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EA: Movies Shouldn't "Try To Respect" Games Too Much

We've all asked ourselves this question dozens of times in the past: "why can't Hollywood make a decent movie based on a video game?"

Well, perhaps the answer doesn't necessarily involve incompetence on the part of the filmmakers; maybe it's just because they always try to stay too close to the source material. In a VideoGamer interview with EA Montreal vice-president and general manager Alain Tascan, we learn two things: 1. EA is pretty much leaving Scott Z. Burns (who penned the script for The Bourne Ultimatum) to do his work for the upcoming "Army of Two" movie, and 2. Tascan believes movies that "try to respect" the games too much end up falling short. In a recent Variety report, EA initially claimed to be "attached as a producer," but Tascan clarifies; he says the publisher is taking a "hands-off approach to the creation of the [Army of Two] script."

"We're working together. We explain what the world is about, what the missions are about, and then we leave the guy to do his job. The way you tell a story in eight hours, 12 hours, and develop the characters, is completely different than two hours.

We just give him our reference and then he's working. We read a few parts of the script and it's very promising. Obviously he has his own style, and we want to keep some big moments we had in the game, but it's like, I don't want to say parallel, it's like a different path. He respects our world and we respect completely the movie, but we don't want to attach the things together."

Tascan went on to say that when films go too far in "trying to respect the games," the quality suffers. It's an interesting take, certainly, and it may be perfectly valid. Burns has admitted to EA that he's not a gamer and in fact, "that appealed to them because they didn't want to simply replicate the game." So here's hoping Burns turns out a decent script, and "Army of Two" turns out to be watchable. Oh, and just because we gotta do it again, here's that totally grand teaser vid for Army of Two: The 40th Day:

9/14/2009 12:14:09 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (35 posts)

LegendaryWolfeh
Monday, September 14, 2009 @ 12:30:11 PM
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Wow, what, I didn't realize Army of Two:40th day was going to be on PSP =O

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JMO_INDY
Monday, September 14, 2009 @ 9:46:32 PM

Where did that come from? It would be sweet though.

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Jed
Monday, September 14, 2009 @ 11:36:11 PM

good eyes

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LegendaryWolfeh
Tuesday, September 15, 2009 @ 5:24:44 PM

if you watch the video on gametrailers at the end, on the bottom where they show the consoles and stuff, it says psp or playstation portable

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Sir Shak
Monday, September 14, 2009 @ 12:59:01 PM
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I think you made a mistake in the intro of this article Ben .

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inkme101
Monday, September 14, 2009 @ 1:00:42 PM
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films based on movies? dang ben! long night or what?

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Godslim
Monday, September 14, 2009 @ 1:16:21 PM
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i thought it was because they DIDNT stay close to the games lol

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outcelgeist
Monday, September 14, 2009 @ 1:39:46 PM
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Films based on movies ALWAYS suck.

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Naztycuts
Monday, September 14, 2009 @ 6:06:33 PM

I'm assuming you meant films based on games?

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leatherface
Monday, September 14, 2009 @ 1:43:19 PM
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Uwe Boll should lend his directing skills to Army of Two. LOL

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Alienange
Monday, September 14, 2009 @ 2:27:20 PM
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If I've learned anything from Battlestar Galactica, it's that you can turn good source material into something great if you have good writing and directing.

Last edited by Alienange on 9/14/2009 2:27:30 PM

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ohmikkie
Monday, September 14, 2009 @ 5:18:23 PM

You've got that right!

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Hezzron
Monday, September 14, 2009 @ 2:39:36 PM
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Of all the games to get made into a movie.....

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kevinater321
Monday, September 14, 2009 @ 7:54:22 PM

I know eh! It's not even a good game! but i am looking forward to the inFAMOUS movie xD

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Robochic
Monday, September 14, 2009 @ 3:06:21 PM
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i think i may have enjoyed 1 game that was based on a movie and 1 movie that was based on a game but the majority of the time you can't have both it just doens't work... i worry about prince of persia it's such a great game series i hope they don't screw everything up.

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johnld
Monday, September 14, 2009 @ 3:42:02 PM
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hahaha, thats funny because from what i've seen, they didnt have any respect for street fighter and dragonball when they made those movies. Come on, it was dragonball and they made the timeline that goku was in high school. Goku and any school dont mix, even driving school!

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Jed
Monday, September 14, 2009 @ 11:39:06 PM

oh god, the street fighter movie was so horrible. that was a long time ago.

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godsman
Monday, September 14, 2009 @ 4:22:18 PM
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Not only game-movie suck, movie-game sucks too. The main reason is because the writers cannot recreate the culture/atmosphere in the game/anime.

If done correctly, like Batman AA, it can sell millions.

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Jed
Monday, September 14, 2009 @ 11:41:42 PM

Batman AA was great, but it was not based on a specific movie. They were able to write their own script, instead of having to follow one created for theaters.

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NiteKrawler
Monday, September 14, 2009 @ 4:56:29 PM
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The only movie I've ever seen come CLOSE to sticking with the story of the game was Silent Hill. This guy has no idea what he's talking about. The problem is taking too many liberties with the film. Take Resident Evil. Love the storyline, Paul Anderson F's it up. If he would have stuck with the already laid out storyline and made minimal changes, it would have rocked. But no, he had to make it his own, which is why all of these movies based on games suck.

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BeezleDrop
Monday, September 14, 2009 @ 5:02:41 PM
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I believe initially for the first Resident Evil that were making it was going right a long with the first game at the mansion. But of course those movies have to appeal to a broader audience so it can't be helped. The first RE would have been so good without the unnecessary "hive" and over the top action/acting. They had the right zombies but no hunters, and some of the special effects were so-so. I really enjoyed Silent Hill without the over acting at times I must say.

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NiteKrawler
Monday, September 14, 2009 @ 6:57:48 PM

I don't see how the original Resident Evil storyline isn't appealing to the masses. That's like saying that Harry Potter shouldn't follow the book's story because it needs to appeal to a larger audience.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, September 14, 2009 @ 5:40:45 PM
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Um is it just me or is the problem with game movies that they DON'T stick to the damn source material?

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Naztycuts
Monday, September 14, 2009 @ 6:14:06 PM
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Wow Lets try and make money off the only thing that stills sells in a troubled economy. It's sad really they want to cash in on games as much as possible, they will just wind up exploiting them like everything else. CD sales suck? Put songs in games! Movie sales lackluster? Make them about games! This is Capitalism at it's finest.

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NiteKrawler
Monday, September 14, 2009 @ 6:56:03 PM

Michael Moore is proud. :)

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Wage SLAVES
Monday, September 14, 2009 @ 9:16:02 PM
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The difference is obvious and kudos to EA for saving Ao2. Its like if GOW was to be made and they included scenes of the puzzles. That wouldn't be fun or as relevant as it is in the game. Perhaps one will pass but not like the game.

Interactivity is what grasps the player. The art of the first-hand experience. Where as the movie must rely on pure theater and storytelling. Visuals and script are paramount here.

Last edited by Wage SLAVES on 9/14/2009 9:21:22 PM

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Jed
Monday, September 14, 2009 @ 11:47:17 PM

That is exactly what I was thinking.

When you play a game you are the one that progresses the story. With movies, you lay back and let the story be told.

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JMO_INDY
Monday, September 14, 2009 @ 9:44:10 PM
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Am I the only one wanting a MGS movie? Although the game is practically a movie in itself, but it would be nice to see them try. It would probably be nice.

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Jed
Monday, September 14, 2009 @ 11:50:04 PM

MGS is one of the games that really has enough story to be made into a movie. They would not have to fill it with a bunch of hollywood bullsh*t.

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NiteKrawler
Tuesday, September 15, 2009 @ 2:35:37 PM

Wait...MGS isn't a series of movies?

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BTNwarrior
Monday, September 14, 2009 @ 10:07:02 PM
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I remember reading that the writers of Doom changed the script in respect of the videogame. So my notion is that if writers actually followed the base material of games instead of changing everything the movies would be better.

for instance Hitman, the movie strayed pretty far from the base material here. What was originally a clone assasin whose job was to kill his target as quietly and descretely as possible changed into an orphan assasin who tries to do a job as loud and out in the open as possible.

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johnld
Monday, September 14, 2009 @ 10:43:06 PM

Its just that some games arent meant to be turned into a movie.

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Sol
Monday, September 14, 2009 @ 10:51:01 PM
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I don't know, I would think that the movies suck because they don't respect the game enough... at least in my opinion.

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___________
Tuesday, September 15, 2009 @ 2:22:54 AM
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same reason why devs cant make a decent movie based game.
the best movie based game is star wars episode 3 and even that had its problems.
followed by xmen origins wolveriene and that was riddled with bugs, and some annoying stuff.
like what is it with the unreal 3 engine and collecting items?
both xmen origins and batman AA use the unreal 3 engine, and both of them if you find a item than die you have to find that item again.
that drove me mad in xmen origins, thats why it took me so bloody long to get the plat.
and batman AA i cant be bothered, ive found like 20 video tapes and riddler trophys than died and i cant be fooked finding them again.

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NiteKrawler
Tuesday, September 15, 2009 @ 2:37:56 PM

That's not Unreal Engine's fault. Not having the ability to manually save is the reason.

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