God of War has long been the crown jewel of Sony’s video game empire. Microsoft has always had Halo to sell its Xboxes, while Sony has always had God of War to sell its PlayStations. And just like Halo, God of War has a big-budget live-action movie adaptation on the way that keeps dipping in and out of development hell.
With all the directors, writers, and actors that have come and gone from the project, it can be difficult for fans to keep up with how things are going. So, here are some God Of War Movie Updates & What Fans Should Know.
8 The first draft was written by Road to Perdition’s David Self
Last word on the God of War movie’s script was that it was being written by Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton, who have penned a bunch of horror movies together, from a handful of Saw sequels to Piranha 3DD.
However, they have been working from a first draft that was written by David Self, who is best known for writing the crime pic Road to Perdition and reworking the script for Benicio Del Toro’s remake of The Wolfman. Self will still act as an executive producer on the project, which will make God of War his first ever production credit.
7 It’ll be vastly different from Immortals and Clash of the Titans
The God of War franchise has its roots in the swords-and-sandals movie genre. A couple of recent big-budget productions have paid homage to that genre, like Immortals and the CGI-laden remake of Clash of the Titans.
Marcus Dunstan, one of the writers working on the game’s adaptation, says their film will be totally different from those movies: “Those movies can inform the God of War [movie] to step in a more bold direction. Not to join those ranks, but to stand head and shoulders apart, like, [from what] other reinventions have done within that genre. The satisfying element is to look at those movies as a commentary on the genre, and now say something different.”
6 The budget is $150 million – but it’ll still hit you in the feels
Screenwriter Patrick Melton said, “With God of War, the studio’s saying, ‘We’re going to spend $150 million to make this movie. We really need to understand this character and get behind him and feel his pain and feel his emotions so that, when he is in these giant set pieces, we’re in there with him and we’re feeling it.’ That is a critique of some of these big action films, is that they often get too big and just become noise; you’re not invested in the character.”
To put $150 million into perspective, a sure-fire hit like The Dark Knight Rises or Captain America: Civil War will cost upwards of $200 million, while a riskier R-rated blockbuster like Deadpool or Logan will cost around $100 million, give or take. So, the studio sees God of War as being somewhere in between those two risk factors.
5 It might not be faithful to the game
The problem with a lot of video game movies, like Alicia Vikander’s Tomb Raider, is that they feel more like a video game than a movie. But God of War might not be wholly faithful to the game, according to screenwriter Marcus Dunstan.
Dunstan said, “[God of War] has been allowed [by the studio] to be a terrific film. It does not just have to be faithful [to the] game. Because video games are built for, I think, a different...It’s been allowed to be a fantastic film, which is sometimes a different paradigm than engineering a game. It just is. I just cannot wait for someone to get their eyes on it and see, because it was a wonderful experience.”
4 Steven S. DeKnight is in talks to direct
Steven S. DeKnight, who directed Pacific Rim: Uprising and was Daredevil’s showrunner in its first season, is reportedly in talks with the studio to direct the movie adaptation of God of War. He has some bold ideas for it, too, as he plans to adapt the game in the same way one might adapt a novel.
DeKnight explained, “I had some early conversations with the good people at Sony PlayStation about it and my biggest thing is, look, you gotta approach it like a book. Approach it like adapting Jaws. For people who’ve read Jaws, the movie is very different, but they’re both fantastic. So, you have to be able to take the source material and make it work as a movie.”
3 The studio is letting the writers go nuts with the script
Usually, when a film studio is spending a lot of money on something, they have executives peering over the writers’ shoulders to make sure they’re not using that money for anything too outlandish.
But according to Marcus Dunstan, one of the writers hired to work on the God of War movie, the studio execs have been encouraging the more outlandish stuff: “God of War was turned in last week, and by God, the reason I cannot wait for you guys to see that is because...the door was left wide open to be bold, and that is why that movie...I really hope it sees the light of day and comes out charging, because it’s a lightning strike.”
2 Dave Bautista might be playing Kratos
After leaving his wrestling career behind, it didn’t take too long for Dave Bautista to become a huge movie star. Despite his roles in Spectre and Blade Runner 2049, Guardians of the Galaxy is what gave him his break in Hollywood. His character Drax lost his family and then went all out seeking revenge, a little like Kratos.
When it was reported that Steven S. DeKnight was in negotiations to direct the movie and he was asked who he’d like to cast as Kratos, he said, “Immediately, for me, Dave Bautista would be the man. I think he can do anything...drama, real emotion, humor, action.” Bautista has publicly said he’s unhappy with the turn Drax took when his vengeful side was softened and he was made the comic relief – Kratos would give him an opportunity to play that sort of role.
1 We’ll see Kratos’ backstory
While the original game dives right in after Kratos has lost his family, the movie will apparently tell his backstory. We’ll see him battle as a Spartan captain and get tricked by Ares, with the screenwriters comparing their characterization of Kratos to Batman Begins.
Marcus Dunstan, one of the movie’s writers, said, “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...we’re seeing him before he became the Ghost of Sparta, when he was just a Spartan warrior and he had family and kids.”