Producer John Davis Gives Updates on THE SIMS Movie, the Aliens vs. Predator Movies and Jason and the Argonauts!

     September 21, 2008

Earlier today I participated in a roundtable interview with producer John Davis. I got to speak with him because he was helping to promote his upcoming Universal movie “The Express.” While in the coming days I’ll have a lot of interviews with the cast of “The Express,” since John is producing a lot of other projects, I wanted to post what he said on his other things right now.

As you can see on his IMDB page, John has produced a great number of movies in the last 20 years. While not all of them are fan favorites (can you say his Eddie Murphy films from the last few years), he has helped to make a few films that I enjoy like “I, Robot” and “Predator.”

Anyway, while talking to him today, he gave us updates on whether or not they’ll be another “Aliens vs. Predator” movie, what’s up with “Jason and the Argonauts,” and his take on a “Sims” movie – which is based on the very popular video game.

  • The quick info is that “AVP” is dead, but we might get another “Predator” movie after Arnold leaves office.
  • “Jason and the Argonauts” might have a HUGE director attached.
  • And “The Sims” movie has a touch of “Weird Science.”

It’s an interesting interview…if only because his take on “The Sims” is either going to make fans crazy with anger…or they’ll love it. Personally, I’m not crazy about the idea.

And if you’d rather hear John talk, here’s the link for the audio of this interview. Just know it’s the entire conversation and not these selected highlights.

Question: I think your developing a few video game properties.

John Davis: Yes.

And I wanted to know . . .

John Davis: What we’re working on, The Sims?

What is it going to take to make the really good video game movie? Cause a lot of fans out there have been less then satisfied.

John Davis: I think we have it in The Sims. I’ll tell you why.

Every one’s said that though. I’ve heard this before.

John Davis: I know, but I think we have it in The Sims. First of all, The Sims, 65 million units have been sold, the most successful video game ever. Right? Ever.

How will this translate to being a great movie?

John Davis: And Tom Rothman, the Chairman of Fox said to me, “How are you going to take this incredible piece of IP and make it into a movie?” Right? Because most games aren’t movies, so this is the way I did it: The Sims, as you know, you can control your imaginary world, right? And our movie, a young man, a 16 year old kid of a 14 year old kid and his friend get their hands on this thing called the Sims Infinity Pack, right, which kind of this very strange video game store which was there just for that moment, and seemingly wasn’t all that. But what they realize is that they can scan their world in, because this is the most life like, real Sims game ever. And as they are playing this they are all of a sudden realizing is what they are playing on the game is having an effect on the real world. So in effect, through the game, they are able to control their world. It’s wish fulfillment, and obviously it turns against them.

So this is a little bit of a cousin of “Weird Science” here.

John Davis: Exactly. Exactly! And definitely there will be somebody coming out of the game into the real world, like “Weird Science” did.

Are you thinking about making this in that kinda vein, where it’s the fun kind of aspect of it? Or are you thinking of making it a PG/PG-13 kind of. . .

John Davis: I wanna make a Amblin-esque, really fun adventure movie, because I think the third act is great, because obviously there is a nemesis, and the nemesis gets his hands on the game in the third act and he’s now set up this incredible obstacle course of incredible things that you can only do through your Sims game that our heroes have to go through before the game becomes permanent and they’re forever screwed, and they have got to defeat that nemesis. So it’s got some big great fun, adventure set pieces, and whatever their imagination is creates the world.

How old will the protagonists be?

John Davis: I think they’ll probably be 15 years old.

How well is the script shaping up?

John Davis: It’s shaping up great.

How will “Jason and The Argonauts” be different?

John Davis: Zack Penn’s writing it. A lot of huge directors have been knocking at our door, including one of the biggest ever.

Who would that be?

John Davis: One of the biggest ever.

Rob Cohen, who just did the “Mummy,” talked about wanting to do “Jason and The Argonauts.”

John Davis: One of the biggest ever!

So not Rob?

John Davis: I love Rob!

So has Spielberg said yes to it yet?

John Davis: The one of the biggest ever is really interested in the idea of all that stuff, and I think that a realistic version of Jason, where you basically deal with a guy who’s a doubter in a world were everybody believes, still, in the gods and the gods influencing our world, and starts to become a believer, but very slowly because he can’t explain all this stuff. And it’s at the time were we were going from the idea of many gods to one, so there’s a lot of historical cool things there. You know, Jason was based on a great Greek myth, right, but it’s that great story of . . . You know, all those Greek tragedies have the greatest of human foibles, the greatest of human downfalls embodied in them, and I think this has that. And so it’s a more realistic version of all that.

That’s all fine and dandy, but will there be skeletons and swords?

John Davis: Yes, there will be.

That’s all I want to know!

John Davis: Yes! And our challenge is, with a skeptic, how to explain, in the end, that that’s happening.

You were also involved with AVP and AVPR, which are two great franchises, but they haven’t been able to work as a joint franchise. When are we going to see them go separate? Or are we going to see a third AVP?

John Davis: Well, the Governor has mentioned to me that when he ceases to be Governor, if he doesn’t run for the Senate and all of that stuff, he’d like to do a movie or two again. And I don’t know, maybe we could restart the Predator franchise.

So if Arnold wanted to do it, it’s going to get made?

John Davis: Well we’d have to come up with a really good script and a really great angle on it, but Predator was the first movie I was ever involved with, so it’s always going to have a really soft spot in my heart.

So is the AVP franchise on hold for now?

John Davis: I think we’ve logically done what we could’ve done with the two AVP movies. But I think there’s something to go back to with Predator .

How do you see the character that Arnold plays to that franchise?

John Davis: I don’t know yet. But I think Predator is a great character and a great monster.

Latest News