Usually, video games spark movies or movies spark video games. One establishes itself, gains popularity (or, at least a great marketing department) and then sends itself across other formats. Harry Potter spreads like wildfire and the games inevitably follow, especially since kids have no other way to play quidditch. Lara Croft allows lots of geekboys to shoot things, and then Angelina Jolie finds herself in a pair of short shorts. Now things a changing a bit. The latest news from The Hollywood Reporter is that John Woo has teamed up with Warren Spector (video game creator) to mould a hero and world together. As Spector describes it: "This was an attempt to create a concept that would work in, and be developed for, a variety of media simultaneously. That's something new for games -- and for movies."

The concept, called Ninja Gold, is about "a ninja warrior, part of a centuries-old legacy and bloodline, forced to confront the reality of cover warfare in the modern world." Woo collaborator and producer Terrence Chang says: "The game concept is actually based on facts that the Yakuza and the Russian mob are involved in tons of gold being stolen in South Africa." Apparently, this whole idea came from Woo, who Spector says wanted to have some "traditional ninjas in a modern-day setting," and the duo created the cast of characters and hero, along with some basic plot lines and themes. Damn television. As I type this, I keep seeing Hiro pop into my head with his smiling face, but I don't think that's the image this team is hoping to create.

Chang is hoping to get the film into production next year, but first they've got to find someone to pen the script. As for the game -- there's no word of release dates or a publisher yet. While I'm not a ninja fiend, the idea sounds pretty cool to me. One of the problems with video game/movie adaptations these days is that you lose things when you switch between media. I would imagine that collaborating on an idea for both simultaneously will allow Woo and Spector to create a seamless jump between the big screen and our eager, game-playing fingers. What say you?
categories Movies, Cinematical