Call of Duty cinematic universe in the works because companies want your money

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Everyone wants a cinematic universe these days. Marvel/Disney have the big one. DC/Warner Bros. have a troubled one. Hell, Universal Studios is trying to launch one with classic movie monsters (see the Mummy reboot with Tom Cruise). Activision Blizzard wants in on the action, with plans for a Call of Duty cinematic universe to take your money. The CoDCU, if you will (but don’t).

The company launched Activision Blizzard Studios, an in-house TV and film production company just for such a task. Studio co-presidents Stacey Sher and Nick van Dyk have bona fides in Hollywood. Sher’s producer credits include The Hateful Eight, Django Unchained, Pulp Fiction, and Out of Sight; van Dyk worked as a senior executive at Disney and helped the company acquire both Marvel and Star Wars.

The co-presidents revealed to the Guardian that a few films are already being written.

“We have plotted out many years,” Sher tells the Guardian. “We put together this group of writers to talk about where we were going. There’ll be a film that feels more like Black Ops, the story behind the story. The Modern Warfare series looks at what it’s like to fight a war with the eyes of the world on you. And then maybe something that is more of a hybrid, where you are looking at private, covert operations, while a public operation is going on.”

Official Call of Duty®: Infinite Warfare Reveal Trailer

Van Dyk told the Guardian that the Call of Duty films will be “tentpole Marvel-esque”, holding true to the spirit of the game aesthetics but not literal adaptations of the games themselves. The Guardian also noted that Blizzard Activision Studios would like to create Call of Duty TV shows/streaming series that are focused on historical conflicts, such as WWII.

There’s some suggestion that Blizzard Activision Studios is a response to the disappointing performance of Warcraft, which was made through a third-party (Legendary Pictures) rather than in-house. This probably means some sort of in-house Overwatch adaptation will show up eventually… perhaps launching a cinematic universe--the OCU (eh).

I’m a little skeptical about sudden cinematic universe launches since they don’t materialize spontaneously. The ambition and scope is admirable, and the architects of the CoDCU (oof) have demonstrated that they know what they’re doing. But will audiences respond? It’s all in the execution and the appetite.

What do you think? Would you be excited by a CoDCU (I’ll stop)? How do you think they should do it? Should there be a dude with an eye patch who brings them together? Will the granddaddy of all the movies be Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare? Let us know in the comments.

[via The Guardian]
Hubert Vigilla
Brooklyn-based fiction writer, film critic, and long-time editor and contributor for Flixist. A booster of all things passionate and idiosyncratic.