As you probably heard earlier today, there’s a God of War movie in development with an estimated $150 million budget. Dan capably summed up five big problems the movie will have to face. I have two more problems to add to the list.
First, how are they going to contend with a lead character (Kratos) who is tricked into murdering his wife and daughter by Ares the God of War, and then Kratos spends the rest of the movie wearing his dead family’s ashes on his skin? Audiences just love when wives and little kids get killed by the man of the family, especially when we get to see the ashes of the dead kid and wife slathered on the lead character’s body for the final two acts. That’s totally not a huge bummer that won’t translate well to film because it’s too visceral.
The second problem is this IGN interview with the two writers most recently hired by Universal and Sony to script this God of War film in development since 2005. (Brett Ratner was signed to direct at some point, but we’ve dodged that nacho-cheese-smudged bullet.)
In the interview, writers Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton (Saw IV, the Feast trilogy, Piranha 3DD) talk about why they had to rewrite the previous script by David Self (Road to Perdition). And let’s stop right there: Universal had a script from the writer of Road To Perdition, so they had it re-written by the guys from Saw IV and Piranha 3DD? You’re doing it wrong.
Dunstan and Melton explain that the Self script for God of War “was written before Clash of the Titans, Wrath of the Titans, 300 and Immortals, and those movies borrowed quite a bit from the God of War stories. It was just a little bit outdated, so we wanted to differentiate it from those other movies.”
Because in Hollywood, if the source material is in the same broad genre as some other movies, just throw out the source material. Awesome plan. Everything should be dictated by studio notes from insular dittoheads who’ve never played the games. (This is a slam on the studio system, not on Dunstan and Melton. I’m sure they’re just lovely.)