With two successful comedies under his belt (Zombieland and 30 Minutes or Less), director Ruben Fleischer is making his big budget debut with this weekend’s crime pic Gangster Squad. Steve recently spoke with the director in anticipation of the film’s release, and during the course of their interview they covered a few other subjects. Yesterday we shared what he had to say about the prospects of Zombieland 2, and today we’ve got Fleischer’s thoughts on the feature film adaptation of the video game Spy Hunter that he’s attached to direct. He revealed that he wants to make a lighter, fun version of a spy movie with Spy Hunter, talked about references to the game that he hopes to include in the film, and revealed they’re in the process of “pitching our ideas to what the movie would be to the studio.” Hit the jump for more.
Director Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) is set to adapt the long-in-development video game adaptation Spy Hunter. Back in 2004, John Woo was attached to direct with Dwayne Johnson attached to star (Johnson eventually starred in the 2006 video game, Spy Hunter: Nowhere to Run, which was originally intended to be a tie-in). Then Paul W.S. Anderson got in the driver’s seat before deciding he wanted to make Death Race instead. The video game Spy Hunter didn’t have a story because back in those days a player didn’t need an excuse to have his 8-bit spy car fire bullets at other 8-bit cars. According to Vulture, Fleischer will probably discard the 2010 script by Chad St. John (Motor City), and hire new screenwriters, so I’m curious what Fleischer’s take will be. It’s best to look at the project as a way to see what Fleischer will do with a shootout/chase movie rather than a video game adaptation. Hit the jump to see video of the original Spy Hunter video game.
Fleischer’s upcoming film, Gangster Squad, is due out January 11th. The film was originally due out this fall, but had to be pushed back for reshoots after the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado.
Warner Bros. will take a crack at developing the classic arcade game Spy Hunter into a movie. Launched by Midway in 1983, the game is about a spy in a car who shoots guns at spies in other cars. Warner Bros. acquired Midway last year and Heat Vision Blog reports that Chad St. John to write the script. St. John is also working on an adaptation of the comic series Sgt. Rock, which is also set up at Warner Bros with Joel Silver producing.
If an adaptation of Spy Hunter sounds familiar, it’s because the movie has been in development hell for years. The film was originally set up at Universal with John Woo to direct and Dwayne Johnson to star (although he did star in the video game Spy Hunter: Nowhere to Run, which was intended to be a tie-in to the movie, but ended up as a stand-alone title). That fell apart because of budgetary reasons, which is absurd because it’s about a guy in a car who shoots at people in other cars. How many fucking white doves did Woo require? After that, the project passed on to Paul W.S. Anderson (Resident Evil) but it also stalled. Anderson got his shooty-car movie when he went on and directed the remake of Death Race.
I know the mythos is layered and complex and it’s not a problem that most people have never heard of the series because guy in car shooting at other guy in car is something that only works if you attach the name Spy Hunter to it. Otherwise, what’s the point?