Movie adaptations of video games have a checkered past and over the last twenty-five years, you can count the number of big budget studio adaptations of gaming franchises on one hand. Things may be slowly starting to change. This year, New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. Pictures decided to adapt the arcade classic Rampage into a tentpole summer action blockbuster. The film stars Dwayne Johnson as the former Special Forces soldier who now oversees the gorilla cage at the San Diego Wildlife Sanctuary. When an evil company loses a gene manipulation pathogen and it turns the sanctuary’s albino gorilla George into a massive, angry beast, Johnson’s character must find a way to save the day. The task of bringing George to life was put on a team of effects artists and motion capture actor Jason Liles, who plays George. We ran into Liles at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con and asked him about the process of getting George the gorilla on the big screen.
Liles details the months of preparation that went into the role and how he had to work at forgetting the movements and mannerisms that would make him appear human, rather than a giant ape. He mentions that he had contacted Andy Serkis, the actor famous for portraying many famous CGI characters like Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, to ask for tips on making the character believable to audiences. While George could not speak, he still communicated via sign language and Liles explained that he had previous training with non-verbal communication for roles he worked in prior to Rampage.
The motion capture actor touches on his love of video games and how working through Zelda: Breath of the Wild during the production of Rampage helped him get away from the stress of work on the film. For more great videos, including developer interviews and convention coverage for events like E3 or PAX, be sure to check out both Shacknews and GamerHub.tv over on YouTube.