Consider this twice the news for the price of one, but consider both pieces of it as rumors for the moment. According to Showbizspy.com, a Red Dead Redemption movie is in development. And on top of that, Brad Pitt is up for the role of the game’s protagonist, John Marston.
Despite the fact that there has not been an official announcement, it is not surprising to hear that a movie for Red Dead Redemption is in development. The game has sold 5 million copies, and Hollywood does love to buy existing properties. Plus, the story of Red Dead is fairly deep and was well rounded. The plot takes place in 1911 and follows ex-gang member John Marston, whose family is being used as a bargaining chip by the government to force him to track down his former friend and partner, Bill Williamson. Marston travels through New Austin (a Texas-like state) and Mexico hunting down Williamson, and inevitably becomes embroiled in everything from politics to gun running, all in an effort to protect his family.
Despite the lack of proven results when it comes to movies adapted from video games, most top-selling games that have a unique story eventually wind up on the desk of a Hollywood exec. The majority of them die a slow and ignominious death, but a few make it into predevelopment. At least until the movie’s budget is planned.
Huge budgets are responsible for the death of Peter Jackson and Neil Blomkamp’s Halo movie, and a Bioshock adaptation from Gore Verbinski is firmly mired in development limbo (despite Verbinski’s assertions) as the budget has increased way beyond early projections. With Red Dead, the Old West setting should make it a more realistic option for Hollywood execs.
As for Brad Pitt, why not aim big? According to sources speaking with Showbizspy, “Brad is perfect for the role and he is being given first refusal.”
In Hollywood speak this means almost nothing. Brad Pitt, one of the most popular actors in the world, is offered roles constantly. According to IMDB.com, Pitt currently has 28 separate projects listed as “in development,” not counting the four movies that are in production. So saying that the role has been offered to Pitt is not at all surprising.
Pitt’s past role as Jesse James and as Tristan in Legends of the Fall show an interest in the western mythos. Beyond that, there is no reason to believe he will accept the offer. But if he does, RDR could actually have a chance of not being terrible. In fact, it might actually be a fairly good video game adaption.
We’ll have to wait and see how this plays out, but what do you think? If you could cast anyone, who would you like to see as John Marston?