Activision‘s forthcoming X-Men: The Official Game certainly underscores the growing connection between Hollywood blockbuster filmmaking and the growing influence of the video game industry. X-Men: The Official Game no only features performances from film actors Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Alan Cumming, and Shawn Ashmore, but features scenes and dialog written by Zak Penn, one of the screenwriters on X-Men: The Last Stand film. Penn cowrote the game with legendary X-Men comic writer Chris Claremont.
The latest installment of the X-Men film franchise is set to hit theaters May 26. The game will hit the streets even earlier, on May 16. It will be available for Windows PC, Xbox, Xbox 360, Playstation 2, PSP, Nintendo DS, GameCube, and Gameboy Advance. (They’ve certainly got their bases covered.)
The game takes place between events in the film X2: X-Men United and X-Men: The Last Stand, but according to Penn, Activision’s other X-Men Legends game influenced the new X-Men film, with Penn and second unit director Simon Crane using the game to generate ideas for the new movie. Penn describes his roll as matching up the film and the game, further blurring the lines between where films and and video games begin. At what point does one medium cease being an extension or adaption of the other? Do audiences now have to consider the game and the film a single, combined work?
A recent agreement between Microsoft and Marvel has Microsoft working on massively-online gaming titles using Marvel properties for the Xbox 360, including the X-Men and Spider-Man; meanwhile, Activision has a deal with Marvel to develop role-playing titles.