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You might have noticed but Hollywood still really hasn’t mastered the art of the video game adaptation. In fact the most popular of this genre is 2001’s Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, which still only has 44 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. But, Hollywood is now a mission to solve this problem, and one particular studio has hired a formidable name to help them in their quest.
Activision Blizzard has announced Stacey Sher as co-president of their new film and television studio, which has been placed in control of developing programs and movies that are based on video game franchises. From now on, they want them to actually be profitable and watchable.
As the above Rotten Tomatoes fact proves, this will be no easy task. But with Sher onboard the likelihood of this happening has increased tenfold, as she has an extensive cinematic past, which has seen her work wonders alongside Quentin Tarantino.
Stacey Sher has worked with Quentin Tarantino as either a producer or executive producer on Pulp Fiction, Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight, while she has also done the same with Steven Soderbergh and Oliver Stone, as well as on films like Erin Brockovich and Garden State. Simply put, she’s got a knack for helping hugely talented filmmakers find their way through the cinematic mire, and for spotting what films will connect with an audience.
This is why she is perfect for trying to move the video-game genre forward, and Activision Blizzard is now hoping that she will be able to help the burgeoning studio with their future releases. Speaking about why Activision Blizzard is uniquely suited to finally transferring the content and quality of the video game genre to the big-screen, their other co-president, Nick Van Dyk, explained that they have a "library of world-class intellectual property, that includes some of the largest franchises which have not yet been developed in film and television."
Activision Blizzard’s plan is to turn established franchises, universes and characters into a cinematic goldmine, much like Disney and Marvel have done with comic book commodities. Doing that with video games has proved tricky in the past, though.
So, what does Activision Blizzard have in the pipeline to try and arrest the decline in video-game adaptations? Well, the studio is currently working on a television show that is based on Skylanders, a children’s video game. They are also developing a series of films that are based on Call Of Duty, the hugely popular videogame that even your grandma has probably heard about.
However, the biggest indicator of how large a job Activision Blizzard has on its hands will come when Warcraft, which has been directed by Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code), is released later this summer. If that and Assassin’s Creed, starring Michael Fassbender, which is due out on December 21, 2016, are both successful, then the genre’s fortunes could finally look up. If they both fail, then it’s going to be a huge ask for any video game movie to succeed.