Multiple Call of Duty movies are in the works. We don’t know much about the stories they’ll tell or who will star in them, but now Activision’s Tim Kilpin has shed some light on the company’s general approach to making films based on its video games. Kiplin heads up Activision’s Consumer Products Group, and he says it’s important to carefully consider how to adapt the game for the big screen.
“Anytime you take a franchise as storied as this, with this kind of legacy, and expand it into a new form factor you have to be really careful,” Kilpin told MCV. “So frankly, if the script and the story isn’t right we won’t do it; it’s not one of those situations where someone is saying, ‘I don’t care just get it made!’; that’s not what’s happening. We do think that if it’s done well it has the opportunity to expand the base audience, beyond the traditional foundation that the game appeals to.”
Kilpin went on to suggest that a Call of Duty movie may be able to help expand the profile of the already-massive series. The thinking is that Call of Duty is an M-rated game, meaning that theoretically it appeals to a relatively smaller pool of people.
“As an M-rated game, it’s a core audience and we do think there’s an opportunity to reach a little more broadly than that; if the storytelling is done well, that’s the key,” he said.
Activision is hoping to create a Marvel-style universe for its Call of Duty movies. Activision Studios executive Nick van Dyk said in a previous interview that fans can expect the Call of Duty films to resemble the games in terms of tone.
“It’s going to have the same sort of high-adrenaline, high-energy aesthetic as the game, but it’s not a literal adaptation,” he said. “It’s a much more broad and inclusive, global in scope … a big, tentpole, Marvel-esque movie.”
Also in the MCV interview, Kiplin briefly discussed the possibility of an Overwatch movie. Asked if an Overwatch movie might be possible after the Call of Duty film, Kiplin said, “We would like that very much.” That’s hardly confirmation of anything at all, but it’s still exciting to think about considering how wonderful the Overwatch shorts have been.
Activision Studios is headed up by former Disney executive Nick van Dyk and The Hateful Eight and Pulp Fiction producer Stacey Sher. The division also oversaw the release of the Netflix show Skylanders Academy.