Video games and movies have an increasingly-tight-knit-yet-often-troubled relationship. Whether games are being adapted into movies or movies are being adapted into games, the result is often far from ideal ... if not a downright tragic mess.
But it seems actor/director/all-around-famous Hollywood guy Ben Affleck might be making a film that blends video gaming and film-making in a unique way.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Affleck is in negotiations to star in, direct and produce an action film called "Line of Sight." But here's the important info:
The idea, conceived by Silver Pictures' Alex Heineman (who also exec produces), centers on an elite commando squad transporting cargo while dealing with a global threat. One of the conceits of the movie is that it tells the tale from a point-of-view akin to a first-person shooter game. The script was recently worked on by Peter O’Brien, the man who wrote the game 'Halo: Reach' for Xbox 360.
A movie done in the style of a first-person-shooter? Hmmm. Interesting? Horrifying? A little of both?
Video game site Kotaku thinks this sounds like a horrible idea.
"Just when you thought Hollywood could not screw up video games more, it cooks up a flick that borrows the look of first-person shooter, yet casts aside everything that makes FPS games fun — you know, the game part," writes Brian Ashcraft. "Who the heck wants to watch a FPS?"
Though Ashcraft makes a good point, and history has made me generally uneasy about the possibility (just look at the movie "Doom"), I'm not entirely ready to jump to the same conclusion.
Affleck is definitely a love-him-or-hate-him Hollywood figure. But no matter how you feel about the dude, he has helmed a couple of solid films — "Gone Baby Gone" and "The Town." I mean, he's no Ewe Boll, right?
And having writer Peter O'Brien working on the script sounds like a good thing. After all, his work on the "Halo: Reach" story was very solid. And he's had a feature film script appear on the Black List (quite an honor for screenwriters). Certainly having a writer on the project who knows both game storytelling and film storytelling is a good sign.
Meanwhile, it seems to me that movies that embrace video game conceits fare far better than straight movie adaptations of video games. I'd offer old-school "Wargames" and "Tron" as well as the twisty "eXistenZ" and even the "Matrix" films by way of example (while, yes, turning a blind eye to godawful films like "Gamer" and "Stay Alive.")
Ah well, call me an optimist. When it comes to two of my favorite forms of entertainment, I continue to hope the marriage will someday work out.
For more game news, check out:
- The 'Portal' movie we'd pay to see
- Can't wait for 'Star Wars: The Old Republic'? Better move Jedi fast
- How to wake up your kid, first-person-shooter style
- 'Uncharted' game movie gets new director, script, life
- Space Invaders ... The Movie? Yes, Space Invaders: The Movie
Winda Benedetti writes about games for msnbc.com. You can follow her tweets about games and other things here on Twitter or join her in the stream here on Google+.And be sure to check out the In-Game Facebook page here.