Wednesday, 25 May 2016
Overwatch is likely taking up the majority of your time Tuesday, and it is an awesome multiplayer shooter, but there’s another game coming out Tuesday that shouldn’t slip under your radar: PlatinumGames’ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan. A launch trailer has been released to celebrate the occasion, and it showcases the developer’s stylish, fast-paced combat.
“That meddling rat and his turtles are more trouble than we had anticipated,” a shadowy figure, who appears be Krang, says to Shredder. It’s clear that we need to handle this ourselves. Shall we begin?”
The art style and smoothness of the combat continue to impress us several months after the game was initially revealed. The trailer only offers more of that, with Michelangelo twirling through the air as he juggles an enemy before slamming him into the ground, and Raphael using a violent claw-like attack to deal damage to enemies all around him. Naturally, Donatello doesn’t get the love he deserves — he can do some serious damage too, you know!
While the beat-’em-up action looks fantastic, it wouldn’t be a PlatinumGames’ title without plenty of boss battles. “Mega Krang” looks like the star of the show in Mutants in Manhattan. The enormous robot projects an image of Krang as its head, and appears to function similarly to Andross from the Star Fox series.
“Sorry, Earthlings, but all your base are belong to us,” Michelangelo proclaims in a nod to the poorly translated arcade game Zero Wing. Hopefully, the fourth wall breaking and video game culture references are kept to a minimum; there needs to be enough room for all that peanut butter and pickle pizza that the TMNT love so much!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan is out now for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PC. It features four-player co-op, so you can role play with your friends. Don’t act like you don’t know which turtle you’re going to pick.
Everyone knows that Hollywood would love video games to be the next big source of inspiration for blockbuster adaptations. In fact, everyone has known this for so long that video game movies have been hitting in (usually unsuccessful) waves for even longer and more concertedly than the currently-fashionable wave of comic book reworkings, with the 1990s seeing features based on Super Mario Bros, Street Fighter, Double Dragon, Mortal Kombat all hitting theaters to varying levels of success in an era where the superhero genre consisted of Batman and not much else. Further attempts have followed since, with everything from Tomb Raider to Dead or Alive getting a cinematic test-drive; but apart from the now five (soon to be six) film Resident Evil franchise, almost none of these have found significant box office success – and almost all have been savaged by film critics.
Many have taken this history as a sign that video games are simply not cut out for becoming movies. But in an era where The Lego Movie can not only top the box-office but receive stellar reviews from critics and everything from Emoji to Play-Doh to Fruit Ninja are becoming fodder for big-studio productions, can that really be true? And if not, who can break the losing streak? To many gamers, the answer is as simple as one word: Nintendo – the legendary game company that recently revealed its intention to break (back) into the movie business.
Part of the problem with the question of whether or not video games can become good movies is that the question itself is grounded in shaky logic: Gaming isn’t a genre, it’s a medium. While (for example) the jury is still out as to whether books like Finnegans Wake or Dune could ever be “properly” translated to the screen, no one would ever ask whether or not it was possible to make movies from books. And while the question was slightly more nuanced in the context of comic books, since American popular comics are largely dominated by a single genre (read: superheroes), gaming is significantly more diverse – although maybe not to the degree that it was previously.
Charles Roven, the veteran producer who has worked on every DC Comics movie at Warner Bros. since 2005’s Batman Begins, is no longer producing certain DC movies, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.
Talks are underway to have Roven - who was a producer on Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, as well as the recently completed Suicide Squad, next year’s Wonder Woman and Justice League - segue to a different role going forward, likely that of an executive producer who is not involved in day-to-day production. However, he potentially could continue to be a producer on some sequels to the movies he’s currently producing.
The extent of Roven’s involvement, and which titles he would work on, is “evolving,” according to multiple sources, who also stress that no final decisions have been made.
“Roven is a key member of not only the DC slate but of the Warner Bros. family,” says a studio spokesman.
The move comes as Warner Bros. continues to scrutinize its DC movies in the wake of BvS’s so-so performance at the box office and chilly reception from audiences. The movie, released March 25, wrapped its run with $871 million worldwide with a production budget of at least $300 million. While Warners insists the movie will be profitable, it was meant to kick off the studio’s DC cinematic universe with a billion-dollar bang, but instead was met with an unenthusiastic response from fans for being too dark and unheroic.
In stark contrast, Marvel Studios, well into its cinematic universe with 13 movies, has seen outsized success for its similarly themed Captain America: Civil War, which pits its heroes against each other. Civil War has earned raves from fans and critics and has grossed more than $1 billion in about three weeks.
Warners, which leverages its DC IP across multiple channels, among them publishing and video games, now is taking steps to course-correct its approach as it develops its superhero slate. It recently shuffled its executive ranks to have executive vp Jon Berg and Geoff Johns, DC’s chief content officer, co-run the newly created DC Films. It also is seeking to hire a more established director on The Flash (2018) after parting ways with screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith, who initially was attached to make his directorial debut with the project.
Roven, an experienced producer whose career dates back to the 1980s, has a producer credit on the three Batman movies directed by Christopher Nolan and 2013’s Man of Steel. He also is a producer on Suicide Squad, which Warners hopes will re-energize its DC movies when it opens in August, Wonder Woman, which will be released in June 2017, and Justice League, scheduled for November 2017.
Roven has established himself as a savvy player who knows how to manage the armies it takes to make modern, big-budget, visual effects-heavy tentpoles. But he was part of the unofficial brain trust with Snyder on the DC movies, an approach Warners seems to be rethinking in the wake of BvS’s less than stellar performance.
One reason for the shift in thinking is that Warners wants to ramp up the number of DC productions, and sources say it would be physically impossible for one man to handle pre-, post- and production on multiple movies in countries and cities ranging from Australia to Los Angeles to Louisiana to London.
Roven was slated to be a producer on Flash and Aquaman, two DC films that have yet to go into production and could end up shooting on opposite ends of the planet. Sources tell THR he will no longer serve in that capacity on those films.
Roven remains on set for Justice League: Part 1, currently shooting in London, although Warners now has sent Berg to also oversee the day-to-day production of that movie.