Brad Peyton is a guy who likes to destroy stuff. Just take one look at his current filmography for proof of that. After levelling cities with Dwayne Johnson in earthquake flick San Andreas, the director has now signed up for a sequel, which will apparently be even bigger in terms of the destruction. Beyond that, he’ll be bringing us Rampage, a video game adaptation which will see him re-team with Johnson yet again for more mayhem and madness.
Carlton Cuse and Ryan Condal are the writers who will be wrangling the ’80s Midway Arcade title into a bona fide CG-laden blockbuster, with the core premise seeing three grossly mutated creatures – one gorilla, one alligator and a snarling wolf – causing a path of destruction all across the US of A. But as with so many video game adaptations that have come before it, one has to wonder if Rampage will ultimately fall into the same pitfalls that we’ve seen time and time again.
At the moment, Peyton is busy with his new film Incarnate, and while at the Los Angeles press day for it earlier this week, we sat down with the director to quiz him on both that and some of his future projects, including Rampage. When we asked him how he’s planning to turn the video game, which isn’t exactly heavy on story, into a feature film, here’s what he told us:
With Rampage, we are using our love of the original game as our inspiration. Then we’re going to build a movie, like San Andreas, that is really going to surprise people in what it delivers. It’s going to be a lot more emotional, a lot scarier and a lot more real than you’d expect. So you look at that original concept about a lab that affects these animals and makes them rampage, and that’s the nugget. If they called me tomorrow to do Call of Duty, I wouldn’t want to play any of the Call of Duty games. I’d have to come up with something that deserves to be its own thing. That’s where a lot of these movies can go wrong.
I’m really excited about Rampage. It’s a monster film, so the stuff that I did on Incarnate, stretching my muscles in the horror space helped. This “small, character piece” with horror in it trained me to get ready for [Rampage]. Obviously, it’s a much bigger movie and it’s meant for a broader audience, but there still horror elements, there’s still a monster movie at the core. And I get to work with Dwayne [Johnson] again, I’m so excited about it.
Peyton also touched on which monsters from the game will be incorporated into the adaptation, saying:
There’s the three, the lizard, the ape and the wolf, so we’re keeping it similar, but you’ll have to stay tuned to find out where we’re going with this.
While the director’s comments are certainly reassuring, it’s still difficult to have complete faith in the film at this stage. Johnson’s involvement gives us a bit of confidence, but again, there really is no such thing as a well executed video game adaptation. At least, not yet.
Perhaps Assassin’s Creed will change that when it opens next month, but for now, we’ll continue waiting patiently for a video game to be properly adapted to the big screen and hope that Peyton can ultimately do Rampage justice.