Virtually no one liked the Assassin’s Creed movie, but that film’s producer, Jean-Julien Baronnet, is going to give another video game adaptation a try. Baronnet has been brought on to produce the Duke Nukem movie, based on the popular video game series about a sexist meathead who shoots aliens with giant guns. Earlier this year, it was reported that Paramount and Platinum Dunes were working on the film, with John Cena as a possible star. Paramount is no longer involved.
According to Variety, Gearbox Software is teaming with producer Jean-Julien Baronnet to make the Duke Nukem movie a reality. Whether or not John Cena is still involved is unclear, but the Variety story says Baronnet and Gearbox have been “meeting with writers in recent weeks to start preparing a package for a potential Duke Nukem film.” And they’ve clearly already figured out how to pitch the movie: by comparing the character to Deadpool.
“He’s a parody of 1980s action heroes and he’s like Deadpool in terms of being able to break the fourth wall,” said Gearbox VP Sean Haren. “We see a lot of humor in his confronting the values of today while trying to save the world.” Baronnet added: “Duke is exactly the kind of very blunt character that we need in the world today.”
Not so sure if that’s true, but hey, what do I know. There have been a few attempts to get a Duke Nukem movie made in the past, dating all the way back to the 1990s. An early script involved aliens invading a strip club owned by Duke Nukem, but that version of the film never came to pass. Talk of a film resumed in 2001, only to die down again until 2008, when Max Payne producer Scott Faye was planning on making a Duke Nukem movie. Then, nothing.
The Duke Nukem video game series was created in 1991, beginning its life as 2d game before evolving into a 3D first-person shooter. There have been at least twenty (holy shit) Duke games, including Duke Nukem, Duke Nukem II, Duke Nukem 3D, Duke Nukem 64, Duke Nukem: Total Meltdown, Duke Nukem: Time To Kill, and the somewhat recent Duke Nukem Forever, which spent nearly 15 years in development hell before arriving to a lackluster response. The premise is more or less the same for all of these games: Duke Nukem, a super-bro who likes to steal quotes from John Carpenter movies, is tasked with fighting alien invaders who want to steal all the hot chicks of Earth. Video games! And now…movies?!
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