Basically anything popular is up for a film adaptation these days, from Troll dolls to morally ambiguous manga. Studios are eager to run with what works, and that means pulling scripts from some unpredictable sources — including mobile games. For instance, some were surprised to learn that Angry Birds was due to hit big screens, but its success as a video game made for an equally successful run at the box office (despite so-so critical reception).
Studios are looking to continue capitalizing on the success of a film like Angry Birds, and New Line Cinema is the next to step up to the plate.The studio has now acquired the rights to popular mobile game Fruit Ninja, in which the player must make swiping motions across the screen in an attempt to slice fruit in half as they fly by. We first learned that Fruit Ninja was becoming a movie earlier this year.
The game, which was first released in early 2010, has since gone on to become one of the most popular iOS games of all time with over 1 billion downloads. Fruit Ninja and has also been released for Android and Windows phone systems, as well as XBox Kinect. THR reports that the game’s film adaptation has Tripp Vinson (San Andreas) signed on to produce and Sam White and Tana Farey (members of Vinson’s team) set as executive producers, plus Alexis Ehrman (Intelligence) acting as an associate producer. J.P. Lavin and Chad Damiani (Twist) are writing the script. Vinson will team up with Halfbrick Studios, the Australian company behind the Fruit Ninja games, to produce the film. No director has been attached to the project thus far.
Though these are all names with experience in the industry, it will be interesting to see a relatively unknown crew produce a project with this much brand recognition. Likewise, the Fruit Ninja games have no discernible plot, so we’re curious to see how Lavin and Damiani plan to adapt them into a ninety-minute-plus story. The duo has experience writing together for upcoming NBC pilot Twist, as well as Anchorwoman and the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards.
While some fans of the popular game will undoubtedly be interested in seeing it hit the big screen, there is a less fun side to news like this. With adaptations, reboots, and sequels dominating the filmmaking market in recent years, it can feel like original ideas rarely get the attention — or financial backing — they deserve. When adaptations turn from acclaimed novels to story-less games, it’s hard not to feel like studios are just going after (forgive us) low-hanging fruit.
We’ll let you know more about Fruit Ninja as it develops.
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