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'Deadwood' Writer David Milch To Pen Adaptation Of Video Game 'Heavy Rain'

by Oliver Lyttelton
January 27, 2011 3:00 AM
3 Comments
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We've pretty much made our feelings on video game movies clear at this point, but to sum up: it's feasible that a good one will be made at some point, particularly if the more intriguing likes of "Bioshock" eventually reach the screen, but as the genre continues to rip-off much better movies and are helmed by C-list talent like Paul W.S. Anderson, it's not going to happen any time soon. Still, with David O. Russell on board to write and direct a version of PS3 hit "Uncharted," possibly with Mark Wahlberg, Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro all involved, things are looking up.

Now, another ludicrously talented individual has pressed Up-Down-L1-Triangle-Triangle-L2+R2-Square-Circle to line up a video-game adaptation, and we're simultaneously intrigued and depressed by the development. Variety reports that TV veteran David Milch, who co-created the classic cop show "NYPD Blue" before going on to create "Deadwood" -- to this writer's mind the greatest of the golden age of HBO drama (yes, including "The Wire" and "The Sopranos") -- has been hired by Warner Bros to write the script for "Heavy Rain," the adaptation of last year's hit Playstation 3 game.

The game follows four characters -- an investigative journalist, a private detective, an FBI profiler and a father searching for his missing son -- as they hunt for a serial murderer known as the Origami Killer. The game was widely praised for its 'mature' storytelling (which, as usual in the game world, seems to translate to polygonal shower nudity and lashings of badly-voiced swearing) and its Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-style narrative structure, whereby the plot could branch off into a number of directions.

Of course, assuming the latter won't be translated across (the original game had a 2000 page script), this would seem to be yet another movie-inspired-game-turned-movie that feeds back on itself, like a snake eating its own tail, and destined to turn out as a sub-par "Seven" rip off like Jonas Akerlund's "Horsemen" or that John Cusack movie that's still awaiting a release. But the hiring of Milch is intriguing to say the least; it's his movie debut, but his work on TV in recent years has been outstanding, and hopefully he's not just treating the project as a paycheck gig.

Milch will turn to the script once his duties on the first season of his new HBO show "Luck," a collaboration with Michael Mann that toplines Dustin Hoffman, is completed, and the studio are said to be fast-tracking the project. Former New Line executives Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne are producing, and there's no word on cast or a director, although we imagine David Fincher is turning down his inevitable offer as we speak.

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More: Films, Genre Films, David Milch, Heavy Rain

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3 Comments

  • Jack | January 27, 2011 11:37 AMReply

    "I’d be very intrigued what lured him back, although it wouldn’t surprise me if he did it because he takes every opportunity he can to keep writing."

    He's talked about wanting to open a writing school, so maybe that's it.

  • Blinker | January 27, 2011 10:04 AMReply

    This is pretty bizarre. It should be noted that Milch did, for some time, work as a hired-gun rewrite man for the movies. Plenty of successful writers go through a phase like this - it's ludicrously good money for not much work - and I believe Milch said he stopped because so much of the material was "just too stupid." I'd be very intrigued what lured him back, although it wouldn't surprise me if he did it because he takes every opportunity he can to keep writing.

  • Glass | January 27, 2011 5:28 AMReply

    Hollywood hasn't made a good video game movie because they're adapting the wrong video games. Heavy Rain works as a video game because of it's interactivity. A movie removes the whole point of the game's existence.

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