The cardinal rule to “licenses”, i.e. movies based on videogame/book franchises must be this: the movie must be incredibly terrible while bearing only a remote resemblance to the plot elements of the best-selling product it is defiling.
So we suffered from such celluloid sacrilege such as Wing Commander and two Tomb Raiders. Street Fighter: The Movie gets a special mention for a) introducing the stupendous invisible “Stealth Boat”, which in the movie is immediately detected and b) paradoxially having a game based on it. Like a speaker and mic caught in feedback, Street Fighter: The Movie Game magnified the movie’s crappiness to previously unknown heights.
Hollywood complains that it’s because games have no substance, all the while pummelling us with 5,000 comedy clones a year featuring a hard-boiled white cop and his wisecracking black sidekick.
You know why Lord of the Rings was so widely acclaimed? Yes, good acting and special effects were heavy contributors. But the main reason was it is the only creative property in all of geekdom that has remained faithful to the source material.
It looks like the Doom movie will offend the fickle fan and consumer. From DarkHorizons:
Screenwriter Dave Callahan claims “everyone was keen to keep the game’s atmosphere”, though there are some “minor” changes done to the film’s concept: The monsters have nothing to do with hell, the plot is not taking place on Mars and “space marines” are not well “space marines” as their outfits are more like SWAT team members.
Reminds me of an interview where someone asked Valve Software why there hasn’t been a movie based on Half-Life. The reason? All the scripts they saw just weren’t satisfactory for them. I wish others had this sort of integrity.