If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Rushed video game adaptations are nothing new to the movie watching audience or this writer. Many studios have taken popular, or at least well known, properties such as Hitman, Tomb Raider, and Mortal Kombat and made half-assed attempts to truly translate the core of the actual stories on a Tim Burton level. It's because of this obsession with making an immediate movie adaptation of a hot property that this particular story perplexes me. Missile Command is a classic arcade game developed by Atari and designed by Dave Theurer where you play as a soldier defending several cities and military bases against an onslaught of incoming missiles (the origin of which is never revealed). It's a game where you cannot win, no matter how long you play. For those of you not in the fanbase of "Extra Credits" on The Escapist website, they recently did an episode detailing why the Missile Command game worked as a narrative through it's game mechanics alone and how grim the game actually is under the cover of being a challenging game. I'm not going to go into detail about their dissection of the game, but, in summary, Missile Command can be seen as the hopelessness of nuclear war. Despite the fact that Missile Command is a fondly remembered game of the 80's, it never reached the status of Tetris, Pong, or Pac-Man.
So, why make it now? There are much easier properties to translate into film that already have stronger build-in audiences and more recognizable brands. It's my secret hope that FOX is taking a risk on this game's narrative to create a movie that's centered around the affects of nuclear war and the difficult decisions those in power would have to do to survive it. I know, that's asking a huge amount from FOX, but they did take risks on sci-fi films with a tragic ending like the original Planet of the Apes. They also made shit like Knight and Day, so what the hell do I know?
Video game movies have struggled like comic book movies, but it's the fact that this odd little nugget of a game is actually being focused on that gives me some other thoughts. Does that mean the studios want to take a risk on a smaller project before applying that same level of risk to the big dogs? I hope so. After all, I'm pretty sure that outside of superhero fans, no one knew of Blade until the movie franchise came out, and it was the success of the Blade film that Marvel finally decided to work on more character driven films like X-Men and Spider-man films - the results of which have been an outstanding success.
While the only thing any of us know so far is that Missile Command is being made into a movie. No cast, no plot, or director has been chosen to lead this project. So before we start to hyperventilate and angrily smash our keyboards to translate our rage and frustration that FOX is churning out another piece of shit for us to watch, how about we wait for a while and see where they're going with this, hmm?