After decades of attempts, movie studios have continually failed to crack the code on how to create a winning video game movie. While every few years there’s a mild success like The Angry Birds Movie, other films, like Assassin’s Creed and Super Mario Bros. have perpetuated the notion of a video game curse. The genre has been desperate for big-screen legitimacy, and in recent times there has been one sure-fire way to both get your project off the ground and to guarantee a hit at the box-office, just add Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (Ballers) to the mix.
Johnson is seemingly everywhere both on the big and small screen right now. Last month, he co-starred in The Fate of the Furious, which just crossed the billion dollar mark in a little over three weeks of release. He is following that up this month with a big-budget remake of the ’90s television sensation, Baywatch, which has the chance to be one of the biggest movies of the summer. Now the actor has re-teamed with his San Andreas director to tackle a big-screen adaptation of the classic stand-up arcade game, Rampage.
Filming has officially begun on the action-adventure movie in Atlanta, Georgia with a release date scheduled for less than a year from now. Warner Bros. commemorated the occasion by officially releasing the plot synopsis for their upcoming video game adaptation today via Collider:
“Primatologist Davis Okoye (Johnson), a man who keeps people at a distance, shares an unshakable bond with George, the extraordinarily intelligent, silverback gorilla who has been in his care since birth. But a rogue genetic experiment gone awry transforms this gentle ape into a raging monster. To make matters worse, it’s soon discovered there are other similarly altered alpha predators. As these newly created monsters tear across North America, destroying everything in their path, Okoye teams with a discredited genetic engineer to secure an antidote, fighting his way through an ever-changing battlefield, not only to halt a global catastrophe but to save the fearsome creature that was once his friend.”
The movie’s supporting cast features standouts such as Naomie Harris, Joe Manganiello, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Malin Akerman, while also including Jake Lacy, P.J. Byrne, Marley Shelton, Matt Gerald, Breanne Hill, and Jack Quaid. As well as behind-th- camera talent such as director of photography, Jaron Presant, who most recently served on the second unit for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, while the music will be composed by Andrew Lockington, who is re-teaming with Peyton after their box-office hit San Andreas.
The original Rampage video game had a loose plot where three humans were transformed into a monstrous lizard, wolf, and ape creature, after coming into contact with radiation or experimental drugs. The player took control of the monsters as they traveled cross country demolishing cities building by building, while being thwarted by an increasingly hostile military.
In addition to the memorable gameplay and action, the game is also remembered for its comedic sensibilities. It seems that there will be a similar tongue-in-cheek tone to the Rampage movie as well, if a recent Instagram post by Johnson is any indication, which should be a relief to long-time fans. It’s hard to bet against The Rock and it looks like the video game genre has its next real chance at redemption.