A movie based on Doom has long been the dream of computer gamers worldwide, but ever since the first rumors spread as long ago as 1996, the chances of such a movie ever getting made seemed to become more and more remote, and most people dismissed it as a pipe dream. The surprise was apparent, then, when The Holywood Reporter broke the news today that Warner Bros. Pictures is in final negotiations to pick up the feature film rights to id Software Inc.'s video game property "Doom" in a progress-to-production deal that will see the project go in front of the cameras in 15 months, or the rights revert back to the software company.
Is the picture finally out of development hell and onto solid ground? Time will tell, but until then, here's the rest of The Hollywood Reporter's article.
Studio-based John Wells Prods. will produce "Doom" with recently departed worldwide production president-turned-producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura.
Once the deal is firmly in place, a writer will be put on board to pen the screenplay. Although the video game was controversial because of its violence when it was originally released, the feature film version will aim for a PG-13 rating.
"Doom," a first-person shooter, launched in 1993, and a third installment is scheduled for release next year. The feature film's story line will most resemble the third "Doom," which is set in the future at a paramilitary base on Mars, where a scientific experiment goes awry and accidentally opens a portal to hell. The vastly outnumbered hero fights off the forces of hell as they come from the portal onto the deserted base. This will be the basis for the feature version, without the constraints of the first-person shooter format.
Todd Hollenshead, CEO of the Mesquite, Texas-based id, said his company "really scrutinized the potential partners" who were interested in the project as there had been several failed attempts to bring the project to the big screen in the past. With the third installment of the game due out next year, the company didn't want to "swing and miss."
"Given how important the franchise is to us, we wanted to make sure that we didn't miss out on the opportunity to make a movie again," Hollenshead said. " 'Doom' is our baby, the crown jewel of our intellectual property franchises, and Warners' interest in it was more than just talk. It actually puts on paper that if they don't move at a satisfactory pace, we can take it somewhere else. We're just a little game developer here in Texas, not a big movie company, so we were more interested in a commitment to make a movie rather than talk about how excited someone was about it."
Added Wells: "The opportunity to create a franchise of this well-known property is inspiring, and we look forward to the challenge of bringing it to the screen."