The feature film adaptation of God of War has been in development for a long time now, but the project got a boost this summer when screenwriters Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan were hired to rewrite the project’s script. The duo doesn’t have much experience in the action genre, having cut their teeth on horror fare like Saw IV, V, VI and Feas, but Guillermo del Toro recently brought them onto his massive scale monster movie Pacific Rim to do some script polishing. That work likely helped them land the God of War gig, and they’ve now spoken up a bit about their approach to the popular property.
For those unfamiliar with the source material, the God of War game series centers on a Spartan warrior demigod named Kratos who takes on mythological beasts during his quest to free himself from the control of the gods. Melton and Dunstan recently talked about their script for the film, revealing their grounded approach to the story, how they plan to introduce Kratos to audiences, beefing up the villain and more. Hit the jump to see what they had to say.
Speaking with IGN, Melton and Dunstan revealed that they were hired to rework David Self’s (Road to Perdition) existing script because of its similarity to other recent sword-and-sandals action films:
“The only problem with that [script] is it was written before Clash of the Titans, Wrath of the Titans, 300 and Immortals, and those movies borrowed quite a bit from the God of War stories. It was just a little bit outdated, so we wanted to differentiate it from those other movies.”
In differentiating their God of War from other similar films, Melton and Dunstan are drawing from a certain insanely successful superhero franchise:
“In the same way that Batman was grounded with Christopher Nolan‘s rendition, we were attempting to do that with Kratos so that when we meet him — like they’re doing in this newest game, which is sort of a prequel to the original — we’re seeing him before he became the Ghost of Sparta, when he was just a Spartan warrior and he had family and kids.”
“In the game… there’s that attack from the barbarians and Kratos has to call upon Ares to help him. Really, that’s going to be our first act break. Before then, he’s going to be mortal, and he’s going to have his family. We’re going to learn about him and understand how he operates. So it’s potentially 30 minutes — give or take — of building up this character so that, when he does turn and becomes the Ghost of Sparta, we understand him as a human and we understand the journey that he’s going to take. We’re emotionally invested, so that it could go beyond just this one movie.”
Melton and Dunstan also revealed that they’re tweaking the villain Ares a bit to make him more convincingly menacing:
“In the game, you know, he’s immortal, and he doesn’t really do much besides raid Athens. So we’re trying to build him up a bit more, too, so that he can become a true villain.”
It certainly sounds like Melton and Dunstan are on the right track, and it’ll be interesting to see which director Universal chooses to bring their vision to the screen. You can read the rest of the interview over at IGN in which the duo provide more insight into their approach to this highly anticipated adaptation.