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Earlier today, I had the opportunity to speak with God of War writers Marcus Dunstanand Patrick Melton about their highly anticipated game-to-feature adaptation. Coming from a background in horror films such as Saw IV, the Feast trilogy and Piranha 3DD, Dunstan and Melton only just recently took their first steps into the action genre after polishing the script for Guillermo Del Toro's Pacific Rim. Since then, they've been hired to rewrite the long-gestating God of War movie, which was originally penned by David Self (Road to Perdition, Thirteen Days).
As Dunstan recalled, he and Melton were hired to rework Self's screenplay, which he mentioned was actually pretty good. "The only problem with that is it was written before Clash of the Titans, Wrath of the Titans, 300 and Immortals, and those movies borrowed quite a bit from the God of War stories. It was just a little bit outdated, so we wanted to differentiate it from those other movies."
Explained Melton, "In the game... there's that attack from the barbarians and Kratos has to call upon Ares to help him. Really, that's going to be our first act break. Before then, he's going to be mortal, and he's going to have his family. We're going to learn about him and understand how he operates. So it's potentially 30 minutes -- give or take -- of building up this character so that, when he does turn and becomes the Ghost of Sparta, we understand him as a human and we understand the journey that he's going to take. We're emotionally invested, so that it could go beyond just this one movie."
Their first step, according to Dunstan, was to humanize the film's main characterKratos. "In the same way that Batman was grounded with Christopher Nolan's rendition, we were attempting to do that with Kratos so that when we meet him -- like they're doing in this newest game, which is sort of a prequel to the original -- we're seeing him before he became the Ghost of Sparta, when he was just a Spartan warrior and he had family and kids."
In regards to switching gears from low-budget horror to larger-than-life action, Dunstan and Melton couldn't be happier. "There's almost an element of relief," continued Melton. "When it comes to God of War, we are first-time visitors, and we have a wealth of imagination that has built up from our appreciation for the sword-and-sandals films of our history... We know it doesn't have to be done for a million bucks in a garage. [Laughs] That helps, too. But also, with a bigger movie like God of War, you have to go quite a bit deeper into the character as opposed to a horror film, in which you generally need to get things going; people are concerned that the audience won't have patience, so it's go go go go go.
"With God of War, the studio's saying, 'We're going to spend $150 million to make this movie. We really need to understand this character and get behind him and feel his pain and feel his emotions so that, when he is in these giant set pieces, we're in there with him and we're feeling it.' That is a critique of some of these big action films is that they often get too big and just become noise; you're not invested in the character."
Added Dunstan, "There was a recent movie, which will remain nameless, that depicted the main character without any fear. When you do that, how are we supposed to be afraid through him? How are we supposed to gauge anything as a legitimate threat? It's become this dulling element. So with this, we take an intimidating presence such as Kratos, fighting and pursuing a bloodthirsty vengeance trail to the God of War. How do we make that genuinely scary? The man of action must prevail, but it's got to hurt to getting there."
Speaking of hurt, the writers also have big plans for Ares, who will become a more proactive villain in their adaptation. "In the game, you know, he's immortal, and he doesn't really do much besides raid Athens," noted Melton. "So we're trying to build him up a bit more, too, so that he can become a true villain."
As of right now, Dunstan and Melton are still working on the screenplay. While Brett Ratner was once attached to helm the project, God of War is currently without a director. In the meantime, consider this your first taste of what's to come.
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Writers give details on God of War movie
I've always thought they'll have to do that before jumping straight into his vengeance, this is a bit of relief as they seem to know what needs to be done. Now the thing is if they'll be able to execute it properly.
I would love to see Ares with that fiery hair though, that was really good.
Last edited by x_terna; 09-02-2012 at 06:09.
Jesus...i hope brett ratner doesn't return to this...i'd rather have uwe boll than that plank..
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Sorry, but you lost me at 3DD...Trophy-licious!
You're taking that too literally. Even if an Oscar-winning writer was given the task of making a script out of a gore-fest storyline of man-eating piranhas, do you think it's going to be great? The best thing they could do is turn it into a cheese fest because people are going to laugh at it anyway.
No, it's not inspiring in context to this movie but I don't think it's fair to write them off for it. If anything, coming from the horror genre, its good to know these guys know how to write in blood and guts. Although I rather them not go overboard with that.
They were also behind Feast which were some pretty solid movies. Keep in mind guys, there is serious potential in these 'small time' directors. Spieldberg's big break was, like many directors, a horror flick.
Jaws. Before he made that hit, he was doing mostly commercials as I recall. Who saw that coming?
RedDragon7 wishes they had posted this first.
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I have no problems with what they said in that article. I was also concerned about the Clash of the Titans movies and how they stole a lot of thunder from the future God of War adaptation. So this movie needs to different and simply better executed than those movies.
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