Diesel in Wheelman adaptation
Vin Diesel is a clever man. He's just been involved in producing a video game with his own likeness and voice throughout it and now he's being touted as the star of the film adaptation.
Wheelman, the video game, is much like a Grand Theft Auto clone. It puts you in a similar environment, carrying out missions for different people as a Wheelman, a driver for those with intentions that aren't that legal.
The film version of the game would seem to be following similar ground. It will see Vin Diesel playing a driver who comes out of retirement to help a woman from his past with her problems.
According to Variety, Rich Wilkes (he wrote xXx) wrote the script for The Wheelman and Oliver Butcher and Stephen Cornwell rewrote the latest version (they've written Guy Ritchie's The Gamekeeper which I'm very interested in). Now that's not the big news, wait for this one, they have a director on board. John Singleton.
So no Face or Hannibal for Singleton, but he has a Wheelman.
The film was supposed to be made straight off the back of the the videogame, but it was the company behind the studios for both the game and the film who dropped out of the game business by selling their controlling stake in Midway, the game's developer. However the film project has come back to life.
An interesting aside is that Singleton directed 2 Fast 2 Furious, which Vin Diesel did not appear in, so perhaps this will make up for that with Fast and Furious fans. Personally I hope there's a lot more drama to this film and a lot less car chasing, I suspect there will be, and that it could be harder hitting than 2 Fast 2 Furious.
I played Wheelman, and I have to say I was disappointed. The game required a level of finger dexterity that was stunning. I remember during the demo that I was holding onto the accelerate button, while pressing the target lock, repeatedly hitting the shooting button, steering, and knocking the “bump” stick left and right. Try doing that without using your feet!
However the game looked a lot of fun and had taken on board the GTA concept rather well. Yet that will mean nothing when it comes to the film as all that really gets taken across is the concept itself.
If this works though, could there be scope for a Grand Theft Auto film? I still doubt that.