Mr Karl Urban is a recognized authority when it comes to talking about movies that are based on Video Games, and vice versa. This authority doesn’t just come from his role as Jude Dredd (awesome I know), but from the fact that he has actually appeared in Video Game movies. He even stared in DOOM, granted it wasn’t a great movie, but it makes for some good watching if you’re feeling bored. He was even in Lord of The Rings, The Bourne Supremacy and Star Trek. That’s a pretty impressive track record if ever I’ve seen one.
So when he was asked, why do film makers struggle so much with translation from Game to Movie, he answered:
“Well I mean, it’s a good question,” he says. “I think that the key to making a good film is doing more than creating action sequence after action sequence, which is fundamentally what video games are. Character development—the human aspect—is one of the most important elements of the film because it speaks to the audience, and there aren’t that many video game adaptations that get the story right. You need a fully 3-dimensional character with an arc—if you don’t have that then movies will just descend into one set piece after the next.”
The latest project that Mr Urban starred in, was a movie adaptation of the hugely popular, super stylized and really rather enthralling world of Judge Dredd. Now Dredd is a comic book series, and it has been running for quite some time, and you have to admit that it’s rare we see a good comic to movie translation. But when they do happen, and they are put into the trust hands of talented individuals, we come out with things like Joseph Whedons “Avengers” and Christopher Nolans “Batman” reboot. So Dredd stormed into cinemas earlier this month and has been met with mixed but primarily good reviews, with The Guardian’s Phelim O’Neill saying: “The essence of Dredd is that he is almost an anti-character—he doesn’t change or learn—and Urban nails it in an ego-free performance with half his head obscured by a helmet.” and that’s never a bad thing. But it once again proves that while Game to Movie translations are tricky, they are certainly possible.
So with such a heady list of hugely enjoyable titles behind him you can understand his response to being asked if it’s possible for video games to enjoy the same kind of translation success as a lot of comic books have thus far.
“I wouldn’t have a clue mate,” he admits. “It’s a leap of faith. Again it depends on the creatives involved and what they come up with. I certainly always hope for the best. I’m acutely aware of the time energy and money that goes into making films, so you certainly hope that it works.”
At the minute Karl is currently in Australia helping celebrate the release of “Judge Dredd”, and he has just recently finished wrapping up his work on the latest instalment of the Star Trek series, and when he was quizzed on that particular movie he said nothing in regards to the plot or the characters therein, but he did assure folks that it’s “Multicoloured and epic!”
So before his departure, one last question was levelled at him, sure it garnered a rather small answer, one that’s shrouded in ambiguity and irritating vagueness but I remain hopeful. That question being, do you ever plan on starring in any other video game to movie translation projects? Like I said, a vague answer.
“It would entirely depend on the script,” he says.
So if you’re interested in Game to Movie translations it would appear that, for the minute at least aren’t getting any from Karl, but who knows. Maybe someone has plans for this scene. After all, there is still all that talk of a Gears of War Movie in the works. And being perfectly honest, I would love to see that happen. Chainsaw guns and massive armour on screen? Hell yeah!