing in this newest game, which is sort of a prequel to the original — we’re seeing him before he became the Ghost of Sparta, when he was just a Spartan warrior and he had family and kids.”

They plan to use (at most) the film’s first 30 minutes to establish Kratos’ family life and his humanity, before stripping all of that away. This should help audiences unfamiliar with the game series better connect with the character, and root for his success.

As well as giving Kratos an extra level of depth, the writers plan to provide the film’s key antagonist Ares (also known as the “God of War”) a more expanded role. In the game he’s only featured in a few minor cutscenes before serving as the final boss – but in a film that cannot work.

“In the game, you know, he’s immortal, and he doesn’t really do much besides raid Athens. So we’re trying to build him up a bit more, too, so that he can become a true villain.”

God of War Ares God of War Movie Writers Talk Adapting Sonys Popular Video Game

Die-hard fans may cry foul of the decision to alter the God of War base story, but if it helps make for a more compelling film we’re all for it. The decision to establish Kratos as a human before making him simply a big white ball of revenge could prove successful if the right context is provided, and giving his villain more screen time should help establish the stakes.

Dunstan and Melton’s enthusiasm for the project, as well, is hard to overlook. Leaving their genre of choice might give audiences pause about their suitability, but if there’s one thing they are sure to get right it’s the overly violent action.

There are still obviously more pieces that need to come together before the project can truly get off the ground — including pinning down a director — but for now we’re intrigued by where the film adaptation is headed.

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Source: IGN

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TAGS: god of war

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  1. how about Paul Thomas Anderson or David Fincher? kind of out of their normal realm of movie but both no how to tell a great story and are 2 of my personal favorits. i guess if you wanted someone how has done movies like this before you could go with Wolfgang Petersen or Ridley scott? or maybe they will go with more of an unknow director so Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton can have more control?

    • I like David fincher or maybe go slightly more twisted with Darren ornaphsky

      • Darren ornaphsky would be awesome too. it will be interesting to see what kind of direction they will go in. kinda sounds like they are going for a crosss between troy and 300 which would be cool but hard to pull off. Also please to vin diesel people….

  2. i wish Dwayne Johnson “The Rock” or Vin Diesel will be Kratos

    Shout Outs your fan in Philippines

  3. I know hemsworth is becoming a bankable like able star but I could see him as kratos. I for one think he’s a great actor. Loved him Thor and snow white. Even back in the day when he was in CASH. good actor.

  4. seems perfect for a hollywood film adaptation
    one note character and slim plot.

    Theyd still mess it up someway ….

  5. They should test the market with an animated film, straight to DVD/OD. Try out the direction they’re taking with The film…stop a bad idea before it starts, or build hype fir a new idea that works.

  6. They should have Dolph Lundgren buff back up, Masters of the Universe buff. He has a face that looks like its seen many wars. Plus, he’d be cheap, but with just enough marketing appeal…then spend the money you save on a talented director & special effects.

  7. They already made a God of War movie… it was called Clash of the Titans.

  8. You should have called this article ‘God of War’ Movie writers talk turning a crappy game into a crappy movie.

    • I doubt you have played the game, so dont make comments without a purpose looser!!!

      • Don’t feed the troll bro haha.

    • a crappy game huh it’s the best beat um up game since the arcades doosh

  9. Adapting this game into a film is a terrible idea, They’d NEVER do the game justice unless Santa Monica Studios produces it themselves. The ‘God of War’ games trump ANYTHING Hollywood can EVER produce on their Best Day.

    • True that. These games are my favorite of all video game franchises and they are in a special place in my heart! Haha! If it’s gonna be done, I want it done RIGHT. As much as I want to see this become a live-action movie … I would rather it stay a video game rather than suffer a Dragonball Z like fail.

  10. ^^Same goes for ‘World of Warcraft’^^

  11. I’m not a big fan on game movies. The games for God of War are great, however, I just feel like if they did turn it into a movie, the outcome would be a lot of disappointed fans.

  12. Vin Diesel or the The Rock Johnson as Kratos

  13. They want to be original yet are adapting a an existing and established video game franchise.Somehow that just seems odd.
    All this talk about making it a little different is the one reason that game to movie adaptations always fail.Because it never is just a little different.

  14. the themes are all from greek-myth,and like screenrant had made a list about greek-myth creatures and legends and the fact that the movie-industry can make hundreds of fantasy movies with the source material. so, it can´t be said that -wrath of the titans- have directly referrences to -god of war- because the makers of -clash of the titans- had that idea before to tell the story in a art trilogy from characters from greek myth.but, and maybe – god of war- could be a bigger and better greek-myth action movie from all the other inspired movies before(i can begin from the 50s till now,but that would take too long), just if they have a good script and can bring the game and the game feeling to life,what often fails in games to movies.

    • Clash of the Titans was more it’s own movie than Wrath of the Titans was.When watching Wrath it did feel like watching certain sequences that were lifted from God of War.Kronos looks very similar to Cronos depicted in the God of War series.The Kronos from Greek Mytholgy (described in books or depicted in paintings) looks more human.Very unlike the lava covered cgi creature.So while I would agree with you that it is possible for the makers of the movie to have come up with their own ideas.Seeing the similarities it is too much of a coincidence not to say they weren’t inspired.
      I am not so sure if a good script is what needed.Sure it will help.But a script can be good and have nothing to do with the original plot of the games.What is necessary,that the people who will be making the movie have played the games and enjoyed the experience.It is that experience that they need to translate.Which is something I think can never be done.Since the experience comes from playing the game.Although they can come close if they try hard enough.One example where it went horribly wrong with that was Max Payne.Mark Wahlberg admitted not having played the game and from what I gathered it was kinda obvious the other makers involved also did not have a clue what it was about.Max Payne was all about the bullet time action.The film noir story line was nice and all but not the thing that draw gamers in.It was the one game at the time that gave the player the chance to be like Chow Yan Fat in John Woo movies.In the movie there is one scene with bullet time.And that was one of the worst uses of bullet time I have ever seen in my life.So bringing it back to God of War.They need to show why Kratos is a badass.They should show him defying anyone who crosses his paths even if some of theme are Gods.The man is angry.I never really needn’t the reason to know why he was.Just that he was.This whole exploration into the character sounds nice but it’s completely unnecessary.

  15. Vin diesel or Batista as Kratos

  16. One word:Totally unnecessary!

    Oops,that was two words.

  17. @ SCREENRANT y u no post anything a whole day?????

  18. The Project Greenlight winners writing a videogame adaptation? Sounds awesome!

  19. IS THIS WEBSITE DEAD?

  20. Love how they make this seem sooooo hard. the storyline from the game is ready for bigscreen, so why is this taking soooooooo long, just come out with the damn movie before I lose my eyesight to old age waiting.

  21. Personally in my opinion I am one of the biggest God of War fans in the world!!! I own all six of his games and I try and play them on a regular. I am very excited about a possible movie release of my all time favorite game that has ever been made. But will be very disappointed if it is not done correctly, I really don’t think that actual actors will bring the performance that is needed to carry the story of Kratos. I see the writers are trying to figure out a director to ask to do it, I think you guys should go back and take a look at Beowulf, Polar Express, and give Robert Zemeckis a call ASASP. This is truly the only way that Kratos can be brought from game system to big screen. If you guys release the movie in the same format people that know nothing about the game will become very interested. Then there goes your room for sequels. Allowing the movie to have no limits just like his games, if you haven’t played them please do before you create his movie. Or request your director to do so.

    • although an interesting idea, Zemeckis character performance are highly lacking. It’s one of the reasons his company fell. And you act as if FX won’t play a major role in this movie. All of the characters are monsters. Look at the hercules movie coming out. The infantry ground troops look like a knock off of the GOW concept characters. All drugery. And Kratos believe it or not is a human in the story so why can’t he be played by one in live action? Vin Diesel is a spitting image. Sure he needs to do some calesthenics and sprints but he can get there and deliver so long as the films budget is large enough.

  22. I for one I think the God of War movies adaptation of the game would be a great idea and I know many people that just don’t get it will say Clash of the Titans is that but no its not it’s a cheap rip off why Hollywood made it instead of God of War is beyond me I know it has its own story Greek god promise but it lacks in depth and real greedy God is she effects and magic I mean after all it is all fiction but for the record I also think The Rock or Vin Diesel would be perfect for that movie maybe even the guy that played Superman Man of Steel game Henry Cavill well let’s hope it happens it would make a great movie if done right, it could stand to make millions of dollars.

  23. I wish yall would stop sayin “batista, vin diesel, or the rock” just because they are bald and buff, try and think outside the box and get a fresh face on the scene. Im not saying they are bad in any way, they are great actors but the rock is over used, vin diesels a little too calm and cool to play kratos, an batista is not that great of an actor and do you really trust that he would do this right?? C’mon, be for real. Put some work into finding just the right new face so you’re not thinking fast and furious when kratos steps onto the screen.

    • Sounds like a good movie.I think it would be better if Jason Statham plays the role of Kratos.All I’m saying is that his face is more like kratos and he has played in good movies and he could perform this in the best way.

      • he’s too short.

    • too risky, look at the Conan movie.
      The performance is highly lackluster compared to Schwarzenegger.
      Although prob a bad example considering the entire film looked cheap and cheesy.
      Besides, they would have to do casting and it may turn out as horrible as Toby Macguire in spiderman.
      Hollywoods a sellout and they’ll sellout and they’ll invest onl as much as their star or not even care to produce the film.
      Vin Deisel will make a sick Kratos. And he can work the performance.
      His voice can also be changed in post when he turns into the Ghost of Sparta and He can have cosmetics applied to make him look meaner and crazier, and his face is already an established template for the artists.

  24. well I think if they are going to do a movie I think that’s good that they want to work on his backstory before unleashing the Beast but if you wanna have a good movie they have to have all the CGI in meaning money has to be right and it has to be at least a two hour to two and a half hour movieand work on his backstory for about 40 minutes at least 30 if you want tomake it quick I guess but definitely not the way they did Clash of the Titans 1 & 2 which those movies were garbage and stole from God of War big time. no many will say God of War stoled from clash of the Titans I say not necessarily if anything both these conceptual movies or stories whatever you want to call them were both taken from mythology now as far as conceptual art Clash of the Titans did in fact steal from God of War anyways I hope this movie is done and I hope its done the right way and not the way they totally effed up the Dragon Ball Z movie another movie that could have been epic but they chose to lowball it the way in which I hope God of War isn’t treated

  25. As long they don’t give it to Disney to produce it. Because anything that has to do with blood, Disney will replace it with Flowers. Look what happened with Prince of Persia. Also.. most of the Hollywood adaptations always change everything. I agree with one comment there, where it says.. the movie story wont be like the video game story unless Santa Monica Studios produce it.

  26. I think Gerard Blulter who plays the role as (King Leonidas)in a movie 300,will do the job better acting as Kratos.He was playing a role as a King of Sparta and him playing as Kratos,he will be mean,badass Sparta.Anyway afterall Kratos he is a Spartan.

  27. Why do I have a feeling this movie will be a FAIL after reading this sentence:

    “Die-hard fans may cry foul of the decision to alter the God of War base story, but if it helps make for a more compelling film we’re all for it.”

    ^ WTF is that?

    It’s the DIE-HARD FANS that are going to be the ones to see the movie, GIVE the PEOPLE what the PEOPLE WANT, the PEOPLE WHO BOUGHT THE GAME IN THE FIRST PLACE before you decide to RE-INVENT THE WHEEL to make “A more compelling film” for the mainstream masses. There would be no GOD OF WAR MOVIE if it wasn’t from the SUCCESS of the VIDEO GAMES being PURCHASED by the GAMERS. SATISFY THE GAMERS, NOT EVERY-DAY MOVIE-GOERS, they will FOLLOW.

    If they RUIN this I will BOYCOTT ANY MOVIE CREATED by those who are involved with the PRODUCTION Of this movie. And this is not an EMPTY THREAT and I REALIZE I AM ONLY 1 PERSON, but I WILL LEAD THIS BOYCOTT and develop this website and create online petitions for WHATEVER it is worth.

  28. They should use Bill Goldberg or Vin Diesel for Kratos. Either I think would do well as the him.