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Wed, Oct. 13th, 2004, 03:34 pm
paea: Karl Mention in Doom Article

From HomeLAN Fed [http://www.homelanfed.com/index.php?id=26602]

Read entire interview below or please visit HomeLAN Fed's website.

And what about those newly created characters? Callaham said that John, the Space Marine to be played by Karl Urban (best know as Eomer in the Lord of the Rings trilogy), is stationed along with his unit in a research base on an alien planet (the planet is unnamed in the movie unlike the games Doom and Doom 3 which are set on Mars). In the movie he is reunited with his sister, a scientist on the based named Samantha (to be played by Die Another Day villainess Rosamund Pike). They were separated after an accident that killed their parents and Callaham says, “They are a little estranged” However, strange things are afoot on the base as alien monsters begin to appear and both brother and sister have to put aside their differences in order to survive. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will also appear as Sarge, the head space marine, but Callaham warns, “He is not going to be smiling a whole bunch. You won’t see him raise his left eyebrow.”



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Doom Cinema: A Chat With Scriptwriter Dave Callaham
07 October 2004 00:03
John [JCal] Callaham

Let’s face it; the current track record for movies based on video game franchises isn’t all that good. Only one video game based movie has ever grossed over $100 million (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider) and while there have been some guilty pleasures among the lot (the first Mortal Kombat and Resident Evil movies come to mind) none of them have gotten the critical acclaim that, say, a number of comic book based movies have received over the years.

That may finally change, however, with the upcoming film adaptation of Doom. Based on id Software’s first person shooter series, a movie version of the game has been on and off the Hollywood development track for years but later this month in some sound stages in Prague, principal photography is set to commence. HomeLAN got a chance to chat on the phone briefly Wednesday with the movie’s screenwriter Dave Callaham to get some more info on the movie (and yes, he and I share the same name but we are not related).

Believe it or not, the Doom movie is Callaham’s first produced movie script and he landed the high profile assignment when he was just 24 years old (he is 26 now). When asked if he is a gamer, he replied in the affirmative although he admits, “I am more of a sports gamer traditionally.” However, he has also played his fair share of first person shooters, including Wolfenstein 3D, Duke Nukem 3D, Halo and of course the Doom games. Callaham remembers first playing Doom in his teens, “I was really discombobulated,” he said of the experience, “I remember that it scared me senseless.”

The road to Hollywood for Callaham began when he wrote a spec script that he describes as “…dark and violent. People felt it had a real voice to it.” While the screenplay remained unfilmed it was enough of a first effort that it got Callaham an agent and manager and made the round of the Hollywood film studios. One desk it landed on was Lorenzo di Bonaventura, who had just left as the head of production at Warner Brothers (where he is credited with championing the Matrix movies to the studio) and was now an independent producer. Along with his Doom producing partner John Wells (a major force behind major hit TV shows like ER, The West Wing and Third Watch) di Bonaventura asked Callaham to pitch a script for Doom. “He mentioned it to me and I was immediately taken to it.” Callaham said of the Doom movie proposal. “This struck more of a personal chord with me. It was also a big challenge.” Callaham said he made his pitch about his ideas for the movie and he said it struck such a big chord with the producers, “They hired me essentially in the room. I wish it was that easy every time.”

In developing the Doom script, Callaham said that the games themselves helped in terms of the visuals that he wanted to put in. However, he said, “In terms of character development it is non-existent (in the games) and the id guys are the first to admit that.” Callaham said that in his meetings with the id Software team they were very supportive and open with his ideas on changing the Doom mythology and allowing for real characters to be put into the script. “They were not clinging to anything.” he said, “They were really quite generous in changing the Doom mythology a bit.” One thing that id did insist upon is that the main character in the movie be named John. When asked, Callaham was unsure if that was a tribute to id’s master programmer John Carmack but did admit there is another character named Carmack in the movie.

And what about those newly created characters? Callaham said that John, the Space Marine to be played by Karl Urban (best know as Eomer in the Lord of the Rings trilogy), is stationed along with his unit in a research base on an alien planet (the planet is unnamed in the movie unlike the games Doom and Doom 3 which are set on Mars). In the movie he is reunited with his sister, a scientist on the based named Samantha (to be played by Die Another Day villainess Rosamund Pike). They were separated after an accident that killed their parents and Callaham says, “They are a little estranged” However, strange things are afoot on the base as alien monsters begin to appear and both brother and sister have to put aside their differences in order to survive. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will also appear as Sarge, the head space marine, but Callaham warns, “He is not going to be smiling a whole bunch. You won’t see him raise his left eyebrow.”

Callaham understands that, “There are going to be Doom fans that are going to want a movie that is nothing but action.”, but he felt that it was important to put in real people that you can relate to, similar to what Aliens and the first Predator movie had with their Colonial Marines and Special Forces teams respectively. As far as the poor showing video game movies have had over the years and if that intimidated him, he said. “I never thought of it as a video game movie. I wanted to write first a great movie, then a great science fiction movie and then a video game movie.” However, Callaham did say that gamers who know the Doom games will still enjoy it, “I wanted to really make sure that things that are really important to gamers are in the movie,” he said. That includes having “…a liberal amount of the monsters” in the film as well weapons like the BFG as its overall horror tone (although the direct references to the monsters coming from Hell in the games are only implied in the film, according to Callaham). “I wanted to write it creepy and dark and gloomy and really depressing at times,” he said. And that means a likely R rating for Doom.

During the pre-production of the Doom movie, there have been a couple of major shifts behind the scenes, include a production switch from Warner Brothers to Universal Studios, which Callaham says was due in part to Warner Brothers wanting “more of an emphasis on a family movie line-up.” Also a first time director, Enda McCallion, decided to leave the production for personal reasons about a month ago. (Callaham said those reasons had nothing to do with the Doom movie itself). The director is now slated to be Andrzej Bartkowiak who has previously directed Romeo Must Die, Exit Wounds and Cradle 2 The Grave. While Callaham has said that he has yet to talk with Bartkowiak, he is hopeful that the late switch in directors will not affect the production. Before becoming a director Bartkowiak first got started as a Cinematographer with a ton of movies under his belt (including Speed and Species) and Callaham said, “It goes without saying that the movie is going to look great visually.”

While his job on the Doom movie is mostly over, Callaham says he is looking forward to perhaps heading over to Prague to watch the movie itself being filmed once it starts full production. At the moment, the movie is set to be released to theaters in early August of 2005. While he already has a couple of other movie scripts in the works, including a thriller set on the International Space Station and a political-action movie on the privatization of the military, Callaham does admit to having some ideas for a Doom movie sequel should such a project go forward.

At the moment, however, you can tell while chatting with Callaham that this first time movie scriptwriter is enjoying the chance to write what is arguably the most anticipated video/PC game based film ever made but he does give credit to Doom’s original creators.“Doom is a brilliant franchise. This is something that started up with the guys at id and they certainly did a lot of work for me.” It sounds like this movie has a real chance to be the exception to the video game movie curse. As Callaham says, “There is some stuff towards the end of this movie that is going to be epic in scope.”

Wed, Oct. 13th, 2004, 11:03 am
paea: Karl's Current Project

Karl's latest/current project is a movie adaptation of the video game Doom.

Karl stars as John Grimm, the leader of a special ops team. The lead is a new favourite of mine, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (he was great in Walking Tall - check it out.)

According to Variety (Sept., 2004):

"When dealing with alien demons, Grimm is forced to cross paths with the organization responsible for his parents' deaths. In the game, the story is set at a Mars space station, where an aerospace conglom is conducting secret experiments when something unleashes a demonic force that threatens to overtake the facility.

The futuristic action-adventure, based on id Software's and Activision's "Doom 3" game, will be directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak (Cradle 2 the Grave) and was written by Dave Callaham. Doom is scheduled to start principal photography in mid-October for an August 5, 2005 release date."


Woot!

I'm not a big fan of video games nor movie versions of them. I will, however, see this opening night...

Wed, Oct. 13th, 2004, 10:43 am
paea: So, What's This About?

This is simply a community dedicated to offering news, updates, and images of actor Karl Urban.

If you're here, you're likely a fan of actor Karl Urban and I needn't do a lot of explain about who he is... right? However, if you're just getting to know Mr. Urban's work, here are some lovely resources for learning more about him:

IMDB's Karl Urban Entry

Karl_Daily - a great little LiveJournal community offering a daily dish of Karl images

Urbanites - A fab & comprehensive ezboard community covering all-things Karl (must be 18+ to participate there)

Of course there are more sites out there to be found if you do a simple Google search. These are just some great resources to get you started.

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