Video game movies have a certain stigma around them. Ok, I’ll come out and say it. Almost all of them suck. Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat fall into the ‘so cheesy, they’re good’ category. Who can forget Van Damme’s hilariously bad ‘I’m not going home’ speech?
Activision Blizzard wants to do what all video game movies before them didn’t. Be good. And it starts with Ragnar Lothbrok on a bird. I mean, Warcraft. The Activision Blizzard movies won’t stop there. Call of Duty movies and a Skylanders TV show are already in the works.
To help make sure these movies aren’t duds, Activision Blizzard has announced Stacey Sher will co-head their movie studio. She joins former Disney exec Nick van Dyk to co-lead the company’s movie efforts.
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick had nothing but good things to say about Cher in a press release.
“Stacey is a rare talent behind two decades of award-winning television series and films. Her ability to collaborate with the most inspired, talented people in entertainment and her unyielding commitment to creativity make her perfectly suited to Activision Blizzard Studios,” said Kotick.
He continued, “As custodians of some of the world’s most successful entertainment franchises, we are thoughtfully and creatively expanding our franchises through television and films in a way that will honor the commitment our audiences make to our games.”
Nick van Dyk touched on the unique position Activision Blizzard Studios is in. “Our model is unique: we have a rich library of franchises created over three decades with tens of millions of fans, direct relationships with our audiences and Activision Blizzard’s business capabilities, which enable us to operate with incredible efficiency in content creation, marketing and distribution as compared to the traditional studios.” He also, “couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with Stacey in building this business.”
Stacey Sher added, “I look forward to joining Nick, Bobby, and the insanely talented and forward-thinking team at Activision Blizzard to develop an even greater voice for these franchises by bringing them into the world of television and film.”
Alright, enough PR speak. Here’s what you do for Call of Duty. Get the people behind Cinemax’s Strike Back to make a movie based on the events of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. I’ll be there day one.
Strike Back. If you haven’t watched it, change that. Now.
A broader push to bring video games to the silver screen
Activision Blizzard isn’t the only company with their eyes on the movie industry. Ubisoft is bringing Assassin’s Creed to theaters with some major Hollywood talent behind it. Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Ariane Labed and Jeremy Irons star in the movie adaptation. Assassin’s Creed isn’t going to be cheap, either. Reports place the budget in the $150-$200 million range.
I’m crossing my fingers for these movies to be successful. I would love to see movies based off the Ghost Recon or Rainbow Six series. Here’s a short film Ubisoft put together a few years ago to promote the release of Ghost Recon: Future Soldier.
Maybe the success of these films will finally translate to a Halo movie.