In a perfect storm of brewing Hollywood obsessions with movies about giant monsters destroying things, ’80s nostalgia, and adapting games with no troublesome narratives to get in the way, New Line has begun work on developing a big-screen version of Rampage, the classic Midway title about not-so-subtle rip-offs of King Kong and Godzilla plus a werewolf for some reason wreaking havoc around the world. Franchise-happy producer John Rickard (the Final Destination series, the remake of A Nightmare On Elm Street) is currently meeting with writers to create a “smartly budgeted monster movie in the vein and tone of Ghostbusters and Independence Day”—two movies that we were unaware were similar, but okay—but definitely not in the vein of other monster movies like Cloverfield and Monsters, the forthcoming Godzilla reboot, the Monsterpocalypse adaptation, and the Big Man Japan remake, the entire history of Kaiju cinema, etc. etc.
If it’s any consolation to said writers, at least Rampage has a built-in origin story to work from: Players control three formerly mild-mannered humans who are transformed via genetic experiments into enormous monsters, and driven by their rage on a never-ending quest to systematically destroy buildings in search of edible soldiers and whole turkeys, all while trying to avoid helicopters, photographers, and toasters. Of course, even the most ardent of Rampage defenders have to admit that the game gets very, very repetitive from there, a brainless procession of smash-and-grab missions that is, nevertheless, way better than talking to your dumb parents. Oh, you want me to mow the lawn, Dad? THIS SOLDIER IS YOU AND NOW I AM EATING YOU.
Still, compared to other video game titles in development like Missile Command or Asteroids, Rampage is practically Beowulf, particularly that stanza where Grendel chokes on a toilet. Not that story matters, really: As The Hollywood Reporter notes, “The project aims to take advantage of the title and the visuals of the game,” which is the most aptly deadpan summation one could possibly make of the inspiration at work here. Of course, Uwe Boll already took the title Rampage for his own mindless, basically-a-video-game movie, but hey, at least they still have those singular Rampage visuals.