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Film and games not in a forced marriage, says Tull

Delivering the keynote at the second day of the Hollywood & Games Summit, Thomas Tull, chairman of Legendary Pictures, discussed the deserved “bad rap” of games based upon movies, and vice-versa.

Legendary Pictures chairman Thomas Tull has warned that it can be "dangerous" to assume games based on hit movies will automatically be a success.

During his keynote speech on the second day of the Hollywood & Games Summit Tull said, "Not everything translates. Just because a movie comes out and does well, if there isnât a good story or a compelling reason [to create a game], it is a very dangerous thing to take a brand, slap it on a box, and just say 'Well, people will buy it.'

"If you rely solely on the brand itself, and not on the gameplay, I think thatâs a mistake," he continued.

"I have very strong feelings from the movie side⦠Making videogames into movies just because they have sold well is a pretty bad idea."

Tull advocates getting game creators and producers more involved earlier in the process, even before a movie is green-lit. He also said that modern directors who have grown up with videogames are more willing to be involved.

His company is currently developing a film based on hit MMORPG Word of Warcraft, which he discussed during his speech.

"With Warcraft⦠Yes, it is interesting that they have over eight million subscribers," Tull said. "But if all eight million, on the budget side, all bought tickets several times, weâre still in trouble. So simply saying that weâre going to make a popular videogame into a movie⦠I donât think is a very good idea.

"Warcraft is something we got excited about because of the depth of the mythology, and the worlds, and some of the backstories that we can use as a jumping off point.

"With all the technology and special effects, in both the film industry and the game industry, at the end of the day we are in the storytelling business."

Despite the poor reputation of most games based upon films, Tull said he remains hopeful for the future.

"Weâre at a very exciting crossroads as it relates to taking all these mediums, all these talents of people who are in the storytelling business, who are in the games business, and being able to put that together," he explained.

"Itâs not a forced marriage⦠We put so much money and effort into both sides, if we can start to work more closely together, I think that we can have a good outcome."

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