Whenever there’s an ailing franchise, Hollywood has an instant cure: that healthy dose of franchise viagra Dwayne Johnson, who has saved such series as The Fast and the Furious and Jumanji. But even Johnson has yet to prove that he can save the industry from one of its lingering curses: transforming an awesome video game into an equally awesome movie. His first attempt, the 2005 shoot-’em-up Doom, based on the early ’90s first-person shooter game, earned less than $60 million worldwide, joining a long list of high-profile video-game-to-movie flops that includes Super Mario Bros., Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, and Warcraft.
Fortunately, Johnson is now receiving a bonus life in the form of Rampage, a monster movie based on the monster video-game hit from 1986. In the game, the player controlled one of three giant monsters — a gorilla, a lizard, and a wolf — as they, uh, rampaged through a busy city. In the film, which hits theaters April 13, Johnson plays a scientist who attempts to stop the plus-size critters from stomping on buildings and people. If he’s nervous about being defeated by the video-game curse again, the actor doesn’t show it. “It was the opportunity for all of us just to take an existing property of a video game and hopefully raise the bar a little bit,” Johnson confidently tells Yahoo Entertainment. “We really wanted to make a movie that was fun. It’s a blast, and the audience gets pulled in.”
For his part, Rampage director Brad Peyton says that he got around the video-game curse — which, so far, only 1995’s Mortal Kombat and 2002’s Resident Evil have defied both creatively and commercially — by essentially ignoring it. “I’m a huge gamer, and I watch everything,” he says. “Luckily, I got so far down the rabbit hole of being a filmmaker … I forgot about that. I was so happy that I completely forgot, because I definitely would have been crapping my pants a lot more!”
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