Alice and Max on Their Way to the Big Screen

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The movie adaptation versions of Rogue's American McGee's Alice and Remedy's Max Payne have seemingly been in development hell for years now. Both projects have always seemed like ones destined for the theatres; Max Payne because of its very film noir-inspired atmosphere and characters, and Alice simply because American McGee always makes such a big deal about cross-pollinating his games into as many different forms of entertainment as possible.

Collision Entertainment producer Scott Faye, of last year's Slasher flick Venom, is heading up both projects. Faye spoke to Yahoo! Games' Hollywood Byte regarding the status of the films. Alice seems to be further along, with a completed screenplay, Sarah Michelle Gellar attached in the lead role, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake director Marcus Nispel directing. The film is a Universal Pictures project with a budget of $40 to $50 million, and it may start filming this summer for a release next year.

Faye said that in Hollywood marketing terminology, Alice is a multi-quadrant film, which means it can theoretically open in any quarter of the year. He added that Nispel, who has a very clear visual idea of what Alice will be on screen, wanted to do the film for a price. This decision wasn't based on the financial upside of making a movie for a more modest budget, but because the director likes to challenge himself creatively and because he believes he can do great things without a bloated budget.

If Alice is farther along, Max Payne seems to be the project for which Faye has more passion. The acquisition of the project stemmed from a lucky accident back at E3 1998, when Faye saw a cardboard cutout of the game's titular protagonist and sought out 3D Realms' Scott Miller to learn more about the game and eventually propose a film deal. He compares the game to Clint Eastwood's 1976 Civil War-era picture The Outlaw Josie Wales, whose Confederate main character launches a personal crusade against the Union after his innocent family is killed. Faye wants his film to convey that kind of brutal but sympathetic more ambiguity that defines Max Payne's character in Remedy's original game. The project recently had an unnamed screenwriter attached (IMDb says it's The Shield creator Shawn Ryan, but the film's page hasn't been updated since last June) and should have a script by May. A director has not yet been found. The budget could be anywhere from $10 to $100 million, but more likely somewhere in the middle. Faye hopes to start shooting at the end of this year or the beginning of next, for a possible release late next year.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 8, 2006 11:29 AM

    Uwe Boll is going to director Max Payne

    • reply
      February 8, 2006 11:49 AM

      over his dead body!

      • reply
        February 8, 2006 5:25 PM

        He released his finger from the trigger...and then it was over.