It’s been a hard few years for the Ratchet & Clank series. After the brilliant Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time, Sony’s decade-old science fiction comedy series took a back seat to other games, relegated to developer Insomniac’s B-team. But despite the lack of attention, the series hasn’t gone away by any means though. An HD remaster collection of the PlayStation 2 originals, a co-op arcade style offshoot in the form of Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One, and a disappointing strategy spinoff Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault have been released since A Crack in Time, but all of them have pushed the series further and further away from the grand, funny stories Insomniac’s A-team crafted for years.
Film fans have much to look forward to in 2015, and not just because Disney and JJ Abrams are going to deliver a piping hot plate of space opera in the shape of Star Wars Episode VII that year (not to mention The Avengers 2, a possible Justice League movie, the final Hunger Games, and many other tentatively announced films including Avatar 2). Sony announced on Tuesday morning that it’s teamed up with production company Blockade Entertainment, animation studio Rainmaker, and Insomniac to make a big screen Ratchet & Clank: The Movie.
Rainmaker’s most recent work is the animated feature Escape From Planet Earth, a movie that has received a thoroughly tepid response from critics and theatergoers since it released earlier this spring. Luckily Rainmaker isn’t working on their lonesome, as Insomnia is going to involved in all creative aspects of the filmmaking process, from animation consultations to character development. Most important of all is that the screenplay is in the hands of T.J. Fixman, the writer who’s been responsible for every game released in the series since 2007’s Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction. Video games regularly want for better writing, and Fixman’s been a reliable producer of writing that’s warm, funny, and distinctive.
Ratchet & Clank may just be the first of many animated movies based on Sony’s games in the pipeline. Blockade CEO Brad Foxhaven is actually linked to animated features based on Suckerpunch’s Sly Cooper series, Naughty Dog’s Jak & Daxter, Modnation Racers, and even the six-years-dormant Heavenly Sword series developed by Ninja Theory. Plus Sony has made no secret in its desire to bring its properties to the big screen, possibly starting with a live action Uncharted, although that project is quickly moving firmly into limbo territory. Whether those animated movies, and possibly the live action films, ever materialize may depend largely on how Ratchet & Clank does when it releases two years from now.