Studios brought stars and film clips to Comic-Con, seeking geek love for all of its superhero and fantasy projects. While they’re paying attention, how about some of the more ambitious films these die-hards have waited years to see? After numerous conversations with agents, writers and studio execs who orbit the geek periphery, I’ve culled the 15 that came up most often. Some of these will happen soon, others might never emerge from development hell, a few might be just too tough to crack in a two-hour time frame. Given the glut of Comic-Con superhero projects, there’s a refreshing lack of capes. Here they are, in no particular order.
Warcraft. Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros have been working on the project since last summer with Sam Raimi. When Spider-Man imploded, it looked like his next movie. Until Disney tempted him with a big paycheck as it tries for another Alice in Wonderland bonanza with its Great and Powerful Oz prequel. Raimi’s next slot is now a race between the two projects to get scripts right and lock in stars (Disney wants Robert Downey Jr., but he doesn’t like the scripts he’s seen so far). The Blizzard Entertainment Warcraft vidgame revolves around an epic conflict between the Horde and the Alliance. The game’s global following makes it the kind of branded property that compels studios to take big-budget risks. There is also
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Eric Fellner, co-chairman of Working Title, is backing a new online game being created by the UK producers of Kate Modern. The game, which will launch in November, claims to blur the lines between film and gaming.
Tom Thirlwall, co-founder of We R Interactive, tells me: “We’re bringing together the worlds of the movies and online play.”
Investing with Fellner are ITV’s new commercial head Fru Hazlitt and Peter Mead, co-founder of one of London’s most respected ad agencies, Abbott Mead Vickers.
Founders include Thirlwall, CEO of Bigballs Films (Kate Modern), and ex-Eidos executive David Rose (Hitman). Other executives have been drawn from ITV and Ingenious Media.
Console games such as Red Dead Redemption or Bioshock increasingly use stories as part of the shoot ‘em up action. These games can cost $50 million each to produce over a three year period. We R Interctive’s new game will cost less than that because its makers plan to keep improving it over time. Rather than pay up to $60 upfront in a gaming store, online players will fund the game’s development using micro-payments. Players will play the game through social networking sites such as Facebook. Gamers must constantly upgrade if they’re to stay playing the game (groan, tell me about it. I’m losing track of the map-pack upgrades my teenagers keep pestering me for while playing Modern Warfare 2).
Thirlwall tells me, “We caught Eric’s eye one year ago. We showed him the demo, which shows how you … Read More »