Game Over

Is it just me, or is it a major unsolved mystery as to how Uwe Boll continues to get movie houses to sign him on as the director for films? There was a story in last week’s news that said that the German-born director, producer, screenwriter, and apparently actor, signed a distribution deal with Freestyle Releasing. Now, who in their right mind would agree to sign this guy? I know it’s been said time and time again, but whence must it be pointed out that the guy is a money loser, plain and simple. Between House of the Dead (2004), Alone in the Dark (2005), and last year’s BloodRayne, his films have earned a combined $16,284,843 in total grosses.

Between the three films, he has had control of $52 million in production budget funds. For the sake of this argument, let’s say he used up those funds on the movie, and considering that each movie had a separate marketing budget it’s certainly not hard to believe that he used up the amount of the remaining production budget. That being the case, he has had a career-operating deficit of about $35,715,157. This is no small chunk of change. True, he nearly made $14 million worldwide off of House of the Dead, which had a budget of only $7 million, but that doesn’t mean that he’s a golden goose.

It’s sad to hear that so many movie houses are just throwing away their game licenses on Uwe Boll, and some of these games were really good games. Alone in the Dark was a good game, and he turned it into a laughing stock. Far Cry was an excellent game, but alas, it is currently in preproduction under Boll’s direction. And it’s sad to hear that Postal will be making its silver-screen debut by Boll’s hand under Freestyle’s banner, but it’s even sadder to know that Boll himself will take a role in the film. Boll is also slated to massacre the Dungeon Siege series as well, with In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale. I’d like to be the first to come out and say that Ray Liotta, I’m very disappointed in you; the same goes for you, Jason Statham. Not that the rest of the cast can’t do better, but surely these two can; especially Liotta. What the hell were you thinking? I know you have bills to pay, but jeez. Postal has a budget of $20 million and Dungeon Siege has a budget of $60 million, his largest budget yet, and what’s probably going to be his single largest deficit. Do you see the picture I’m trying to paint here?

Boll needs to stop fighting critics in the boxing ring and start realizing that he simply isn’t cut out to make game-to-movie adaptations. He has made claims in the past that game companies “sell off the license and then forget about it.” Now, I’m not one for not following up on things, and agree that if game companies are truly hands off when it comes to movies based on their properties, then that needs to change. I also believe, however, that at some point there needs to be a little something called talent involved.

Maybe a game publisher will be there to guide Boll through the production of a good film one day. And maybe, just maybe, pigs will fly. It’s doubtful, but you never know.