You guys remember Ubisoft’s Rayman, right? The game series is still going strong, mind you, but the central character has all but been overshadowed by his former co-stars the Raving Rabbids, who broke out from the minigame set-up and branched into their own world of gaming. Rayman doesn’t have a TV show but guess what? The Rabbids do. Rayman doesn’t have a movie in the works, but guess what? The Rabbids do, as Sony Pictures has announced they’ll be teaming with Ubisoft in bringing this group of seemingly mindless big-eared drones to the big screen. And the God of Original Ideas takes yet another small step back into the darkness.
I say that both with and without irony, as I’m rather fond of the Rabbids series in general. As FirstShowing points out, they started out as villains, with their neverending numbers starting out as a problem. But once they broke free and became a parade of pop culture-spoofing goofs, an actual brand was born, and it’s one that probably deserves a few made for TV or DVD releases. I’m not so certain these guys are quite ready for the big screen yet, but that prediction will probably be shattered once it becomes the biggest film of 2016 or whenever.
Here’s how Columbia Pictures’ Production president Hannah Minghella puts it.
"There is an infectious quality to the Rabbids. Their simple joy and absurd, anarchic behavior inadvertently causes you to look at the world afresh. There’s no end to the comedy and chaos they will cause when they invade our theaters."
And let’s face it. These characters don’t even speak English to each other, using only their specific form of gibberish nonsense. So it’s not like screenwriters are having to take up a lot of time creating backstory and intra-personal narratives. This is strictly plot-based storytelling, and it’s part of what makes their Nickelodeon series Rabbids Invasion so enjoyable in its short form. (I’ve watched with my toddler.) It’s just these guys making a mess of things in different places. Will it be the same thing as The Minions? I would [gibberish expletive] hope not. Here’s a trailer for the show.
Minghella had nice words to say, but I’m pretty sure Ubisoft’s reaction to this deal was to cackle madly while searching for the scant few games in their library that haven’t yet gotten movie deals. Assassin’s Creed, Watch Dogs and Splinter Cell adaptations are all coming. It just so happens they’ll all be chased by a bunch of wide eyed bunnies.
Rabbids Big Bang, the latest game in the franchise, released on mobile platforms last year. Maybe the film will have a director by the time you beat it.