As time passes, the lines between comic books, video games, and movies are getting blurrier and blurrier. Both comics and video games are routinely getting adapted into movies, comic books get made into video games, and movies get made into video games (with almost always poor results).
Did you get that?
Anyway, to continue the trend, Sony has bought a pitch for the Playstation 3 game inFAMOUS. The pitch, written by Sheldon Turner (The Longest Yard Up In The Air), follows the game’s storyline, about Cole McGrath, an ordinary man who, in the aftermath of a massive calamity that leaves his city in ruins, discovers he has incredible, electricity-based powers — with no idea how he got them. What follows is a bizarre quasi-morality tale (the game is one of those that allows you to choose whether you’ll head down the path of good or evil), as he navigates government agents, cops, civilians, and mysterious groups bent on capturing and/or killing him. All the while, Cole’s powers get stronger and more diverse and he is faced with difficult decisions about how he should be using his powers.
It makes for a hell of an entertaining game — I’ve been playing it pretty regularly for the last month or so. Does that mean it’ll translate into a good film? If we look at the history of video game movie adaptations, the answer is pretty clear. With the possible exceptions of guilty pleasures like the first Resident Evil and the visually arresting but ultimately disappointing Silent Hill, video games have clearly not done well on the big screen.
That said, inFAMOUS has a fairly deep story, an interesting main character, and some original ideas, to boot. In the right hands, it could be the next great non-comic book comic book movie, if that makes any sense — think Hancock, but without the crushingly disappointing second act.
In the wrong hands, it could be the next Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li — that is to say, a horrendous nightmare of awfulness that makes you want to pee yourself, then gut pretty fluffy bunnies and cry tears of fury as you bathe in their steaming entrails.
Maybe that was just me.