Revolutions in Film Adaptation

Major film studio New Line Cinema has recently acquired the rights to make a film based on the iOS game Fruit Ninja.

Oddly enough, it isn’t the first mobile application to receive a theatrical makeover with Angry Birds taking wing to a generally favorable audience turnout.

The idea of adaptation has become a significantly broader practice in the film industry. In fact, last Oscar season I pondered whether or not the Academy would ever consider nominating something like the CGI Peanuts movie for the Best Adapted Screenplay award as it was adapted, of course, from a comic strip.

But I could ask even more outrageous questions: Could The Lego Movie be nominated for that same category since it was adapted from a toy franchise. I’ll ask the same question again this year regarding the upcoming Trolls film.

If a truly great movie does surface from a project like the aforementioned attempts, then the questions I’ve asked might be taken a bit more seriously.

To date, all the winners in the category have been adapted from the likes of books, other films, plays, and articles; perfectly logical fodder for the idea. However, the category only requires that the screenplay be adapted for another source.

With this in mind, it’s only a matter of time before films like these increase in quality and the Academy begins to consider them for the category. Perhaps Fassbender’s upcoming project Assassin’s Creed.

As for Fruit Ninja? It’s doubtful that you’ll see a movie that has any Oscar chops. Like the Angry Birds effort, it will probably simply bill itself as a warm, fun family film. With producer Tripp Vinson (San Andreas) and writers J.P. Lavin and Chad Damiani (Twist) it’s uncertain how well it will fare and what kind of directorial and voice talents the project will attract.

Above all else, the purchase expands an already growing trend: the adaption of popular enterprises other than books and the occasional article or film.