In movies, the original monster marauder is King Kong, with Godzilla coming in a close second, but in terms of computer games Rampage is easily the most prominent. The 1986 smash ’em up was a big arcade hit, going on to get ports on everything from the NES and Master System to the classic Atari 2600 and ZX Spectrum, and 2018 will see it taking its first giant step onto the big screen in the Warner Bros. film inspired by the game.
The cast is led by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who has got a year of movie video game tie-ins with Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle bringing the board game into the digital age. The trailer looks like this will be a natural continuation for the star from his previous disaster exploits in San Andreas with a straight-faced adaptation that’s pitched at the monster movie market.
Rampage has been confirmed for a UK release date of Friday the 13th April 2018, which is the same date as it’s general release in the US. It had initially been planned for release in the US and Canada on the 20th April, but this has since been brought forward to coincide with the UK. It’ll be out in the UK on the same weekend as The New Mutants, a horror spin-off from X-Men, so it’ll have some fairly significant competition.
The DVD and Blu-ray won’t be arriving until around August 2018 in the UK, but it’ll be available a few weeks earlier in the US and Canada.
The plot for the film is a little different to the “man becomes monster” storyline behind the game. Instead, it centres on the relationship between primatologist Davis Okeye (Johnson) and the incredibly intelligent silver back gorilla named George, who he’s cared for most of his life. This goes sideways when George gets supersized and goes on a rampage across the United States.
It’s then up to Okeye to head out to save his friend and stop George from destroying any more of the US in what appears to be an unstoppable stomp. However, the odds get a whole lot longer when a giant wolf and crocodile enter the fray, having been mutated in the same process that changed George. This soon turns into a three-way battle for supremacy with Okeye and the rest of humanity trapped in the middle.
Dwayne Johnson leads the cast as Davis Okeye, and he’s joined by Naomi Harris, Malin Åkerman, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Joe Manganiello, Jake Lacy, P.J. Byrne, Marley Shelton, Breanne Hill, Jack Quade and Matt Gerald.
Apart from the box office draw of Johnson, there aren’t that many big names attached to Rampage. However, Naomi Harris is always excellent, whether she’s playing Moneypenny in the likes of Spectre or more of a serious role in Moonlight. The same can be said of Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who was very strong in both The Salvation and The Walking Dead.
Brad Peyton (San Andreas) has directed the film from a screenplay by Ryan Engle, Carlton Cuse, Ryan J. Condal and Adam Sztykiel. Ryan Engle was also responsible for adapting the story from the classic computer game.
It’s the third collaboration between Peyton and Johnson, who worked together previously on Journey 2: The Mysterious Island and San Andreas. You can see more on the production at the official Twitter page.
Computer game movie adaptations don’t usually work out so well, but Rampage is a slightly different proposition, because it’s essentially a monster movie, which stacks it up against Pacific Rim: Uprising and King Kong. When you watch the trailer and look at it from this standpoint, it’s hard not to see it doing well on the big screen, especially with Dwayne Johnson in the lead role.
It doesn’t look like it’s going to do much to advance the monster movie genre as such, but it should be a larger-than-life adventure with at least a little emotional connection thanks to the friendship between Davis and George. With The New Mutants out on the same release date in the UK, it’s going to be a close call for the No. 1 spot.