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GoatLord

How do you make a Doom film that kicks ass?

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Okay, I know there's a million threads about the Doom movie. How stupid it is, how there's like three and half people on this forum who actually like it, our own ideas for the perfect Doom film, etc. In this thread, I want to try something different, which is to discuss the inherent problems of translating our favorite computer game to the silver screen (assuming, in some wonderful future, the film is remade) and how to address them. Something too close to home would be cheesy and ridiculous, while something too high concept wouldn't feel like Doom.

The elements I've come up with are as follows:

• Who is UAC, and should there be a backstory about their rise to power as a multinational corporation
• How strong of a military presence there really needs to be on offworld colonies
• Why there would be so many military/research facilities on Mars's moons, and whether or not it would be more sensible to have it simply set on Mars, as in Doom 3
• Who is DoomGuy, and how integral should his backstory and personality be to the film
• The use of archaic weapons, especially the double barreled shotgun
• Whether or not DoomGuy should be an Arnold-esque lone hero, or if he should operate within a squadron of marines ala "Aliens"
• Hell, demons, and whether or not they are hellish aliens with reality distorting technology, chess pieces crafted by a higher (but incredibly sadistic) intelligence, actual demons from "Hell," whatever that is, or something entirely different
• How prominent "Hell" should be, whether or not its existence should be explained, and how it should look (fire and brimstone, H. R. Giger, Lovecraftian, Event Horizon, etc.)
• Whether or not there should be gratuitous action/gore with hordes of monsters, or if it should feature concentrated, intense and scattered fights, or a mix
• Archaic, bulky computer tech, and whether or not it should be replaced by the sort of tech one would expect a century from now, such as brain/computer interfaces, nanobots, Blade Runner style replicants, "smart" buildings, etc.
• Whether or not the soundtrack would benefit from intense, plodding metal, dark ambient/orchestral, a mix, or something different

And before anyone responds, yes, I know I'm waaaaaaaay overthinking it, but that's part of the fun.

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I think the movie should be aesthetically based on the original doom instead of doom3, and the last half of it should be focused on the combat and progression of the Doomguy through the infested installations, reaching hell obviously and fighting a cyberdemon or something like that, instead of fighting against the "bad" doomguy.

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A feature length film based on Repercussions of Evil starring Shia Labeouf would be great. Directed by Christopher Nolan, music composed by Hans Zimmer.

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Bruce Willis as the doom guy and Ron Jeremy as a mancubus(now thats scary!)
Also it would be kind of cool if the film was based after the events of doom where the doom guy is suffering from nightmares and goes back to hell or something similar to that nature.

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nicolas monti said:

I think the movie should be aesthetically based on the original doom instead of doom3, and the last half of it should be focused on the combat and progression of the Doomguy through the infested installations, reaching hell obviously and fighting a cyberdemon or something like that, instead of fighting against the "bad" doomguy.

Yeah, but if Doomguy is traveling alone, I don't think that would make a good story. So there should be others with him, however it's not Doom if you're not alone.

Doominator2 said:

... and Ron Jeremy as a mancubus(now thats scary!)

Ouch face

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First half: tragic and immersive drama of Doomguys life; he loses everyone and all that stuff, you know. Gets an offer from the army or whatever to go on a lone mission against Hell.

Second half: over the top epic killing of demon hordes in ultra epic hellscapes and demon infested strongholds of evil.

Doomguy dies with a smile on his face as Hell wins and legions of evil head towards earth. The End.

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axdoom1 said:

Yeah, but if Doomguy is traveling alone, I don't think that would make a good story. So there should be others with him, however it's not Doom if you're not alone.

right, but they should be dying one by one and at the very end only one survives, like in alien for example. Doom has enough potential for a top horror/action/sci-fi mainstream movie.

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axdoom1 said:

Yeah, but if Doomguy is traveling alone, I don't think that would make a good story.


I don't know why this sentiment is so prevalent. There's plenty of character and story development that can be done with just one character. Hollywood writers are just to lazy to figure out how to do that with minimal dialog.

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Some of those points have been discussed here. Not all of them, of course, nor necessarily recently. Just on top of my head:

GoatLord said:

Who is UAC, and should there be a backstory about their rise to power as a multinational corporation


I guess it's yet another "corporate government" scenario, like the ones used in Robocop and Rollerball. Run-of-the-mill, really. We're living in the early corporate ascension phases (where corporations hold key industry sectors and have more decision-making power than elected governments), so the natural next step is governing directly, perhaps after a corporate war period.

GoatLord said:

How strong of a military presence there really needs to be on offworld colonies


I had devoted an entire thread to that question. In hindsight, their presence only makes sense in a "corporate government" scenario. They are practically employed by the UAC (as is most of the world, by then) as mercs, even though de jure they still belong to the government....which is still UAC. So effectively they're little more than today's PMCs (Private Military Contractors).

GoatLord said:

Why there would be so many military/research facilities on Mars's moons, and whether or not it would be more sensible to have it simply set on Mars, as in Doom 3


The only plausible explanation is extra secrecy -especially if there were civilian colonists on Mars. In order to build on Mars' moons, it makes sense that they got hold of Mars first and that most materials come from there, rather than the moons. Unless there's some artifact/resource found only on those moons and not on Mars, which is vital for teleportation.

GoatLord said:

Who is DoomGuy, and how integral should his backstory and personality be to the film


There are many, many versions of his story. I will shamelessly promote mine once again, which also explains his speed. ;-)

GoatLord said:

The use of archaic weapons, especially the double barreled shotgun


I think they keep being used just on that basis of reliability. They do their job, are reliable, simple, and they work even in the vacuum of space (if used cased ammunition). Ironicaly, all those "caseless ammo" developments of today would make them nearly useless in space O_o

The PL and BFG (the only pure energy weapons) are treated more as experimental oddities.

Besides, it fits in the Used Future trope clearly adopted by Doom creators', rather than the most Crystal Spires and Togas one.

This also explains the following:

GoatLord said:

Archaic, bulky computer tech, and whether or not it should be replaced by the sort of tech one would expect a century from now, such as brain/computer interfaces, nanobots, Blade Runner style replicants, "smart" buildings, etc.


Tropes aside, this is actually partly justified by real-life space exploration: cosmic radiation causes much more damage to integrated circuits in outer space (or with a thinner atmosphere) than it does on Earth, so any computers will have to use much more ruggedized electronics, trading speed/space for reliability, and anyone working in space (even if on a moon) will have to be trained to use his wits and muscles before putting his life in the hands of any gizmo.

Add in the trend of the military to make everything uglier and more "ruggedized" even for earthly use, and this one is actually the easiest to explain.

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I couldn't direct an entire film, but theres a serious quality I've considered to be missing from the film that better movies have.

Clear emphasis on the strength of the monsters and stopping power of the weapons. In movies like Terminator 2, there's a variety of weapons being used, and a variety of enemies. The same shotgun that could blow a security guard back 15 feet did nothing but puncture an easily healed hole in the T-1000's face. Now that's frightening.

This is something that happens a lot in Doom, given the wide range of difficulties monsters are categorized in, weapons become completely obsolete, and there's a strong sense of dread when using something that was once unstoppable to everything in Doom for the first time on a meat shield as powerful as a Hell Baron. At that point the only option is to discard your weapon and search for a better one, which also happens in Doom, and could just as easily be translated in motion picture as a fast, thrilling, suspense scene.

The Alien series had a lot of scenes where the xenomorphs were absorbing barrages of bullets and fire but were still able to exercise their special abilities to escape and outsmart the marines, which gave a clear understanding of what kinda of adversaries they're dealing with. As the crews got smaller and smaller, the enemy only appeared more and more intimidating.

Stuff like this happens a lot in slasher movies too, like in Friday the 13th or the Halloween series. First he's killing stupid helpless teenage girls, but when the killer is chasing jocks, middle-aged people, police officers, he's being hit by blunt objects, stabbed, and even shot, only to be stalled for a brief moment, and continuing on the pursuit. These types of scenes are vital for revealing how threatening the enemy really is.

In the Doom movie, some of the monsters are shown to be pretty dangerous, but are apparently very easy to dispose of, as pretty much all of them died with a couple machine gun bullets to the head. And the Hell Knight apparently gets gibbed by single landmine or whatever. There was no variety of weapons or monsters and apparently the only thing killing the marines was by missing their shots or looking the wrong way at the wrong time. The only people who survived were either safe the entire time, or had a few seconds to actually put up a fight. There were no scenes where they got swarmed by waves of monsters and had to retreat, or emptied their clips on a single big monster. Something like that could have really indicated the kind of danger they were in, but no such thing happened in the movie.

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The main things would be:

STICK TO THE STORY. It's about the UAC opening a gateway to Hell and demons coming through in an unstoppable tide. Someone has to get out alive. It doesn't come more simple or urgent than that, so how film makers and novel writers manage to fuck it up is beyond me.

STICK TO THE THEMES. It's sci-fi, it's action, it's scary, it's a demon invasion. Hollywood doesn't do "scary" very well, it tends to stick running battles in all its ghost films for some reason and ACTION IS NOT SCARY. In Doom's case, the fear would have to come from the monsters and the changing environment, plus the threat of what will happen if the invasion spreads beyond Mars and its moons.

STICK TO THE MONSTERS. No former Gamesmaster presenters in wheelchairs mutating into a pink demon because of an alien chromosome. No virus, no alien invasion, no thorough re-imagining of the demons - the enemy must be recognisable and consistent with the game we've been playing since 1993. This is DEFINITELY where another Doom film will mess up.

DECIDE WHICH ATMOSPHERE TO GO FOR. The excitement, action and violence of the PC and its ports, or the survival horror of Doom 3 and the PSX/N64 ports. Don't get them mixed up. Survival horror is not, and will never be, compatible with open warfare. They're the direct antithesis of each other. And open warfare no doubt means that Barons/Knights will suddenly die in droves when they're previously shown to be unstoppable on their own.

Also, for preference, NO STUPID CHARACTER NAMES. John "Grimm" Reaper? Well it's better than Flynn Taggart (don't get me started on Flynn, and Taggart is the name of a British police drama starring an old man). "They're Marines, not poets." Who, the characters or the writers?

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I think maybe you just don't do it. There is almost zero story or characters in Doom and what is there could be written by a 10 year old. You could still argue that there is a certain style and atmopshere in Doom but that doesn't sound like a basis for a movie. Whatever Doom movie is made, it will probably be like 5% Doom and 95% something new made up by the authors, at which point using the word "Doom" in title starts to seem needless.

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Yeah, I'm with Memfis. Doom is about player agency. A movie can't do that.

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I was actually pondering this myself a while back. I thought that the Doom novels would be a great basis to build a Doom movie or two upon. Now while Infernal Sky and Endgame fuck up the plot horrendously (in my opinion anyway), Knee-Deep In The Dead and Hell On Earth would make just awesome movie adaptations.

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Take 100% of the hollywood fluff, stupid dialogue, stupid failure at attempting an epic story, and stupid millionaire scientologist actors out. Instead there is just 1 human who looks like doomguy and acts like bruce campbell, the rest are tim and eric style purposely bad costumed monsters ala ninja turtles 3 where you can see the seams and zippers. Like an arachnotron will just say "pew pew pew!" instead of actually shooting anything. But the cyberdemon will be kickass with awesome special effects just for weird contrast. The genre is horror-comedy like evil dead or gremlins 2 and the only dialogue is brief cheesy 1 liners mcbane style like "ice to see you" after breaking out of some ice or "he'll never be the head of a major corporation" like in austin powers, or "here let me lend you a hand" and he gives a hell knight a gibbed imp hand then punches him in the face etc. It'll all be slapstick like naked gun. Doomguy will have a ludicrously large and overstuffed backpack 10 times bigger than him in one scene to fit all the pickups, maybe dragging it by the stap since its so heavy, and wear multiple armor bonus helmets on his head simultaneously on top of eachother. There will be a key on a ledge right in front of him but he can't move 32 pixels up so can't get it, even though the actor could obviously reach it. He can wall run, always runs at a diagonal angle to go faster, run and bump a gate to nab a berzerk on the other side, and constantly bump into a 32 pixel gap until he fits through. At one point an all ghosts bug occurs. He kills the cyberdemon with an epic gib filled telefrag, but then the camera lowers and you see that the teleporter made his ass backwards like in spaceballs.

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Usually, behind a movie adaptation of a videogame (or the opposite...) there are a lot of subtle legal, licansing, moral, political and even religious hitches that may prevent it from being 100% like the source material.

For example, I read somwhere that the choice NOT to make the monsters come straight from Hell in the Doom movie was due to some PC concern to put the blame for whatever mishap on the deeds of Men, rather than opening theological questions about Hell, Demons etc. (Creationism was quite big in 2005, I guess)

Also, the movie's aesthetics are obviously influenced from Doom 3, which was mainstream at the time, not classic Doom. And... Bio Force Gun?!

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Phml said:

Yeah, I'm with Memfis. Doom is about player agency. A movie can't do that.

Hmm, I wonder about that. One of the main inspirations for Doom was Aliens, Hicks could go be the Doomguy straight away. Then the game went with a demon invasion instead and turned out much more cartoony and over the top. Us Doom nerds will always nitpick and object, but it's totally doable, you just need to pick a direction.

Cool creepy horror Doom:
Tech hell, some extremely graphical torture and shock imagery, scary monsters crawling on the ceiling, chasing and eating victims alive... Get Paul W. S. Anderson on the job and make a full movie out of the crazy parts of Event Horizon. Sam Neil can be Betruger.

Cartoony sci-fi splatter action Doom:
That would be Starship Troopers. And Doomguy is pretty much Robocop in rocketskates, right? Paul Verhoeven! (It's a shame he's too old.) He'd be fantastic for working in the cheese of the Doom comic. He'd probably milk UAC and the funny toxic waste rant for leftist social satire. Keep Urban as the Doomguy, his Dredd was a thing of beauty.

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MajorRawne said:

Also, for preference, NO STUPID CHARACTER NAMES. John "Grimm" Reaper? Well it's better than Flynn Taggart (don't get me started on Flynn, and Taggart is the name of a British police drama starring an old man). "They're Marines, not poets." Who, the characters or the writers?

How about John Stalvern?

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I think a DooM movie should start with Ken Ham releasing the demons of Hell.

After the demons have eaten Ken Ham (on rye), Bill Nye swoops in and saves the day.

We can all imagine Bill Nye stripped down to a leather thong with a minigun in one hand and a rocket launcher in the other, screaming "Crom!" while torrents of demon blood splatter all over his American flag bandana. Flesh and entrails fly everywhere!

Then Bill finds a beautiful naked woman, takes her in his manly arms, and makes wild passionate hardcore love to her for twenty minutes straight, right through to the end of the movie.

Never has such glory been put on film!

We must make this happen people!

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Doom should have been made into a movie back in the 90's with Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Doomguy. Co-starring Bruce Willis and Danny Glover.

The year is 2145. The Doomguy is one of the best warriors on Earth. He single-handedly took out a group of terrorists in some third world country and saved a whole bunch of people. But he's also a poor tormented soul. His wife committed suicide because he was never home, he was more dedicated to the marines than to her. Broken up over this, he loses his mind when Danny Glover "Commanding Officer" slaughters a handful of peaceful protesters. Doomguy is than arrested and disciplined and shipped off to Mars to serve as UAC security.

For the last two days communications has been lost between Mars Capita and the Phobos Moonbase. At first it's assumed that they're having problems with their Comms Array. Bruce Willis "Sarge" tells Arnold Schwarzenegger "Doomguy" and a unit of Space Marines to get their asses to Phobos and investigate.

The UAC moonbase is located in Stickney Crater on Phobos. The complex is a high tech engineering masterpiece. A massive pressure dome keeps air sealed within which is produced by the Atmosphere Processor. An Artificial Gravity Generator provides the facility with an "Earth-like" gravity. The main purpose of this facility, although top-secret, is to experiment with powerful teleportation technology. They've successfully sent objects through one portal and watched them reemerge from another. Now their project has moved onto human trials using death row inmates as their guinea pigs. Each test subject has comeback stark raving mad and have to be sedated. Upon further investigation, it seems that they have opened a doorway to an unknown dimension...

Doomguy and his fellow marines arrive on Phobos and find that the main power has been disabled. The absence of security personnel is also strange. The marines split up into groups to cover more ground. It becomes apparent that something has gone terribly wrong. A horde of nightmarish monstrosities from another plane of existence have invaded and violently slaughtered everyone in the complex and transformed them into undead lunatics. The Doomguy is the only survivor of the initial attack and must do everything in his power to shut the Gateway between this universe and the next.

The Doomguy will make good use of his trusty Pulse Rifle, Bullpup Shotgun, Phased Plasma Gun and the BFG 9000. The monsters featured in this movie are the Zombie, Imp, Demon, Baron and Cacodemon, and the Cyberdemon as the big-bad. Practical effects are going to be used in this movie. The Doom movie will be dark and gritty sci-fi horror movie with a small dose dark humour. Rated R for harsh language, blood and gore.

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MajorRawne said:John "Grimm" Reaper? Well it's better than Flynn Taggart

Not really. Flynn Taggart is much more believable as just a regular guy's name, whereas John Grimm/Kane/etc. fall squarely into the "made up to sound obviously bad-ass" category, which is incredibly lame.

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Memfis said:

I think maybe you just don't do it. There is almost zero story or characters in Doom and what is there could be written by a 10 year old. You could still argue that there is a certain style and atmopshere in Doom but that doesn't sound like a basis for a movie. Whatever Doom movie is made, it will probably be like 5% Doom and 95% something new made up by the authors, at which point using the word "Doom" in title starts to seem needless.

A Doom film should clearly be different then. I imagine it being epically about a war, where both sides have armies, not just about Doomguy surviving against thousands of odds. Didn't this "action hero" trope become overdone anyway? Also what's this crap about Mars? What about Doom 2+4? I think that, as a film, it would be more interesting to show this war take place between hell and earth.

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dew said:

Cool creepy horror Doom:
Tech hell, some extremely graphical torture and shock imagery, scary monsters crawling on the ceiling, chasing and eating victims alive... Get Paul W. S. Anderson on the job and make a full movie out of the crazy parts of Event Horizon. Sam Neil can be Betruger.

Cartoony sci-fi splatter action Doom:
That would be Starship Troopers. And Doomguy is pretty much Robocop in rocketskates, right? Paul Verhoeven! (It's a shame he's too old.) He'd be fantastic for working in the cheese of the Doom comic. He'd probably milk UAC and the funny toxic waste rant for leftist social satire. Keep Urban as the Doomguy, his Dredd was a thing of beauty.

My movie buff side wants to marry you.

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Make it fast paced, who needs a story? Get Romero to be Doomguy and make him fight through an infected base, an infected city, finally hell, and make him die when going through a hellish caniyon with blood beneath, and when he dies, the demons tear his head and honour him as the hardest enemy and then place his head inside a wall, then it slowly turns into a giant skull with roots.

The end.

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