No longer willing to see its immensely lucrative video game properties—which include Skylanders, World Of Warcraft, and the hideously popular Call Of Duty series—being brought down by lackluster film adaptations from outside movie studios, publisher Activision Blizzard has decided it can do the job itself. The company today announced its creatively named filmmaking wing, Activision Blizzard Studios, opening up the alluring possibility that fans could someday see titles like Diablo or Starcraft get their own bad-to-adequate feature films.
The new studio already has one project in the works: Skylanders Academy, a TV adaptation of the popular kids’ game (think Pokémon, except parents have to go out and physically buy the monsters in the store, because these people are geniuses). Futurama (hooray!) and Brickleberry (boo!) writer Eric Rogers will run the show, wrangling a cast that includes Justin Long, Ashley Tisdale, Breaking Bad’s Jonathan Banks, and Norm Macdonald.
Beyond its ambitions to have Norm Macdonald voice a cartoon shark-dragon—an unquestionably laudable goal—Activision Blizzard has even bigger plans in the works, with a stated commitment to creating “a robust cinematic universe based on the Call of Duty franchise.” We’re not sure how the studio intends to translate the authentic Call Of Duty experience—i.e., being screamed at by pot-addled teenagers while a fug of body odor and Dorito dust hangs sullenly in the air—to the immortal silver screen, but given that the company currently owns three of the biggest gaming entities on the planet—it recently purchased Candy Crush Saga developer King, ensuring access to the clutch “Moms with smartphones” demographic—betting against it doesn’t seem like the wisest choice.