Director Uwe Boll Preps New Game-Based DVDs11 Dec, 2006 By: John Gaudiosi
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — German producer-director Uwe Boll has made a string of video game-based movies. Most of them have opened theatrically, such as House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark and BloodRayne. But the real money has been made on DVD. As a result, Boll is embarking on a number of original straight-to-DVD features for Vivendi Visual Entertainment and Lionsgate.
Boll is now filming BloodRayne 2 in Vancouver. The $8.5 million movie is set in the Wild West and pits half-vampire video game character Rayne (Natassia Malthe) against a vampire Billy the Kid (Zack Ward). Pat Garrett (Michael Pare) and other outlaws join Rayne to fight the evil vampires.
Vivendi wants to release the sequel in May 2007 — a year after the original shipped with a pack-in PC BloodRayne 2 video game. BloodRayne 2 will open theatrically in multiple areas in Asia, Russia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Boll is making the film on a bigger budget for a potential limited U.S. theatrical release before its U.S. DVD release.
Boll envisions an ‘R'-rated DVD version and an unrated director's cut DVD, similar to the two versions of the original film's DVD releases. The original BloodRayne, starring Kristanna Loken as Rayne, has sold more than 830,000 copies to date.
If the BloodRayne 2 DVD sells as well as the first film's DVD, Boll will make a third film, he said, likely also straight-to-DVD, which will pit Rayne against the Nazis — the bad guys in the original game. The two films have nothing to do with the game storylines, but they use the Rayne character and the concept of the Brimstone Society.
Also coming from Vivendi is Alone in the Dark 2. Boll will produce the film, which will be directed by writers Michael Roesch and Peter Scheerer (Far Cry, Alone in the Dark).
With about half of the budget of the $15 million original, the new straight-to-DVD film will be set in present-day New York and borrow from the plot of the new Atari game, which will ship in 2007. Boll has asked Christian Slater if he will reprise the lead role as paranormal investigator Edward Carnby and is awaiting the actor's decision.
Gamers, meanwhile, will see Slater in a new director's cut of the original Alone in the Dark coming in April 2007 from Lionsgate. Boll said he's cut a harder version of the film, which is out in Germany and is selling well.
“I don't think the director's cut of BloodRayne is better than the original cut; it's just more bloody,” Boll said. “But with Alone in the Dark, the movie's better. We cut a lot of Tara Reid out of the movie. We put more creepiness and more action in. We cut the sex scene out, as well.”
Boll said the ending is the same in the new film, which will have a sequel. Also getting a March/April 2007 release from Lionsgate is House of the Dead: Director's Edition. Boll's first video game film also is his most successful theatrically and on DVD. Now he's edited a comedy version of the horror film.
“All the buyers who bought the first movie watched 10 minutes, and they all had a blast,” Boll said. “When the DVD comes out, people won't be able to believe it in the beginning, but word-of-mouth will grow. I think it will make the same amount of money as the first DVD because everyone who saw it will want to see what it's all about.”
Boll shot humorous versions of many scenes when he was filming the original. He used those takes, and also adds new mini-DV footage.
“It's the same plot, but we make fun out of how stupid the movie was,” Boll said. “We basically bash the movie, and I think this works well because a lot of people think the movie was cheesy and idiotic. We also freeze the screen to show all of the continuity mistakes.”
Boll said the film also has several deleted scenes that didn't appear on the first DVD.
Another video game movie, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, will be released theatrically in 2007. The $60 million movie stars Ray Liotta, Jason Statham and Leelee Sobieski, among others. Boll said he has an additional 45 minutes of footage for a director's-cut DVD release.