Disney has announced a new movie based on the world of videogames, but the premise of the film – in an effort to make you finish reading this sentence, let alone buy a ticket to the picture – isn't the standard “you like this, so here it is without any controls!” formula. Wreck-It Ralph follows the saga of the bad guy from an old-school arcade game trying to change his life; director Rich Moore describes the character as “struggling with the complex question: Isn't there more to life than the role I've been assigned? So it's like Hamlet, set in a milieu that predates its target audience by twenty-odd years? No, they can swing this!
Movies with a videogame component tend to split into two categories: flops based on specific titles, such as Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Super Mario Bros and Street Fighter, and films which play with videogame themes without following the story of any one game, such as King of Kong, Spy Kids 3D or Gamer. Disney's film – whose long development time saw its previously titled Reboot Ralph, but is slated for a November 2012 release under its new title – will attempt to add to the latter, arguably better-regarded category.
Above: Ralph's director previously worked on Futurama, among others
Moore – a Simpsons and Futurama veteran – says Ralph is “unlike anything anyone's seen before,” but we’d like to hope he's just speaking press-release-ese, because surely it's actually a very familiar theme explored in a way whose entire hook rests on playing with comfortably familiar tropes of the gaming medium. Regardless, John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer and Jane Lynch will be in it – so if nothing else, game-themed movies will gain well-turned portrayals of a lovable everyman, stroppy coquette, dunderheaded hayseed and officious, possibly villainous manly-woman. Babysteps. Will you be purchasing a ticket?
Jun 15, 2011
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