EverQuest Movie Rumors Start Again

In the world of Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs to those “in the know”), EverQuest is the great granddaddy. It’s the game that paved the way for others like World of Warcraft and Star Wars: Galaxies. About half of those young MMORPG whipper-snappers have movie deals or came from movies, so why shouldn’t EverQuest? Well, now it’s getting one.

This isn’t the first time there’s been talk of a movie based on the computer game, which is set in a fantasy realm called Norrath, where elves, dwarves, humans, and other typical fantasy creatures hang out, do battle, and other typical fantasy activities. But IGN is reporting it’s a little more serious this time. According to “reliable sources,” Sony is pairing up with former Marvel Studios head Avi Arad to produce a film with a tentpole 2009/2010 release date. If it’s 2009 we could really see a geek infestation of theaters when both Transformers 2 and EverQuest: The Movie are features of the summer.

While there’s no word of any plot, the rumor is that Michael Gordon, who wrote the script for 300 will be given scribing duties based on an original pitch by the writer. Obviously with 300 Gordon showed he could make an adaptation, but the comic book story was already there for him to work with. While EverQuest has a wealth of storylines, there’s nothing already epic to build off of… yet.

Of course, the other question is: Is EverQuest even all that relevant anymore? I know the game still has a following in both the original and EverQuest 2 incarnations, but I hear more people playing World of Warcraft and GuildWars than EQ. I don’t think an EverQuest movie is going to have that instant audience other franchises might have. The story, script, and effects are going to have to be fairly good to draw an audience so far from the height of the game’s popularity.