Expect Separate yet Interwoven Storylines from Call of Duty Films
Call of Duty games are much like reality celebrities, there is a direct correlation between hate and popularity. For Activision Blizzard, it’s the popularity that matters. That is why the titanic gaming corporation wants to translate their most popular franchise onto the big screen. They figure a cinematic franchise like Call of Duty would do well on the big screen. And they may be right.
Considering the popularity of the “CoD Universe,” as they call it, Activision Blizzard won’t provide any less than a cinematic universe. Not to say we’ll see all the games transcribed onto the big screen but several movies with independent storylines forming a cohesive universe. And why not? Taking into account the billions of hours people spend viewing their games, executives believe Call of Duty could outshine other cinematic universes. Yes, that includes Marvel.
Fortunately, Activision’s leading executives are no strangers to film success. They have co-president Stacey Sher: producer of such films as Pulp Fiction and Hateful 8, and co-president Nick van Dyk: former exec at an obscure company known as Disney. It is they who noted the average hours people spend playing Call of Duty. Hence, they understand the multimedia potential of the IP. And it is thanks to this understanding that we now have multiple scripts in the works.
“We have plotted out many years,” stated Sher. “We put together this group of writers to talk about where we were going. There’ll be a film that feels more like Black Ops, the story behind the story. The Modern Warfare series looks at what it’s like to fight a war with the eyes of the world on you. And then maybe something that is more of a hybrid, where you are looking at private, covert operations, while a public operation is going on.”
With so many timelines to pull from, the films will be interconnected like the Marvel movies (easter eggs, references, and so on). Van Dyk added, “It’s going to have the same sort of high-adrenaline, high-energy aesthetic as the game, but it’s not a literal adaptation.” But let’s not forget that the games were already adept at interweaving storylines. We saw it with Viktor Reznov (World at War and Black Ops), and before that with Captain Price.
Moreover, Activision Blizzard is planning a T.V. series that ties into the films. Now in that regard, it is very much like Marvel. But something else about Marvel makes executives want to emulate them. “If you look at Marvel, they started working when you had Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man, and real film-makers on board as well,” Sher observed. “What I think made The Avengers so great was the writing and directing.”
Seeing as the television iterations will showcase Vietnam and WWII, we can probably expect a tie-in to the upcoming Call of Duty by Sledgehammer. Stay tuned for more updates, showcases, and premieres as they come. If a cinematic universe is indeed in the works, we can expect a lot more. Happy gaming.