Thursday, December 18, 2008

Let's All (not) Go to the Movies!

I've been reading about some, ahem, interesting game-to-film adaptations this week. As I'm sure we all know, movies based on games tend to be supremely terrible. There is usually a fan backlash similar to that of book adaptations because whoever's getting paid to write these things often take drunken detours from the source material.

Somebody neglected to tell this to Gore Verbinski. And the whole industry's been letting Milla Jovovich suffer for a while now.

First thing's first, I just caught wind of the Clock Tower movie. I played Clock Tower on the Playstation when I was a kid and I'll admit it was kind of scary. While the later levels got a little boring and the story folded in on itself incoherently, the inability to actually fight back against your antagonist set it apart from other survival horror titles. Don't worry though, the film will be directed by the guy who made The Hills Have Eyes 2 and features Jovovich. Poor Milla. Maybe her fiancé would stop writing Resident Evil scripts, she could go back to making cameos in Ben Stiller movies.

Also, Variety reported on Tuesday that Verbinski, who also holds the film rights to 2K's (ahem, 2K Boston's) BioShock, recently acquired the rights to a 2007 Wall Street Journal article on Second Life. Alexandra Alter's article tells the story of two marriages: one real, one virtual. The link between the two: a man who plays Second Life all the time. Alter paints a rather depressing picture of a wife losing her husband to a game and, via that game, another woman. The piece also explores how easily players become emotionally attached to their avatars, citing a Stanford professor who believes "our brains are not specialized for 21st-century media. There's no switch that says, 'Process this differently because it's on a screen.' "

Verbinski has a pretty good track record when it comes to making movies from unlikely sources, but I sincerely doubt his or anyone's ability to make this a worthwhile film. I personally don't want to watch a film that's half Second Life footage. And what kind of narrative will it have? The man's life is stasis. Is she going to leave him? She doesn't in the article. That's the heartbreaking part.

Mr. Verbinski, do us a favor and leave this story be. Focus your energies on making BioShock not suck as much as Clock Tower surely will.