Beloved Video Game Duke Nukem Is Getting A Movie From Some Cobra Kai Talent

Duke Nukem 3D artwork of character shooting enemies
(Image credit: Gearbox Software)

Remember Duke Nukem? The original video game and its two sequels were all the rage in the early-mid ‘90s, and along with a variety of spinoff games that followed at the end of that decade and into the 2000s, the property made a major comeback in 2011 with Duke Nukem Forever. Additionally, a Duke Nukem movie has been in and out of development for more than two decades, and today brings word that this project is back on track, this time with some Cobra Kai talent guiding it along.

Cobra Kai creators Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg have boarded the latest iteration of the Duke Nukem movie through their Counterbalance Entertainment company, per THR. Legendary Entertainment has picked up the film rights for the property from Gearbox Software, which acquired Duke Nukem back in 2010. The next step is to find a writer for the Duke Nukem movie, and while there isn’t a director attached either, apparently it’s possible that one of the three men behind one of the most popular Netflix shows could take on helming duties.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Duke Nukem games, they follow the title protagonist, a mostly silent, hyper-masculine, ‘80s action hero-like character who’s visually distinctive with a flattop haircut, sunglasses and the cigar in his mouth. Duke Nukem goes around gunning aliens that have invaded Earth, and he often uses a jetpack out in battle. While  Todd Replogle, George Broussard, and Scott Miller from Apogee Software created the character, George Broussard and Allen Blum came up with his macho redesign for Duke Nukem 3D.

Talk of making a Duke Nukem movie began in 1998, and in 2018, producers Andrew Form and Brad Fuller were looking to learn from Deadpool’s success in finding the right tone with their take on the material for Paramount Pictures and Platinum Dunes. John Cena was also once attached to play the cinematic Duke Nukem, but this version of the project never progressed forward. Four years later, now it’s had new life breathed into it, and now we just have to wait and see if the Cobra Kai guys will have better luck.

Assuming this version of the Duke Nukem movie gets off the ground, this will be Gearbox’s second film adaptation of one of its properties. The first is Borderlands, which stars Kevin Hart, Jamie Lee Curtis, Cate Blanchett and Jack Black, among others. The Borderlands movie doesn’t have a set release date yet, but it did film from April to June of 2021. It’s possible Gearbox and Legendary may wait to see how Borderlands fares with moviegoers before kicking things up a notch or two with Duke Nukem.

CinemaBlend will pass along any major updates on how the Duke Nukem movie is coming along. For the folks out there who like Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg’s work on Cobra Kai, Season 5 premieres to Netflix subscribers on September 9. 

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.