DiCaprio Signs On to Portray Atari Creator

DiCaprio Signs On to Portray Atari Creator

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Academy Award-nominated actor Leonardo DiCaprio has signed on to portray Nolan Bushnell in a biopic about the Atari founder.

Paramount Pictures snapped up the rights to the movie, tentatively titled Atari. DiCaprio's Appian Way company will produce the film, which was written by Brian Hecker and Craig Sherman.

For the moment, let's ignore the fact that DiCaprio isn't exactly a dead ringer for Bushnell and instead focus on the fact that gaming has become so accepted an entertainment medium that an actor of DiCaprio's caliber is eager to portray one of its founding fathers. If Atari does well, perhaps the days when a movie based on a videogame gets decent treatment from a studio aren't too far away.

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Source: Variety, via Game|Life

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I must admit, what a refreshing news. Not that it means we're being headed for a great movie here, it could be, at least, like that movie about Jobs and Gates.

I'm sorry, but how can this possibly hit anyone as good news?

Yes, it's great they're making a movie about Atari. Yes, it's awesome that they have a big name star and production team to film it.

No, this will not encourage anyone to give future video game movies decent treatment. In fact, it's hurting the very idea.

The only way to give a video game movie decent treatment is to actually listen to the video gamers.

Listen to the video gamers who said Imps with fireballs from the pits of Hell would be a good idea for Doom instead of a genetic experiment gone wrong.

Listen to the video gamers who say Uwe Boll should never make another video game movie ever again, instead of selling him the rights to Far Cry.

And listen to the video gamers that say Leonardo di Caprio does not exactly draw the crowd of the average online gamer.

The only way to give a video game movie decent treatment is to actually listen to the video gamers

The video gamers are all contradictory in what they want, and, just like the video game industry itself, are also not the mainstream. If a film is going to do anything more than go straight to DVD, it needs to do well with a mainstream audience.

Unfortunately, most of the movies have script writers that aren't exactly amazing with that, either.

And listen to the video gamers that say Leonardo di Caprio does not exactly draw the crowd of the average online gamer.

What the Hell does online have to do with anything?

Honestly, if I were in any industry, be it the gaming industry or film industry, one of the last things I would be paying attention to is video gamers. They are contradictory, yet extremely opinionated. Hell, no matter what, Duke Nukem Forever is going to be a critical failure (though not a financial one) just because everyone is so convinced it won't live up to their expectations, which is funny that they are purposefully setting high expectations just so a game can fail. Seriously, if you were in charge of an industry, would you cater to those asshole naysayers? I wouldn't. I'd give you all the middle finger and cater to the mainstream market. In fact, Nintendo's new stance with the Wii and DS makes a lot of sense considering the flack they kept getting from the video gamers.

In my opinion, Leonardo DiCaprio is a weird decision. He's a great actor in films like The Departed and has certainly left his "pretty boy" roots behind, proving he can get by on talent and not just looks (basically he's another Brad Pitt). However, having read interviews and already seen documentaries about Atari, he just doesn't seem at all like a Nolan Bushnell. It'll be interesting to see, but at best I imagine they are going to have him as a more charismatic version of Bushnell to resonate better with audiences.

Either way, I'll be seeing it...and possibly pointing out errors, but Hell, even October Sky, a fantastic film based on a true story, had changes to "make a better movie". It's just how entertainment works, and considering that the job is more to entertain than to educate, it isn't really much of a problem.

I must admit, what a refreshing news. Not that it means we're being headed for a great movie here, it could be, at least, like that movie about Jobs and Gates.

I liked Pirates of the Silicon Valley. :(

Hello, Susan!

I dunno. After seeing him in the Aviator, I ahve come to respect Dicaprio's acting. Still, is Atari's founder fascinating enough to make a movie around?

SaintWaldo:
Hello, Susan!

Waldo! Great to see you, thanks for stopping by! :)

Indigo_Dingo:
I dunno. After seeing him in the Aviator, I ahve come to respect Dicaprio's acting. Still, is Atari's founder fascinating enough to make a game around?

If by "game," you mean "movie," then yes, absolutely.

Susan Arendt:

Indigo_Dingo:
I dunno. After seeing him in the Aviator, I ahve come to respect Dicaprio's acting. Still, is Atari's founder fascinating enough to make a movie around?

Yes, absolutely.

I mean, like collecting jars of urine fascinating. He do something like that?

How about brainstorming some of the iconic games that still get mechanic-checked to this day from a hot tub in the midst of a fourteen year long coke and weed spiked alcohol binge? That stuff usually makes for some great cinema.

Hasn't someone DiCapitated this dope yet?

(See what I did there?)

HalfShadow:
Hasn't someone DiCapitated this dope yet?

(See what I did there?)

They were about to, but then they saw The Aviator.

ccesarano:
The video gamers are all contradictory in what they want, and, just like the video game industry itself, are also not the mainstream.

I think you're very much wrong there. First of all, everyone has different opinions. That doesn't necessarily mean the same thing as "contradictory." It just means different. However, there is always a majority, and in this case if the majority wa slistened to it would be the right way to go.

Also, I don't know how much more mainstream the video game industry can actually get before people start calling it mainstream.

If a film is going to do anything more than go straight to DVD, it needs to do well with a mainstream audience.

Unfortunately, most of the movies have script writers that aren't exactly amazing with that, either.

And the best way for a movie to do well with a mainstream audience is to have a story that impacts the mainstream audience in a positive way. Bloodrayne certainly didn't, neither did Doom or Silent Hill... the original video game stories are what impacted everyone and those stories got changed and mutilated for the sake of the movie and then the movie fails... I mean, a video game being made into a movie GIVES the movie-makers a story and they decide they don't like it, even though they picked that video game for the success of its story...

What the Hell does online have to do with anything?

Honestly, if I were in any industry, be it the gaming industry or film industry, one of the last things I would be paying attention to is video gamers. They are contradictory, yet extremely opinionated.

"online" had absolutely nothing to do with it, I obviously meant to put "video" and just had a slip of the hand... thanks for finding one word in my entire post and harping on it. Kudos.

And Line 2 is why you'll never be a successful movie producer :P

Also, I don't know how much more mainstream the video game industry can actually get before people start calling it mainstream.

Meant the hardcore gamers aren't the mainstream audience. Sorry for the confusion.

the original video game stories are what impacted everyone and those stories got changed and mutilated for the sake of the movie and then the movie fails...

Firstly, Doom had no story. Second, honestly, if I was going to decide between making a movie with Hell demons and getting an endless series of irritating house moms bitching at me or swapping it with "science did it!", I'd choose the latter as well. Let's face it, the fact that "science did it" isn't what was wrong with the movie. What was wrong was that it was a cookie cutter script, taking what "Good Movie Writing 101" taught and trying to apply it, resulting in a mediocre story and characters. Of course, I still found the movie to be fun for what it was, especially considering that they were trying to keep more in common with Doom 3 than the first two....which means it was going to disappoint no matter what.

Then again, I don't get very judgmental about films considering I'm only spending an hour and a half viewing them. I felt Doom delivered enough of an experience to be a fun movie, and as far as game-to-film adaptations, well, it was half and half.

But considering that Doom HAS no story anyway, and to capture the "original spirit" it would just be an endless series of action sequences with no dialogue, well, you need to make some changes.

Most of the time, you're just not going to capture the spirit of a game in film form. Even if Resident Evil had a competent director, getting the feel of the game onto the big screen just.....it's not going to work.

Also, BloodRayne was a shitty game, and it was also a shitty movie. What's the problem?

And Line 2 is why you'll never be a successful movie producer :P

I dunno, it works pretty well for Doug TenNapel, and it did when he created EarthWorm Jim.

The first game in a franchise succeeds because the developer makes what they want. The sequel ultimately fails because, most of the time, the developer is too busy trying to give everyone else what they want.

Doom had no story? A company trying to make gateways for instant teleportation accidently open a path to Hell and demons poor out onto Mars and eventually make their way towards Earth... how is that not a story?

As for "science did it!" from my perspective that was a major problem with the whole movie... the moment you remove the idea of Hell, you remove the idea of demons... you remove some of the most basic and popular characters from the Doom games, like the flaming skulls and fireball-throwing imps... you can't change the very foundation of a story and expect it to turn out just fine...

I think it's a great story anyway :P And so did Doom's creators since the same story gets repeated for each game :P

The best part about Doom the movie was the first-person action sequence, that had to have been extremely hard to put together, and I appreciated the technical aspects of it... the rest of the movie, even if based purely on the merits of a movie alone, sucked...

And that brings me back to my original point - a video game movie will be good if the people making it actually stick to the video game... Doom was only "DOOM" in name, not in spirit or even in story... so how could you expect to get a decent movie from it? By listening to video gamers

ccesarano:
In my opinion, Leonardo DiCaprio is a weird decision. He's a great actor in films like The Departed and has certainly left his "pretty boy" roots behind, proving he can get by on talent and not just looks (basically he's another Brad Pitt).

DiCaprio's root's aren't pretty boy. You think he had the teeny boppers swooning from What's Eating Gilbert Grape or Basketball Diaries? It was Romeo + Juliet followed by Titanic that made him Movie Star Pretty Boy, and (it seems to me) he's been trying to get over that ever since.

 

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