Rampage won't succumb to the same cursed pitfalls as other video game movies according to Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson. Now that Warner Bros. has established their DC Comics-based universe (unofficially titled as the DC Extended Universe), they are looking to getting back into the video game movie scene. Roar Uthaug's Tomb Raider reboot, starring Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft, is slated to hit theaters first on March 16, with an adaptation of Rampage following next month.
Directed by Brad Peyton (San Andreas) and based on a script from Ryan Engle, Carlton Cuse & Ryan J. Condal, and Adam Sztykiel, Rampage is an adaptation of the 1980s arcade video game of the same name, starring Johnson as primatologist Davis Okoye, Naomie Harris as genetic engineer Dr. Kate Caldwell, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Agent Russell. It's decidedly different from other video game movies out there, such as Resident Evil, and that's partly why Johnson believes it will be a success. The other reason is because the creative team is treating the video game movie like a movie, not just an adaptation of a video game. That's one of the many reasons past video game movies have failed, and Johnson knows that from working on 2005's Doom.
In an interview with Total Film, Dwayne Johnson discussed all the mistakes that befell Doom and how Rampage is avoiding all those mistakes as well as the traditional pitfalls of the video game movie curse.
"I lived the video game curse because I made Doom. And Doom was a movie based off a very popular video game and was incredibly unsuccessful. So I lived the curse, and I experienced it. ... Also making sure that there was a winking charm and humor in Rampage that, for me personally, was not in Doom."
One of the things that they are changing from the game is that the giant monsters either came from animals or animal hybrids; they weren't humans that transformed into giant monsters as was the case with the original video game. But by doing that, Brad Peyton says they were able to give fans a proper adaptation while also giving the creative team some breathing room to branch out and create a story that worked well for general audiences as well.
"[Fans of the game] get all the things that you remember about it and you can smile about. But then there's all this room to do things and build a story and build characters and do what I wanted. That allows us to exceed expectations and have a lot of fun and just deliver in a way that a good movie needs to deliver."
Peyton made similar statements about Rampage beating the video game movie curse in January, saying that they could feel the pressure to deliver a proper adaptation, but also that the curse wasn't something that concerned them too much until after the film was already finished. He also said that, above all, monster movies are meant to be fun, and that's exactly what the film is looking to deliver on, judging by Rampage's trailers thus far as well as the fact that Dwayne Johnson is leading the movie in the title role.
The Rock has come a long way since appearing in Doom - and so have video game movies, to an extent. Back then, film studios weren't able to distinguish between what makes a video game work and what makes a movie work. That's evident by Paramount's two Tomb Raider films starring Angelina Jolie, Paul W.S. Anderson's Resident Evil series, and of course, Andrzej Bartkowiak's Doom adaptation. But now, with Rampage and Tomb Raider, Warner Bros. is aiming to change the video game movie genre for the better. We'll just have to wait and see if it works.
Source: Total Film
- Rampage (2018) release date: Apr 13, 2018