Film adaptations of contemporary video games don’t often encounter the screenplay problems of previous decades. Largely gone are the days when writers had to contort the properties of Super Mario Bros. or Double Dragon to create an ostensibly workable script.
However, not every video game comes with the rich storyline and mythos of Assassin’s Creed or The Last of Us. One of the largest and most profitable niches in the gaming industry is the mobile market, whose games are often throwbacks to an era when video games were not known for their narrative complexity. In this corner of the market, there are few games as popular and ubiquitous as Temple Run – something that has apparently not escaped the acquisitive eye of Warner Bros.
THR shares the scoop that producer David Heyman (the Harry Potter series) is in negotiations to shepherd Temple Run into big screen production for Warner Bros. Little is known about the direction of this adaptation other than that it will use the Temple Run games’ premise (a manic chase between an Indiana Jones type and various sorts of demonic, skull-faced apes) as the starting point for a decently budgeted supernatural adventure.
The original Temple Run mobile app was created by Imangi Studios and initially released in August 2011. It quickly became one of the most popular apps sold for mobile devices, porting across the spectrum of operating systems. Sensing a bona fide phenomenon, Disney subsequently commissioned Imangi to create Temple Run: Brave and Temple Run: Oz spin-offs to promote the movies of the same names. Not just successful in its own right, Temple Run has inspired a whole field of “endless runner” knockoffs, wannabes, and variants that have flooded the various mobile app storefronts.
With its many millions of downloads, an adaptation of Temple Run does make sense from a certain standpoint. Just like Angry Birds and other currently hot entertainment phenomena, Temple Run will come already attached to a huge cultural awareness. If released soon enough, curiosity alone could drive ticket sales.
At the same time, the screenwriters assigned the task of adapting Temple Run will encounter the same issue struck by those responsible for the video game adaptations of yesteryear: How can this story-less video game with simple gameplay expand into an actual narrative experience?
After all, a truly faithful adaptation of Temple Run would involve nothing but a five-minute chase sequence ending with the protagonist’s death – which then repeats ten or eleven times in a row.
Temple Run does not currently have a projected release date. Keep an eye on Screen Rant as more information becomes available.