It seems to be my week for riffing, which just goes to prove that you cannot create in a vacuum. The more sources of INPUT you have and are accessing, the more OUTPUT you are able to achieve without long stretches of ennui and writers block.
I ran across this post here regarding the new Prince of Persia film in the making: http://www.filmdailies.com/archives/prince-of-persia-workout/
Now, you know and I know that crossing media is a bit**. A hairy scary motherbit** that makes the goddess Kali look like one of those ladies in the ballet studio that Degas was so fond of painting. For decades the “superhero” genre movies were put out, one after another, all of which seemed woefully underbudget for the type of heroics that comic books were so fond of showing. As the artistic style and expectation of these comics has changed from the more advertising-based style of realistic body proportion in suits to the hyper-muscled demigods of today, the difficulty in bringing them to life in a form that would satisfy their core audience AND appeal to a broader filmic audience grew exponentially.
Game based movies have suffered a similar fate. Like comic and graphic novel properties, they live and breathe in the realm of the fantastic, a clever artist and writing team can pull stories out of the page that simply have not been reproducible in a “live action” format. They rely on the flexibility of their media to push the bounds of reality in ways that, without the budget to bring heavy-hitting VFX work in to play, you simply can’t replicate in film.
But now we have the big dogs stepping into the ring. The POP (Prince of Persia) franchise is venerable (for a game) fantastic, full of action and the kind of tittilating (non-bodice ripping) romance that goes hand in hand with fairy-tales and Fantastic Stories. The new movie has a reputable budget and a reputable team putting it together, so when it comes to spinning the roulette wheel on whether or not the film is going to make any money, someone’s gone and painted about 75% of the slots all red. The odds are going to be very good.
Is it going to be critically acclaimed? Not a chance. It’s going to be panned by the same groups that bagged on Avatar for it’s lack of story, the same people who hated 300 because it wasn’t historically accurate. At the end of the day POP is going to be an action movie. It’s a fantastic, Sinbad-style action/adventure story, heavy on the visuals, heavy on the style and movement and palette and the rich feel that the games have developed after a couple of decades of redos and evolutions. Its’ going to piss off a bunch of gamers, primarily because we each already have our favorite version of the “Prince” and already kick and scream about which version of the game is right or “better” and whether or not this version of the Prince has a bad accent or a bad haircut or too many muscles.
The thing is though, we gamers are a whiny, vociferous bunch. We talk smack even to our BFF’s while we’re teabagging them in Halo, we argue, we disagree, we all get on our soapboxes and critique what we love, what we hate, what WE would have done different. But we all LOVE games and its a rare rare thing that will pit a gamer against an IP so strongly that they will have nothing to do with it. POP is going to pull in the game audience as long as they don’t try to turn a fish into a fowl and make the movie into a chick-flick or something equally absurd (and lets face this, this is Bruckheimer, so the odds of *that* happening are slim to none) and they are going to pull in the literary crowd, fantasy, sci-fi, steampunk, even the vampire-lovers are probably going to stop in to take a look (in part because there is a dearth of good material to serve these markets as quickly as we are capable of consuming it). They are going to pull in the old-school action lovers, the guys and gals who like Bond, who thought Zulu was one of the finest films ever made, and who watched *all* of Lawrence of Arabia twice and who still watch Chuck Norris movies when Spike plays them through.