By Ed Sum (The Vintage Geek)
Yes, the inevitable had to happen. Yesterday, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Warner Bros is in negotiations to bring the video game, Temple Run by Imangi Studios to the big screen with David Heymen, the producer of the Harry Potter series, on board. He can no doubt churn a fun product, but a better question is why this game?
Are audiences starving for some kind of Indiana Jones style action that will wash away memories of the fourth film, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull? As fans will recall, the first ten or so minutes in Raiders of the Lost Ark made for one great introduction of the world’s luckiest archaeologist, Indiana Jones. He grabs a golden idol from some forgotten tribe and before he knows it, he triggers a trap. Poisonous darts spring from out of nowhere as he races away. Indy has to leap a chasm and dodge a spear trap. But much to his chagrin, can he escape the massive ball of stone that’s tumbling in his direction?
If that is not enough, the next movie has him riding a rickety mine cart to escape cultists. The third movie sees him dodging speedboats and avoiding getting crushed by tanks. The fourth surprises everyone witnessing him miraculously surviving a nuclear explosion and swinging through a jungle. Now put all of that crazy action into one movie, that might become Temple Run the Movie.
When this game has created two spin offs based on two movies, Disney’s Oz and PIXAR’s Brave, at least the concept within the game is in theme. All Imangi Studios is doing is following the yellow brick road and attempting to make as much coin as possible for as long as interest for this game holds.
The premise of stealing a priceless object has to be central to the film’s plot. If that is done, then Temple Run needs to follow-up on what kind of forces will get unleashed? Will the hero flee or confront it? It might be interesting to spin a Groundhog’s Day effect into the narrative, and the hero has to find the means to escape from it. That kind of plot might work, and to have Bill Murray star in this tale would give some guffaws to those movie-goers in the know.
When considering Hollywood’s history of creating movies out of successful video games, all anyone has to do is look at the history of hits and misses that came from adapting video game movies. Not every idea worked. Mario Bros attained a cult following and Tomb Raider squeaked its way into being fetching eye candy in the form of Angelina Jolie. With the exception of Resident Evil and Silent Hill, other games that were turned into movies mostly failed in terms of box office success. Wing Commander and Street Fighter (including The Legend of Chun-Li) are best left forgotten and Doom does not need any explanation. The title alone says it all.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter