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Console Wars documentary will precede the fictionalized take on Sega vs. Nintendo

Fresh off of Neighbors, longtime collaborators Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen are putting lots of effort right now into developing Garth Ennis’s Preacher comic book series as an AMC TV series, but that’s not all they’re working on. Another hot project that the creative duo are excited to be bringing together is Console Wars, as Goldberg told Digital Trends during a recent chat.

Console Wars will be based on Blake Harris’ recently released narrative history about the feud between game companies Sega and Nintendo in the early ’90s.  The film, a dramatized take on the real-life story, would follow the employees of upstart video game company Sega as they attempt to challenge industry behemoth Nintendo for console supremacy. Goldberg and Rogen are currently attached as directors, writers, and producers on the film.

According to Goldberg, Harris is working on a documentary based on the book that will then inform the scripted take. 

“They’ve sent us an early cut [of the documentary],” said Goldberg. “We’re getting some more footage on it. So we’re working hard on the documentary and then, once it’s done, we intend to get working on the actual movie.”

Goldberg joked (okay, only half-joked) that his connection to a project like Console Wars is rooted in the very same experiences that informed so much of his other work with Rogen over the years. 

“I know childhood as a time when all I wanted to do was play video games. It’s a topic that sings to us,” he explained. “Superbad was all about how we couldn’t get laid, but the reason we didn’t get laid is because we were playing video games. That’s the other half of the coin, and we want to explore that.”

The weird juxtaposition of the cartoon-like characters that served as mascots for each company smiling and promoting their products while the two businesses fought a vicious, messy battle behind the scenes also proved compelling to Goldberg on an adult level. Sonic and Mario may have been cute, brightly colored ambassadors for their respective brands, but the cutthroat tactics employed by both the up-and-coming Sega and the deep-rooted powerhouse Nintendo were anything but cute, he explained.

“There was a war going on behind it all, and these companies were in an aggressive battle to defeat one another,” he told Digital Trends. “So it fascinates us that a fun part of our childhoods was also an epic battle between companies.”

One of the sticking points in the documentary, said Goldberg, is finding a way to bring the central conflict of the “console war” home to our modern era. 

“The starting point for the story was the war between Sega and Nintendo,” he explained. “So we’re working with the documentarians to bridge the gap between the Sega and Nintendo war and today, when we’re talking about our iPhones and all the fun apps, and PlayStation and Xbox and the Wii and all of that. So we’re still working on it. We want the documentary to be the best it can be before we get started on anything else.”

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