With Marvel's cinematic universe raking in some of the highest profits ever seen in Hollywood and DC pumping out crossover hits like there's no tomorrow, plenty of companies are trying to jump on the movie universe bandwagon—even Hasbro's trying to turn their boardgames into a full-blown multi-film franchise with films like Ouija: Origin of Evil.
It seems this shared universe fever has caught on even in the somewhat cursed world of video game movies, as one company has come out with a strange choice for their foray into crossover cinema in... Call of Duty?
Activision Is Looking To Make A New Marvel-Style Cinematic Universe Out Of... Call of Duty
In an interview with The Guardian, Stacey Sher and Nick van Dyk, the co-presidents of Activision-Blizzard Studios, revealed their big plans for a shared #CallofDuty cinematic universe.
“We have plotted out many years,” Sher tells the Guardian. “We put together this group of writers to talk about where we were going. There’ll be a film that feels more like Black Ops, the story behind the story. The Modern Warfare series looks at what it’s like to fight a war with the eyes of the world on you. And then maybe something that is more of a hybrid, where you are looking at private, covert operations, while a public operation is going on.”
Van Dyk adds: “It’s going to have the same sort of high-adrenaline, high-energy aesthetic as the game, but it’s not a literal adaptation. It’s a much more broad and inclusive, global in scope ... a big, tentpole Marvel-esque movie.”
The pair certainly have an impressive Hollywood pedigree. Sher has been a producer on multiple Tarantino films, including The Hateful Eight and Pulp Fiction, as well as several other critically lauded films. Van Dyk, for his part, helped oversee the acquisition of the #Marvel and Star Wars licenses during his time as a senior executive at Disney.
They also seem to have a good head on their shoulders about what worked in Marvel's universe, praising their characters and stating:
“If you just chase the empty blockbuster, and have nothing to say in the genre, forget about it.”
However, while the Superhero and Space Opera genres were somewhat barren when it came to films that were both critical and commercial successes before the new Superhero Renaissance, war films are a somewhat more competitive genre when it comes to beloved, quality movies.
This is a genre after all that contains some of the greatest films of cinema history, including Oscar winners Saving Private Ryan and Apocalypse Now. Building a Marvel-style superhero universe out of the concept of real life wars seems like a financially (and politically) tricky prospect, especially with source material that isn't exactly known for its riveting stories.
Have Activision's Statements Hinted At 'Starcraft' And 'Overwatch' Films?
While the focus on Call of Duty as a flagship property may be baffling to some, Activision Blizzard do have some great worlds and stories in their stable. The fledgling Studio has already seen success with their Netflix series based off the popular children's game Skylanders.
The pair also dropped hints that they're considering Blizzard's Starcraft and Overwatch universes for adaptation, which seem like somewhat stronger choices for a massive crossover cinematic universe. Fans of Overwatch have practically been begging for a series or film since the first amazing teaser movie was released for the game.
They also hinted that they were considering adapting the classic Atari game Pitfall into a film, which would possibly be the only choice more baffling than Call of Duty for a film adaptation. Still, if they managed to make Skylanders into a fun show, it might be too early to write Pitfall off.
Do you think a Call of Duty cinematic universe could work? Do you want to see Overwatch on the big screen? Let us know in the comments!