Driven by the myths which have enchanted humans since ancient times, the PlayStation game God Of War has all the scope for a thrilling feature film.
Indeed, the addictive blend of traditional storytelling with strikingly ambitious visuals has led many gamers to long for a live-action film; with the cast of gods and heroes brought to life through Hollywood’s finest acting talent.
One particular casting question mark hovers above the character of Kratos, the Spartan warrior and demigod son of Zeus. A brutal yet nuanced anti-hero, the chosen actor would have to channel immense strength and leadership while remaining surprisingly relatable.
It would also be important that the actor looks the part; ensuring we believe they are capable of wielding a magical axe while taking on the might of the Norse gods. Who on Earth or Mount Olympus could this individual be?
Speaking with Comicbook, Pacific Rim Uprising director Steven DeKnight spoke of his discussions with Sony about a potential R-rated film adaptation of God Of War.
DeKnight also revealed how his ‘immediate’ first choice for the part of Kratos would be the 6’6″ Marvel legend and four-time WWE World Heavyweight champ Dave Bautista:
I’ve always been a fan of God of War. I think the latest game was just so beautiful and phenomenal. I would love to tackle a God of War movie or I would love to see somebody put that up on the big screen. Somebody asked me, ‘Well, who would you have to have Kratos?’
And immediately for me: Dave Bautista would be the man. I think he can do anything. You can do drama, real emotion, humor, action. What would I like to see from a movie like that? A bit of a tricky question because there hasn’t really been 100% success of translating a video game to a movie. It’s a very, very tricky process.
DeKnight went on to explain how he would approach the filmmaking process:
I had some early conversations with the good people at Sony PlayStation about it and my biggest thing is, look, you gotta approach it like a book. Approach it like adapting Jaws. For people who’ve read Jaws, the movie is very different but they’re both fantastic.
So you have to be able to take the source material and make it work as a movie. Which means a lot of times you’ve got to change things, which is very dicey obviously because you don’t want alienate video game fans, but you have to make a film that works within the context of a movie by itself. Very difficult. I would love to tackle it.
Interestingly, video game designer David Jaffe took inspiration from Edward Norton’s performance in American History X when figuring out how Kratos would look.
As reported by Playstation Lifestyle back in 2010, Jaffe explained:
It took a long time to figure out what Kratos would look like, and ultimately we took inspiration form Edward Norton in American History X, when he played a Nazi.
There’s this scene in which the cops arrest him and you just see how buffed and built he’s gotten. I showed that to the artist and I said, ‘Okay, that sense of power and aggression that you just see in his face, can we somehow take that, the essence of what he’s exuding, and somehow turn that into a character that fits into this Greek mythology world?’
— godofwar.ok (@godofwar_ok) October 30, 2018
Do you reckon Dave Bautista would be a good choice?
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.