I Have Seen Hell, And It Is Epic Thinking About A Fortnite Movie

I Have Seen Hell, And It Is Epic Thinking About A Fortnite Movie
Image: Epic Games

“Epic Games is considering launching an entertainment division focused on scripted video programming”. Funny how a sentence can feel both so absurd and yet so inevitable at the same time.

A report on The Information claims that Epic, flush with Fortnite money and not entirely knowing how to spend it beyond video games, are looking at getting into video content. And that one of the first projects discussed is “a feature film based on Fortnite”.

I know, Fortnite launched as a game that had its own “story”. And that as its battle royale mode grew, it too developed its own “story”. But come on, we both know what a Fortnite movie would look like, and it wouldn’t be a low-budget horror flick about a group of friends banding together to kill zombies.

Fortnite as it exists in 2021 is a hyper-capitalist melting pot of intellectual property, where things people remember from their childhoods do battle against things people have seen in advertisements. It is, as I’ve already described it, Ready Player One without the literary aspirations. It is Space Jam 3, finally free of its basketballing obligations. It is this:

There is not a single possible timeline where a Fortnite movie is not an exercise in the further diminishment of the motion picture, one more experiment in seeing how effective two-hour commercials can be. And yet if you survey those timelines, it’s also impossible seeing one where this movie doesn’t get made. Doesn’t tease itself agonisingly in its own game, promoted breathlessly by Travis Scott as he wears a K-Pop band’s tshirt and throws a football to Iron Man — wearing a Chiefs jersey — who then dunks it into a basketball ring that transforms into a McNugget.

This is what sucks about Epic, and Fortnite, and the way cinema and popular culture are intersecting in the 21st century. We’re going to get the thing their shareholders want, instead of the something that might actually be cool. And by cool I mean I would much rather see Epic spend the cash on Facing Worlds, an anime series based on Unreal Tournament instead.

Comments

  • What a bitter, shitty and yet unsurprising take from Luke.
    I guess it is showing how the opposite of the “hypercapitalist” description you can label fortnite with is “fun”. Really highlights the mindsets.

    Luke hasn’t really done his research (unsurprising) but Fortnite does have its own story going on behind the collabs and the shooting. A story slowly metered out over each season, or in spinoff media (there’s a comic out at the moment about Batman having been pulled into this world that resets constantly (ie, every time you start a new round of Battle Royale) and him trying to figure out how to escape). I don’t know how exactly you’d turn that story into a movie, or at least just one movie, but I am the unimaginative sort. And yeah, there would be lots of cameos, but if you are that shit up in that dreadful Ready Player One you could tolerate it in a Fortnite movie.

    • “there’s a comic out at the moment about Batman having been pulled into this world that resets constantly (ie, every time you start a new round of Battle Royale”

      So…… Ground Hog Day? I mean, that could be a way to make a BR game like Fortnight into a movie. You give it this Ground Hog day premise, where everyone knows they’re in a time loop, and over time, after killing and being killed, and then restarting over and over again, some mental breakdown, others enjoy the killing without consequence, and so on.

      One of them knows what’s happening though, and is in on the ‘game’ being played, to the point where it seems like their personality changes every now and then, and there’s a reason for that. That ‘person is more than one person. Not in the multi-personality senses, but in the literal sense that this one person in the game is more than one person OUTSIDE the game.

      Someone gets suss, works out that the person knows things they should not. Starts questioning them. Trying to work out why and how they know. This goes on for a few loops.

      There would be a lot to fill in to make it a good movie, but the twist is that they were all prisoners, GAMER style, and volunteered for this. HOWEVER, part of it was their memory was adjusted, not completely erased, but screwed with enough to make them not remember how or why they were there. And the twist at the end of the twist? It’s a Full Dive VR system. And they’re all stuck, except for one spot. The person who keeps changing personalities. They’re a group of scientists experimenting with immoral ideas…. or something. Am sure someone can come up with something better. lol

      • I mean Batman Fortnite/stuck in a time loop plays out similarly to Edge Of Tomorrow*all you need is kill/that new Who Silence season in a lot of ways. Of course Batman is going to leave himself clues…

        But there’s a lot more story to Fortnite than that. Either way there’s a whole lot more going on than say, Angry Birds , and that movie didn’t open the gates to Hell.

        Each to their own, but hey – he got a response didn’t he? Mission Accomplished/Achievement Unlocked etc.

  • Hey I don’t like the game personally but even I can see that if done right it’s the perfect way to make use of the brand.
    If they don’t take themselves seriously and make clever use of everything surrounding the game it just might be a hit.
    (But not a classic)

  • “There is not a single possible timeline where a Fortnite movie is not an exercise in the further diminishment of the motion picture, one more experiment in seeing how effective two-hour commercials can be. ”

    Luke, lukeeey. Hear me out, alright.

    What if, now this is going to sound REALLY radical, but what if we got all these superheroes – you still with me? What if we got all these superheroes together, and put them into one movie. Call it The Revengers or whatever. It’ll sell gangbusters!

    Modern post-Iron Man superhero movies have already diminished the motion picture as art, how much worse can it get from here?

  • I am no fan of Fortnite but I fail to see why Luke has sand in his vagina about a Fortnite movie being made. Did he feel this way when Mortal Kombat, which started as a video game, was turned into a movie? What about Street Fighter? The list is long of IP’s that started off outside of movies and then is later turned into movies and that is before you actually include books turned into movies. Bottom line – Fortnite has a huge fan base so if Epic feels the need to make a movie for them to make more money and if they are lucky, hook some non-Fortnite players into playing, then more power to them. I won’t be watching it as I don’t care for Fortnite but I don’t begrudge anyone who is and wants to watch the movie when it is made.

  • I think it could be done, but it’d need to be handled people who understood the absurdity of the task, but were willing to run with it. I think Phil Lord and Chris Miller could make it work – it’s not that different a premise to the LEGO movie, after all.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!