The history of filmic video game adaptations could, at this point, be characterized as disgraceful. In fact, here is a list from Wikipedia. Notice that the Rotten Tomatoes Fresh Ratings for the nearly 30 movies listed range from a high of 35% for the recent “Prince of Persia” movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal to 0% for the 1994 attempt at “Double Dragon.” The adage that “Great books make mediocre movies, and mediocre books make great movies” doesn’t apply to video game adaptations evidently, as making a mediocre one is still too high a bar to clear.
But Hollywood keeps trying. “Assassin’s Creed,” with Michael Fassbender, is in the works, for some reason. “Uncharted” has been kicking around for a while, and David O. Russell was attached to direct there for a second. But let's talk “Need for Speed” with Aaron Paul. “But ‘Need for Speed’ is just a racing game,” you say. “It’s ridiculous! There’s no plot to speak of!” you continue, visibly agitated at this point. “That’s like making a movie out of ‘Madden’ or ‘Angry Birds’!” To which I reply: “To a group of people who just spent $200 million on a movie based on a game where you place tiny red and white pegs into a board [ahem, 'Battleship'], ‘Need for Speed’ is downright fecund, plot-wise. Just think of the car chases!”
Ronna Kress is casting other drivers that will be very eccentric and will lose in the final race to Aaron Paul. Shooting is scheduled to begin in March.
While I’m not optimistic about the prospects of a “Need for Speed” movie, I’m sure lots of people are. These are the type of people that pay to see “Transformers” movies, of which they are making another. Of course. Plot details are scarce at this point, but then, you could say that about any of the first three films. (ZING!) Something about a high school girl and her race-car-driver boyfriend. Whatever, it’s not important. What is important is that giant robots will fight, make loud noises, transform into cars despite being able to move faster and more agilely as robots, and mint money for Michael Bay. This past weekend, Hollywood once again learned what happens when you allow someone to make an original, ambitious, expensive film untethered to a known commodity in any way: bombsville. So more "Transformers" it will be. Denise Chamian is casting ahead of a spring start in London.