Pacific Rim and Saw screenwriters Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan are currently hard at work re-writing the feature film adaptation of the epic video game God of War. The first draft of the script was written by the film's producer David Self (Road to Perdition, Thirteen Days).
In a recent interview in IGN the two talk about the project and what we can expect to see. The first thing they mention is that the script wasn't re-written because it was bad, it was re-written because it was outdated,
The only problem with that is it was written before Clash of the Titans, Wrath of the Titans, 300 and Immortals, and those movies borrowed quite a bit from the God of War stories. It was just a little bit outdated, so we wanted to differentiate it from those other movies.
When they started on the project the first think they felt they needed to do was humanize the main character Kratos,
In the same way that Batman was grounded with Christopher Nolan's rendition, we were attempting to do that with Kratos so that when we meet him -- like they're doing in this newest game, which is sort of a prequel to the original -- we're seeing him before he became the Ghost of Sparta, when he was just a Spartan warrior and he had family and kids.
The whole reason for huminzing character likes this is so that the audience are able to relate to them. Melton goes on the explain,
In the game... there's that attack from the barbarians and Kratos has to call upon Ares to help him. Really, that's going to be our first act break. Before then, he's going to be mortal, and he's going to have his family. We're going to learn about him and understand how he operates. So it's potentially 30 minutes -- give or take -- of building up this character so that, when he does turn and becomes the Ghost of Sparta, we understand him as a human and we understand the journey that he's going to take. We're emotionally invested, so that it could go beyond just this one movie.
During the interview they are asked about switching gears from low-budget horror to epic big budget features, and here's what they said,
There's almost an element of relief. When it comes to God of War, we are first-time visitors, and we have a wealth of imagination that has built up from our appreciation for the sword-and-sandals films of our history... We know it doesn't have to be done for a million bucks in a garage. [Laughs] That helps, too. But also, with a bigger movie like God of War, you have to go quite a bit deeper into the character as opposed to a horror film, in which you generally need to get things going; people are concerned that the audience won't have patience, so it's go go go go go.
With God of War, We're going to spend $150 million to make this movie. We really need to understand this character and get behind him and feel his pain and feel his emotions so that, when he is in these giant set pieces, we're in there with him and we're feeling it.' That is a critique of some of these big action films is that they often get too big and just become noise; you're not invested in the character.
I love what I'm hearing. If they are able to actually pull off what they are talking about, this could be a great movie! As you know, video game film adaptations don't really turn out the way they should, but there might be a chance with this one. Dunstan continues saying,
There was a recent movie, which will remain nameless, that depicted the main character without any fear. When you do that, how are we supposed to be afraid through him? How are we supposed to gauge anything as a legitimate threat? It's become this dulling element. So with this, we take an intimidating presence such as Kratos, fighting and pursuing a bloodthirsty vengeance trail to the God of War. How do we make that genuinely scary? The man of action must prevail, but it's got to hurt to getting there.
He then goes on to explain their plans for Ares and his villainy,
In the game, you know, he's immortal, and he doesn't really do much besides raid Athens. So we're trying to build him up a bit more, too, so that he can become a true villain.
Melton and Dunstan are still working on the screenplay, and I'm looking forward to seeing what they end up with. Brett Ratner was once attached to direct the film, but as of right now no one is attached. Hopefully they are able to find someone with an epic imagination, a visual eye, and a lot of talent.