Activision Blizzard Studios are planning for potentially years of Call of Duty movies, drawing inspiration from the interwoven Marvel Cinematic Universe. Activision reckon that Call of Duty could carry a series, jumping between the first-person shooter's sub-brands for different perspectives on war. Chinny reckon.
The idea of shared universes is the current hotness in Hollywood, a trend soon to give us exhumations of Universal's monster movies, endless indistinguishable Marvels, and more DC Comics duds. (At least we've narrowly missed crossovers between G.I. Joe and Transformers and Men in Black and 21 Jump Street.) Activision want in.
The co-presidents of Activision Blizzard Studios, Stacey Sher and Nick van Dyk, talked recently about their plans with the Guardian. They explained they're looking to start on CoD with one movie, starting filming perhaps as early as 2018. Then, if that goes well, Sher says they "have plotted out many years" of CoD movies.
"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."
Van Dyk added that they want to emulate how Marvel has "these individual universes that interconnect and a timeline that makes sense with consistent themes and Easter eggs."
Call of Duty has brand recognition, which is more than original scripts start with, but not much else. As much as I do enjoy the spectacle of Call of Duty singleplayer campaigns, beyond recalling a few exciting set pieces I couldn't tell you what happens, why, or with whom. You've got Soap MacTavish and Johnny Tache, the one-armed man, Jon Snow, Kevin Spacey, something about Russia, that kid who cussed your dad out after noscoping you, moonmen, and an excess of jingoism suitable only for B movies or critical dissections. It's all tosh, and not why CoD is fun.
Though Transformers 5 is out in June so, you know, building on only brand recognition and explosions clearly doesn't mean a movie will be a commercial failure.
The interview also talks about considering a CoD TV series looking at different historical conflicts, as well as maybe something Overwatch-y and a spot of StarCraft. It even raises the idea of eventually raiding the Activision archives for vibrant nostalgic brands like Pitfall, so in comparison CoD sounds a cracking idea.
Go on, do it. I'll watch it on Netflix. I've seen Hasbro's Ouija movie and two whole Transformerses. I've watched a Transmorphers and all. I'll see Call of Duty and then The Asylum's inevitable Duty Calls. I'll engage with every brand, just you see.