Next year is shaping up to be a very big year for fans of Insomniac Games’ Ratchet & Clank franchise. Sony will publish a re-imagined PlayStation 4 game based on the original Ratchet & Clank PS2 game. In addition, Focus Features will bring a 3D CGI movie based on that same origin story to the big screen in April.
The movie from Blockade Entertainment and Rainmaker Entertainment introduces a cast of original characters voiced by some big Hollywood names. The diverse cast includes Sylvester Stallone, Paul Giamatti, John Goodman, Bella Thorne, and Rosario Dawson. And the movie features returning game voice actors James Arnold Taylor, David Kaye, Armin Shimerman, and Jim Ward that have worked with Insomniac since the very beginning.
Ryan Schneider, chief brand officer at Insomniac Games, discusses the company’s first foray into Hollywood in this exclusive interview.
What's it like finally seeing Ratchet & Clank heading to the big screen with Focus Features?
Everyone at Insomniac is ecstatic because we’ve always believed that the big screen is where Ratchet & Clank belong. This is a franchise filled with humor and heart adored by millions around the world. And soon we’ll be able to welcome millions of new fans to the Ratchet & Clank universe.
How has Insomniac worked with Blockade in bringing this movie to life?
We’ve been heavily involved with PlayStation, Blockade and Rainmaker from the very first moment discussions began to bring Ratchet & Clank to life in film form. We helped negotiate the key terms of our participation in the project and have collaborated in several key areas, including original script development, character design and creation, animation consulting, lighting reviews, asset sharing and marketing support.
How have the video game assets been utilized in this production?
Ratchet & Clank video game assets helped serve as the foundation for the film’s production and enabled Rainmaker to quickly ramp up the project. The result has been authentic film assets that not only mirror our universe, but take them a step further than we could have hoped.
With so many stories that have been told over the years, how did you decide on the plot of the film?
We wanted to tell the one story our fans hoped to see the most: how did Ratchet and Clank first meet and begin their journey as a galactic duo? This storyline also suits the game we’re making, a re-imagining of the original Ratchet & Clank on PlayStation 2.
What types of Easter Eggs do you have planned for gamers who watch the movie?
You’ll see some of Ratchet’s signature arsenal in full effect, not to mention several unforgettable characters. Perhaps even a cameo or two along with a few other surprises.
Will there be any crossover of new characters introduced in the movie for future games?
That remains to be seen!
What do you think this CGI approach will bring to the video game movie genre, given that so many live action movies haven't fared well at the box office?
It’s hard to say. Ratchet & Clank is particularly well-suited for a film adaptation because it contains all the key ingredients found in today’s most successful CGI animated movies. The visuals are spectacular, the characters are unique and memorable, the universe itself is deep, and the humor can transcend age groups. The CGI approach used to make the Ratchet & Clank film can certainly help other game properties make a quicker transition to the big screen, but how well they ultimately perform there is based on many other factors besides the assets and the visuals.