Getting in the Game: Seth Rogen and More
In a (rad) interview with Entertainment Weekly, comic genius Seth Rogen revealed a bit of his nerdy underbelly. The actor/writer delves deep into his history of gaming geekery, which still sits strong with him today. What’s interesting about the discussion isn’t so much that Rogen plays games (celebrities are just like us. Wow!), but that the chap has a solid philosophy on how film-to-game adaptations should be handled.
“I feel that like anything, a videogame needs to start with a good idea. And if they’re starting with a movie without the good idea, that can be their pitfall. I think it’s the same reason bad movies get made. They get too excited about the idea and they forget they need to fill it up with a story. Movies need good stories… I think for the same reason they can fail very easily, they can succeed because people are familiar with the narrative of and are interested in getting involved in.”
It’s interesting to see this sort of perspective coming out of Hollywood considering that game adaptations of flicks are almost unanimously terrible. (Funnily enough, the interview is a result of Rogen’s involvement with the Monsters vs. Aliens game). But that Rogen’s philosophy applies to his own creative works, namely The Green Hornet, which Seth wrote and will be starring in.
The Green Hornet’s nighttime super-hero antics, alongside his kickass kung-fu sidekick, Kato, would make for a great action game provided it had the care of something like an Escape From Butcher Bay or Wanted: Weapons of Fate put into it. But Rogen revealed in the interview that a Green Hornet game won’t be happening.
“[A game adaptation] is something we wanted to do with The Green Hornet but the rights were tied up in a complicated way and we weren’t able to get it off the ground in time.”
If they (whoever “they” are) were able to acquire the rights, you’ve got to wonder if Rogen wouldn’t try to get more involved with the process. He’s nuts for games, and has a decent idea of how a movie-game should work, so it only makes sense. Involvement in a development capacity seems a bit extreme.
But do you think that it would be out of the question for a writer or director to have a modicum of creative control or supervision over a videogame adaptation of one of their works? I can’t help but wonder if this kind of involvement would increase the quality of a game because it would stick closer to the initial vision of the source, or if a lack of experience in that sort of creative capacity would end up harming the game. Vin Diesel’s been getting his feet wet with his Tigon studio, which helped out in the creation of the Riddick game. Vin’s a huge geek too, so he knows what to look for in a solid game. But how much influence did he really have, I wonder?
What do you think? Should Hollywood superstars be giving developers pointers to create cooler adaptations?