Feb 17, 2013

Tradecraft: Spy Hunter Moves Forward at Warner Bros.

After a decade of fits and starts, this latest incarnation of the forever-in-development videogame adaptation Spy Hunter seems to be moving healthily forward with director Ruben Fleischer (Gangster Squad), who was first attached to the project last October, still involved. Deadline reports that Carter Blanchard (Good vs. Evil) has been hired to pen the new script to Fleischer's specifications. Comingsoon has a very enlightening quote from Fleischer on his approach:
If I can make any movie, it would be a James Bond movie. I've always loved the genre but I don't think they'll hire an American to direct a James Bond movie, I've been told, so for me, Spy Hunter is an opportunity to create a new spy franchise. It sounds silly but that was my favorite video game when I was a kid and it had a great title and a great theme song, but there's no real other associations that people have with it other than a cool car, so I feel like there's a lot of room for us to invent a new character and a new series. I think just the Spy Hunter that is the most bad-ass spy who hunts down rogue spies is a really cool launch pad for an idea and I hope that we can bring it to life.
Sounds like the right direction to me! Any Eurospy fan knows that many highly entertaining movies have come from emulating James Bond.


David Morefield said...

A "great theme song," indeed. It's Henry Mancini's theme for "Peter Gunn."

Sigh. It's time to start feeling really old when "Spy Hunter" is considered a historical treasure and "Peter Gunn" is so far back it's not even on a director's radar.

Tanner said...

Excellent point, of course, and something I should have mentioned. I was wondering about that when I wrote this article: does the theme's use in the videogame automatically make it part of the package to the game rights? Presumably not. Presumably the producers would have to license the track all over again. And depending on who owns it, I wonder if they WOULD license it? Because the Peter Gunn Theme is in itelf the ENTIRE value of the Peter Gunn character. I'm not saying that to denegrate Blake Edwards' detective show, but just in terms of brand recognition today. If the rights holders wanted to make a Peter Gunn feature, well, the thing that's famous about Peter Gunn is his theme song. It seems to me you dilute that theme if you license it out to another movie franchise. So I wonder if Fleischer will even be able to use that music in his movie?

Tanner said...

(That said, I'm sure Ruben Fleischer knows full well what the theme is from. That quote is just a quick sound bite.)