Prepare Yourselves for Joust: The Movie
Here’s an ominous question for you: when you hear the words “Gladiator meets Mad Max” do you automatically think of someone riding an ostrich and fighting pterodactyls? If not, then apparently you aren’t on the same wavelength as the people at the newly-formed Hollywood company, CP Productions. The company was created by two producers (Christine Peters and Michael Cerenzie) to create films targeted at the under-25 demographic. To do this, they’re working on releasing films and comics based on games both old and new. Their first project however will be to convert the classic arcade title, “Joust,” for the big screen. Cerenzie explains their reasoning:
“Joust is an arcade game that’s as old as Pac-Man and has global awareness. We took one element of the game and the brand itself and built a whole new world around it for the film. The film is set 25 years in the future and includes a Las Vegas suspended in mid-air. We’ve updated the game into a commercial, tent pole movie. Marc [Gottlieb, the scriptwriter] has done an amazing job in creating a tantalizing and filmic world based on the original game.”
Allow me to translate this from Hollywood-speak: *ahem* “We’re throwing out everything to do with the original game, except the color green, and creating whatever film we feel like. We’re going to call it “Joust” though, so we can have a video game tie-in.” Midway, who created the game, has already expressed interest in developing a new franchise based on the movie. There’s also a plan to publish a Joust graphic novel around the same time as the movie is released. And CP doesn’t plan on stopping with just this game; Cerenzie estimates that about 80% of their film projects will involve some sort of gaming element. If Joust is as successful as they hope, we could start seeing more classic games given the silver screen treatment.
Waitaminute…if they’re targeting an audience of under 25, why are they releasing a movie based on a game that’s over 25 years old? And when are they going to get around to producing my vision of one game character’s gritty origin, titled “Pac-Man Begins?”