Ninja Theory totally wanted to make a CGI movie using the Unreal Engine, but this didn’t happen because it made Hollywood studios nervous.
Ninja Theory is known for making cinematic games, utilizing lots of motion capture and employing some big-name talent in their creation. However, the group recently revealed that it tried to take things a step further and actually create a proper movie using game technology; unfortunately, no Hollywood studio was interested in the project.
Back in 2008, Ninja Theory co-founder Nina Kristensen revealed that her company might release a movie to accompany its new project (which turned out to be Enslaved:Odyssey to the West). The idea was to create a feature-length film that used real-time graphics rendered by Unreal Engine 3.
However, when Ninja Theory pitched the project, it couldn’t find any movie studio willing to back it. According to Tameem Antoniades, “We were serious about it. We went to all the big studios in Hollywood and pitched the idea. They don’t want to do it for cheap. They want Pixar and the other higher end [studios] to do it for 100 million dollars or 60 million dollars. To do it any other way is considered a huge risk, so it just didn’t wash.”
Hollywood being afraid of a project like this isn’t exactly surprising. I can’t see mainstream movie audiences flocking to theaters for something that doesn’t have the same polish as a Pixar film. However, Ninja Theory might want to consider making a TV movie, much like Rockstar and Fox aired back in May, seeing as how successful that turned out to be.