Best pals and professional partners Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg already have an exceedingly full plate of projects (the duo are currently directing Rogen and James Franco in The Interview, and they seem to sign on for a new producing project each week – they currently have 11 in different states of production), but they’ve made room for a new film that we’re willing to bet holds a special place in their geeky hearts.
It’s about video games.
Specifically, it’s about the nineties-set battle between Sega and Nintendo for living room supremacy. The news comes from Booktrade (via The Playlist), reporting that Scott Rudin is set to produce a big screen version of Blake J. Harris’ book “Console Wars,” which Rogen and Goldberg will write, direct, and produce. The film is a natural fit for super-producer Rudin, who has lately made his bread and butter from turning to the tech world – he’s previously produced The Social Network, and is currently working on both the HBO series Silicon Valley and the long-gestating Steve Jobs biopic from Walter Isaacson (which almost assuredly has to be better than last year’s Jobs).
The book’s synopsis from Amazon pretty clearly lays out the action and drama of the battle royale, even identifying a hero to root for:
Following the success of The Accidental Billionaires and Moneyball comes Console Wars—a mesmerizing, behind-the-scenes business thriller that chronicles how Sega, a small, scrappy gaming company led by an unlikely visionary and a team of rebels, took on the juggernaut Nintendo and revolutionized the video game industry.
In 1990, Nintendo had a virtual monopoly on the video game industry. Sega, on the other hand, was just a faltering arcade company with big aspirations and even bigger personalities. But that would all change with the arrival of Tom Kalinske, a man who knew nothing about videogames and everything about fighting uphill battles. His unconventional tactics, combined with the blood, sweat and bold ideas of his renegade employees, transformed Sega and eventually led to a ruthless David-and-Goliath showdown with rival Nintendo.
The battle was vicious, relentless, and highly profitable, eventually sparking a global corporate war that would be fought on several fronts: from living rooms and schoolyards to boardrooms and Congress. It was a once-in-a-lifetime, no-holds-barred conflict that pitted brother against brother, kid against adult, Sonic against Mario, and the US against Japan.
Based on over two hundred interviews with former Sega and Nintendo employees, Console Wars is the underdog tale of how Kalinske miraculously turned an industry punchline into a market leader. It’s the story of how a humble family man, with an extraordinary imagination and a gift for turning problems into competitive advantages, inspired a team of underdogs to slay a giant and, as a result, birth a $60 billion dollar industry.
There’s no word on when we can expect to see Console Wars on the big screen, but it certainly seems as if Rogen and Goldberg will have plenty of material to sift through to craft a full narrative. Any ideas as to who could play Tom Kalinske?
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