Mark Wahlberg to play Max Payne?
Or is that the other way round? Mark Wahlberg is in negotiations to play Max Payne in the film adaptation of the superb computer game which has a very rich film noir feeling throughout.
The videogame comes from the superb Rockstar company (also in Edinburgh) who have developed a superbly playable and style rich game, not to mention the excellent cut scenes which convey a film noir and comic feel dripping in style.
That style comes heavily from film, including the legendary John Woo, and that's just for the action. The cut scenes and story lends much to the entire film noir genre.
The game had Max Payne as a Hell's Kitchen detective returning home to find junkies in his house. He kills them all in the gunfight and finds that his newborn daughter and his wife have both been brutally murdered. After some investigation he finds that the junkies were out of their minds on a drug called Valkyr.
Cut to three years later and Payne is in the DEA and deep undercover in the mob family that deals the drug. He arrives to meet his only contact with the DEA who is executed before his eyes. He's left with no ties back to the police and no one knows of his real identity. While the police are after him for the murder of a DEA agent, the mob family are after him because they know he's a cop.
Now after waiting since 2003, when the first announcement was made of the rights being bought for the game, it looks like the film version will have something different in store.
According to Variety the story will see a cop who is haunted by the loss of his family investigate a series of murders. Typically he has no care for rules and finds himself up against an adversary that wants to kill him.
Now, that's very simplistic, but it does turn away from the source material. So if the story is so radically different, what then makes it Max Payne. That's either got to be the use of the slow motion bullet time (developed before the Matrix sequels but released after) or the heavy film noir feel.
If the plot changes so radically, and the character changes, then we're either looking at a Hollywood John Woo action film or an old film noir modernised. Or, of course, a combination of the two.
That in itself isn't such a bad thing, but I don't see that we're going to get much of Max Payne himself.
Still, Mark Wahlberg is an okay choice, although I hate to say it but Clive Owen is a damn good match. John Moore is the man set to direct, he has Behind Enemy Lines, Flight of the Phoenix and The Omen under his belt – I should have stopped at the first one as Variety did, especially as the last two are remakes.