If you’re a child of the ’80s like myself, there’s a good chance you spent many a fun-filled evening at the local arcade, skating rink or pizza parlor playing one of the seminal ’80s arcade games, Rampage. Well, fans of that classic arcade game, we have some (good?) news for you: New Line is currently seeking writers to adapt Rampage into a feature film.
The man pushing this project along is John Rickard, who has been influential in co-producing a number of recent New Line films, including the Nightmare on Elm Street remake, the raunchy comedies Hall Pass and Horrible Bosses, 3D horror flick Final Destination 5, and Bryan Singer’s upcoming epic adventure, Jack the Giant Killer.
Oh, and of course Rickard was an assistant to Brett Ratner on several films, including X-Men: The Last Stand. Take that how you will.
Rampage the video game chronicled the…er, rampages of Lizzy, George and Ralph – three people transformed into a giant lizard, gorilla and wolf, respectively. Once transformed, the three giant monsters proceed to (you guessed it) rampage around various cities, leveling everything in their way while also laying waste to the military forces that try to curtail them.
The arcade game was created by Midway Games, makers of the popular Mortal Kombat franchise; Midway was of course bought by Warner Bros. back in 2009, and WB is a sister studio to New Line. If you’re hoping that there is some deeper narrative to the game beyond that described above, sorry to disappoint you: arcade games weren’t as deep (or complicated to play) as the home console games we know and love today. And even though Rampage has been released on modern home consoles in subsequent installments, the game itself has remained pretty basic. In fact, besides knowing that crushing both sides of a building’s foundation was the quickest way to topple it, Rampage requires no more thought than it takes to mash a button or two.
As a movie, Rampage will undoubtedly call to mind films like Cloverfield and King Kong - not to mention the upcoming Guillermo del Toro monster movie, Pacific Rim. Of course, the Pacific Rim connection works in one of two ways: on the one hand, del Toro’s monster movie epic could help to revitalize the genre for moviegoers, which would help a film like Rampage snag attention (the same could be said for the upcoming Godzilla reboot). Then again, when you have a visionary craftsman like del Toro creating a monster movie, it undoubtedly makes it harder for other, more generic, films like Rampage to set themselves apart – unless you get a strong writing team to craft a great story.
Rampage will definitely need some quality scribes – arguably stronger than some of the people that penned the aforementioned films John Rickard has been involved with in the past. For my own part, I just hope the story doesn’t try too hard to transform Lizzy, George and Ralph into some misunderstood tragic victims of experimentation, or something along those lines. There’s something to be said for the simple abandon of sliding a quarter into a hard-to-find arcade machine to wreak some good old fashioned havoc playing one the classics.
We’ll keep you updated about the status of the Rampage movie as more develops.