A new trailer for New Line Cinema’s upcoming film adaptation of the classic 1986 Bally Midway coin-operated video game Rampage came out on Tuesday and it’s clear that director Brad Peyton is giving fans of the original game exactly what they want: backstory, and plenty of it! In the arcade game, all players learn about giant monsters George, Lizzie, and Ralph is that George the gorilla ate an experimental vitamin, Lizzie the lizard fell in a radioactive lake, and Ralph the wolf ate something dodgy. That, and they all love smashing up skyscrapers. The film, in contrast, lets us spend time with George throughout every stage of his life: as a young monkey who is befriended by Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, as a playful ape who is friends with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and as a gigantic, skyscraper-destroying ape whose friendship with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is sorely tested.
And then there’s the science! Have you ever wanted to hear Moonlight’s Naomie Harris ask the Rock, in all earnestness, “Are you familiar with genetic editing?” If so, this is the movie for you. Love shady executives with no regard for public safety? Rampage has you covered. Crave smug government operatives who will surely get their comeuppance before the film is through? Check, check, and check. Answered “no” to any of these questions? When will you allow yourself to feel joy? This looks like a film that has embraced the absurdity of its premise, which is the best you can really hope for when a studio decides that licensing a thirty-year-old arcade game is a safer bet than making original movies. Can’t wait for Rampage’s release on April 20? Here’s a two-hour and twenty-minute video of two people playing an emulator of the original coin-op.
It’s easy to see why this was a compelling piece of intellectual property to adapt into a film!