In the 2000s, producer Avi Arad was the go-to guru when it came to finding out new information about Marvel and its upcoming movies. That post has been slipped to Kevin Feige. But Avi isn't out of the genre game yet. He's now become the man with the plan when it comes to video game adaptations for the big screen, and he has the latest news on the most anticipated releases.
He recently spoke with Kotaku about what are possibly the three most anticipated video game-to-movie projects currently in the pipeline, including Mass Effect, Metal Gear Solid and Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, the last of which is closest to being a sure thing at the box office.
These three movies have been in development for a very long time, with occasional updates hitting the internet at least once a year since their inception. Accrording to Avi, that's not going to change anytime soon. He explains why.
"Converting games to film hasn't been done yet successfully, though Resident Evil did very well, it was actually a great series...I think that film studios are bankers and filmmakers are risk takers and somewhere in between we meet on the battlefield. And the moment one video game movie goes through the roof, it's the same thing that I've been through with comic books."
Avi seems to believe, in his heart of hearts, that Uncharted: Drake's Fortune will be the franchise that makes the breakthrough and changes everything. He sees it as something that will definitely launch a franchise, and hopes that it will be remembered the same way Sam Raimi's Spider-Man is, doing for video game movies what it did for the comic book genre.
"I think Uncharted will be very successful. It's a father and son game. There are things about it that are interesting. I think the world of antiquities theft, there are many countries in the world that realised they're being robbed and they're trying to recoup these important pieces. Now, the script has a lot of character [and] I think that has a shot at being the first one [to succeed]."
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune has come the closest to going before cameras. At one point, David O. Russell, known for his Oscar movies like Silver Linings Playbook and The Fighter, was going to direct a version of the screenplay that had Mark Wahlberg, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci attached. Fans were quite vocal about the casting, rallying hard against it. The project quickly evaporated.
While Uncharted: Drake's Fortune might actually see a theater screen sometime by 2016, the other two movies are still very far away. It's doubtful we'll see either Mass Effect or Metal Gear Solid before the end of this current decade. Of course, Avi Arad is a little more generous with the timeline.
"It's getting there, it's been a lot of work; some movies take five, six years before they're ready."
Avi Arad ended the interview by hinting that a Naruto movie may be on the way sometime in the distant future. Please don't hold your breath.
To read the full interview: CLICK HERE