You might've noticed a dip in the number of posts on MTV Movies Blog this week. That's because your friendly neighborhood editor (me) has been staying up too late for almost two straight weeks. "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" arrived in stores on 11/10/09 and the obsession has set in once more. I've had control over my "Call of Duty" demons for about a year now, but this new game in the series opened the floodgates anew. There's simply not enough time in the day for work and play, plus other necessary daily activities. My poor dog hasn't been walked in a fortnight (not really).
I say all of that to illustrate just how exciting the news of a "Call of Duty" movie is to someone like me. The series is known -- its single-player campaign, at least -- for epic-scale set pieces. In the previous game, an entire level was built around a deposed Middle Eastern leader's final minutes as he is driven through war-torn streets to his execution, seen entirely from a first-person perspective. So what's all this about a "Call of Duty" movie? The New York Post's PopWrap has the story.
Kevin McKidd, Lucius Vorenus on HBO's "Rome," told PopWrap in reference to "Call of Duty" that "there are talks of a feature film." McKidd is in a unique position to know this, as he voices Captain "Soap" MacTavish in "Modern Warfare 2." In the previous game, 2007's "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare," Soap was one of the playable protagonists, though he had no dialogue in that game.
"I had no idea it would be so huge," McKidd said of his recent game appearance. "They were looking for a rough, Scottish actor in Hollywood they probably couldn't get Gerard Butler, so they got the No. 2 Gerard Butler, me."
For the record, I think the story in "Modern Warfare 2" is fairly ridiculous. The first of the two offered up a pretty compelling, message-driven narrative. This new one, on the other hand, is pure spectacle. It plays like "Red Dawn" on steroids, right down to a Russian invasion of America in a level entitled "Wolverines!"
I like the more over-the-top direction of this new game's story, but for a movie to work a decision will have to be made concerning the tone. Given the series' penchant for spectacle, my hope is that the story and script writers lean more towards the new game's feel than the old one.
Also bear in mind that this is all just in the realm of possibility for now. I have no doubt that McKidd has heard talk of a movie, but I also have no doubt that a game release classified as the "biggest entertainment launch of all time" is going to garner some movie adaptation discussion. Time will tell, but don't go getting too excited for a "Call of Duty" movie just yet.
Would you buy a ticket for a "Call of Duty" movie? What would it have to deliver on as a movie to be perceived as something more than a familiar title placed on top of a generic war movie?