Movies based on video games have had a tough time since time immemorial. No matter how good a game is, it’s film adaptation always turns out to be bad. Or average at best. So is there any hope for a movie based on a game which pioneered the industry with its mechanics? Can Doom work? Especially for a property which has had it’s shot at it before?

Yes, you read that right. There was a Doom movie made back in 2005 that too starring none other than Dwane ‘The Rock’ Johnson! While Johnson has certainly proved himself to be box-office gold, back then he was still dipping his toes in murky waters.  And for a movie which is supposed to have monsters filling up the screen, 2005 didn’t really have the technology ready for such mass production just yet. While Universal hasn’t given any official confirmation, actress Nina Bergman recently revealed on Twitter that work is now underway on a new Doom movie.Doom movie announcementCome 2018, and the video-game movie scene still hasn’t changed much. Progress has been made but at a snail’s pace. Assassin’s Creed & Tomb Raider didn’t really leave a lasting impression on the audience. The former was a plainly bad film while the latter was average at its best. In terms of critical reception, video game movies are on the same level as anime adaptations in the West.

Doom came out in 1993, at a time when first-person shooters were still in their technical infancy. But this game revolutionized the FPS genre and the gaming industry as a whole. It was the first FPS to have elements such as complex 3D environments & networked multiplayer gameplay. The game spawned 2 sequels and an eventual reboot. And a good reboot at that. It came out at a time when the modern AAA FPS games are being widely criticised for being lackluster and taking control away from the player. The new Doom flipped the finger to that concept by giving control back in the player’s hands. Don’t believe me? Here, a small token of proof:

The title clearly says it all. A middle finger to cinematic gaming. Video games, as a genre, have always been about giving control to the player. While some games have gone around that concept such as Naughty Dog’s Uncharted Series or Telltale’s story based cinematic games, they often made up for it with an intricate story and rich characters. It’s these things which made us care for them in the first place, and that is why they worked.

A movie which is to be kept around 2 hours could never achieve that feat. You can only do so much storytelling in such a short period of time. And for a franchise like Doom, which is about smashing your way through monsters and mayhem, you’d have to be an idiot (or extremely talented) to make a movie based on it. So what do you do tackle the story problem? You make one up of course!

Doom (2005)
Doom (2005) starring Dwayne Johnson and Karl Urban

And that is where the problem starts. Franchises like Assassin’s Creed or Uncharted (which has its own movie in the works) already have a story in place. Those games already have a plethora of rich characters and a lore that players can get invested in. A movie based on a property such as Doom would require the filmmakers to create a wholly new & unique story. This, as we know, is something that may not sit well with fans.

So how do you make a movie and not invite the wrath of millions of devoted fans? You release it straight to DVD of course! Or, in 2018, you could just as well launch it on a streaming platform. And that is just what Universal might be planning to do with this upcoming adaptation.

It’s being rumored that the film is being handled by Universal 1440 Entertainment, a division of the studio which handles content specifically made with home-media release in mind. That means the film may be straight-to-DVD, or as mentioned above, release on a digital platform like Netflix. This arguably seems to look like a more sensible move. Direct-to-home media releases tend to have a smaller budget, and that means more creative control for the filmmakers. It also means that any diminishing returns on the property would not worry the studio too much.

Whatever the case may be, one can only hope the studio makes a good mov(i)e here. It’s high time to capitalize on the property, and a good movie would certainly help gamers and film buffs everywhere. If Bergman is to be believed, the studio has apparently hired a good director. Here’s hoping it turns out to be as great as it deserves.

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