14 October 2005

Spielberg Changes Careers

Hey guys, it's Donnie...Master filmmaker Stephen Spielberg has just inked a deal with EA Games to work with game makers to develop three new video game franchies. Spielberg, an enthusiastic gamer, is looking forward to bringing his unique storytelling skills to the table with EA's top notch interactive development, and EA is looking forward to being able to brand market the shit out of the guy who made Jaws.

I almost sort of passed by this article, until I actually re-read it and then the implications hit me like a wayward pigeon. Spielberg is getting his foot in the gaming industry. That's huge. One of the biggest problems with video game movies is that the characters are underdeveloped and the narratives often don't lend themselves well to structure of films. But if you've got filmmakers creating video game properties, then they can turn around later and bring them to big screen much more easily. I really would not be surprised if we start seeing other big name filmmakers, particularly genre filmmakers, getting into the video game development process.

That's one more wall that's been removed between the worlds of video games and cinema. I'm becoming more and more convinced that in the next 5 years we could see the complete and total legitimization of video game films. I think Doom is going to be better than expected, and even if it doesn't perform well, I think it could lay the groundwork that would point future properties in the right direction. Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh producing Halo is a HUGE step, and while it's far from a sure thing, there is certainly potential to propel video game properties to the same stature that comic books have now.

With the Spielberg announcement, we've now got major talent working on both sides of the fence and it'll just be a matter of meeting up in the middle somewhere.


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