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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Doom Movie Producer: Gamers Should Back Off

If you have a free moment, you might go sharpen your knives now.

When Ted Price, president of "Ratchet and Clank" maker Insomniac Games asked di Bonaventura what the producer would have done differently with the underperforming "Doom" movie, the answer essentially boiled down to paying less attention to the game and its fans. "I'm going to get in trouble with a lot of people if I answer this question," he said. "I would stick with my instincts about what makes a great film. I would worry less about what the [game's] creators wanted and less about what the studio felt the gamers wanted." The movie should have been more of a sophisticated, character-focused sci-fi flick, he said.

But fans' demands that a movie stay as close to the game as possible compelled everyone involved to keep things too simplistic. "The core audience makes it so hard on filmmakers," he said. "Their absolutism can actually be very disruptive to what's going on in the filmmaking process." Fans should accept certain realities about storytelling and, he said pointedly, of business.

If fans don't back off, they might just scare the studios off. "It creates an atmosphere in the senior-executive ranks in the studio where it's just not worth it," he said. As he is the producer of upcoming "G.I. Joe" and "Transformers" movies and is in development with Nicolas Cage on a movie version of Namco's "Dead to Rights" game franchise, di Bonaventura will surely face these issues again.
-- Hollywood Heavyweights Tell Gamers To Lighten Up About Film Adaptations

Excuse me? Gamers are to blame that Doom wasn't a more sophisticated film? Because setting the film on Mars, like the game, that is a big barrier to character development? And teleportation experiments unleashing hell, like the game, that obviously is counter-productive to a backstory.

But the BFG! Well, that says depth.

Please. Doom got knocked because the writer was taking it needlessly away from the source. Source material which is quite simply put, not all that complicated. Gamers aren't going to care if you flush that out more and make believable. Nobody is going to go out to a forum and flame someone for giving the Doom Marine a personality. But why the hell bother with a game license if you aren't even going to bother using it for anything more than drawing in ... wait for it ... gamers.

In other words, don't bitch and complain that gamers are opinionated in keeping things true to the game when the main reason you bought that license was to get them into the theaters. You want our money, but not our opinion? Bite me. Don't tell me you licensed Doom because you thought it was a fascinating plot. You bought it because it's built-in brand recognition with a built-in audience.

As for making it "more of a sophisticated, character-focused sci-fi flick", I don't see anyone stopping that but the studio itself.

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