RAMPAGE Director Was Unaware Of The "Video Game Curse" While Working On Film Adaptation

IGN First shares a new photo from Rampage featuring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Jeffrey Dena Morgan's characters staring each other down. The director also shares his thoughts on adapting the game.

It's no secret that movie adaptations of popular video game franchises don't typically end well. While not all are box office busts, a large number fail to live up to the expectations of fans. It's labeled the "video game curse," but for Rampage director Brad Peyton, he was unfamiliar with the phrase while working on adapting the popular '80s Bally Midway arcade classic for the big screen.

"There’s obviously a pressure to deliver on these things and to ground the movie and to deliver on spectacle and all that, but there also aren’t these expectations to what this character’s supposed to be or what this plot is supposed to be. I didn’t know about this quote-unquote 'video game curse' until about two weeks after I finished the movie," Peyton told IGN. "A lot of times, [studios] attempt to adapt games that have massive followings. ... When you attempt to adapt something that has an incredibly deep plotline or character or something along those lines, you’re beholden to delivering something. And it’s really a difficult challenge because as a gamer, I know, I play as the hero. That’s an immersive medium, and so, it’s really hard to go up against something that pre-exists."

For those unfamiliar, Rampage sees players control gigantic monsters - a Gorilla, Werewolf, and Lizard-like creature - as they tear cities, causing massive destruction and mayhem. There's not necessarily as in-depth of a plot as we are seeing with Petyon's adaptation, starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as primatologist Davis Okoye who develops a close relationship with the silverback gorilla George.

"The things that you really take away from a brand, in this sense, is not necessarily a story, because you can go play it, but you take away a tone, and a theme, and, you know, that’s what I look at," he said. "What’s the tone, what’s the theme, what can I do here that’s new, that’s not repetitious to what already exists?"

"My ultimate goal of this movie was to genuinely remind you, monsters are scary, but monster movies are meant to be fun," said Peyton. "With these movies, the challenge is to constantly be unpredictable, and to constantly entertain. And I think the most entertaining stuff is the stuff that, you just cannot see what’s going to come next. So when Dwayne’s like, of course the wolf flies, that’s just a little sprinkling of where these creatures can go and what they can do. We really drilled down on the science."

Speaking of science, the Rampage creative team actually worked with a professor at the University of Southern California to ensure their designs for the mutating creatures were based "in some semblance of reality," IGN reveals. "From there, they mapped out how the villains' pathogen would really affect animals' genetic codes to make sure the creature design choices would be grounded, so that when a crocodile sprouts a tusk unexpectedly in the film, that random mutation has a basis in scientific fact."

Rampage roars into theaters on April 20.
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