Updates on Duke Nuke’em, McGee’s Alice, and Max Payne 2

Think of movie producer Scott Faye as the opposite of Uwe Boll — a man who likes videogames, likes making movies out of them, but whereas Uwe Boll’s videogame movies tend to, er, suck donkey balls, Faye seems to know how to make the best videogame movie he can. Or at least, he talks a mighty good game. In an interview with gaming site Kotaku, former Dark Horse comic book publisher Faye updates the masses on the long-delayed “Alice McGee” movie (it’s still happening), a possible movie version of the Duke Nuke’Em videogame (the strippers are coming too, right?), and a possible sequel to “Max Payne” (if the first one is a hit, that is).

About the possible “Max Payne” sequel:

“What more do you need to hear than Mark say he’d be interested in doing a sequel,” said Faye. “I would imagine if the film is successful that there’d be a sincere desire to do a sequel. There have been no conversations about what the scenario would be, or whether we’d look at the Max Payne 2 game. Hopefully, this film will find an audience.”

No big surprise here. Producers and stars of a movie that has the potential to spawn a franchise always floats the sequel idea before the movie even comes out, mostly to gauge reactions. But as Faye said, the box office numbers of “Max Payne” will be the ultimate indicator of whether they can justify paying Moore and Wahlberg to come back, because sequels always cost them more, budget and star salary wise.

On the status of “American McGee’s Alice”, which was originally supposed to star Buffy’s Sarah Michelle Gellar but has had a pretty troubled move towards production. Also, rumors floated that former Lost star Maggie Grace had replaced SMG in the starring role, although SMG later said that was news to her, and she still planned to star. Not so much, according to Faye.

Faye said the story is being reworked and Gellar is no longer involved. Director Marcus Nispel (Friday the 13th) is also no longer attached. A new script is in development by original Alice scribes Jon and Erich Hoeberand and a new studio is expected to be announced in the future.

“I love the grown up Alice in a horror story version of Wonderland, and knew instinctively that the project would have a commercial appeal easily discerned by the film studios because the character and mythology are so deeply ingrained into the collective psyche,” said Faye.

Not a big surprise there. When a movie gestates in pre-production as long as “Alice” has (the film was originally set to begin production over a year ago), cast and crew are always the first to go.

But let’s get to the really good news: Faye is eyeballing a movie version of the popular Duke Nuke’em game. It’s been ages since I played Duke, mostly because it’s been ages since the last Duke game, “Duke Nuke’em Forever” came out, and although a next generation version was said to be coming out soon … well, it hasn’t.

“I’m working diligently at making a Duke Nukem movie scenario that will live up to the character and its import in the videogame world,” said Faye. “As is the case with all of my game adaptations, I’d rather not make the movie than make a poor adaptation.

“With the two new games coming out based on Duke Nukem, I’m working at establishing a Duke film scenario that will compel a studio to finance a feature version,” said Faye. “Certainly, there’s a large audience that knows and loves this character.”

Faye said he’s still actively developing the story and he will not shop the film in Hollywood until all the people involved in the project feel solid about where we are creatively.

“More than ever before, I feel that the feature adaptation of Duke Nukem will come to together nicely…”

Sounds like the man’s got his ducks all in a row, as the saying goes. Maybe he’ll finally bring some respect to the videogame-to-movie genre. God knows the previous guy hasn’t exactly done it any favors.

Below: Duke’s undying love for strippers was often his undoing in the games.

Duke Nukem Stripper