Company of Heroes is now not only a game, but also a movie, apparently. The direct-to-DVD (well, Blu-Ray too) adaptation of Relic‘s highly successful strategy game series will feature the talents of Tom Sizemore (Black Hawk Down, Pearl Harbor, Saving Private Ryan), Neal McDonough (Captain America: The First Avenger, Band of Brothers) and Jürgen Prochnow (Das Boot, Da Vinci Code), among others.
The plot? Well, the plot sounds a bit like something straight out of the Wolfenstein series, rather than Company of Heroes. During the Battle of the Bulge, an American company stumbles upon intel suggesting that Adolf Hitler is developing (as usual) a super bomb. Against (as usual) impossible odds, the Americans perform a raid into the heart of Germany (as usual), to capture the scientist in charge of the project (as part of the usual Allied secret mission).
The movie currently has a trailer available and a couple of stills on the official Facebook page.
There is hope that it won’t be just another knockoff World War II movie, however. The screenplay is penned by Paul De Meo and Danny Bilson, known to afficionados of science fiction movies as the writers behind Trancers and Zone Troopers (presently regarded as “cult” movies) in the mid-1980s and The Rocketeer (film adaptation of a comic book under the same title). Their most recent work includes Red Faction: Origins, a television movie basing on Red Faction: Guerilla. Although only acceptable overall, the quality of writing was one of its stronger sides.
The latter’s name might have rung a bell. Danny Bilson was the Executive Vice President for Core Games at THQ, who departed the company in May, 2012. It’s under his tenure that THQ adopted a “Less is More” strategy, publishing fewer games, but of higher quality. During his time as VP, THQ published several well received (both by critics and gamers) titles: Darksiders, Metro 2033, Homefront, Saints Row: The Third and Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine. Development for other titles started as well, including South Park: The Stick of Truth and Company of Heroes 2. As a game writer, he was responsible for (together with Paul De Meo and Bruce Feirstein) 007: Nightfire and 007: Everything or Nothing, both of which were received positive response from critics and gamers. If you want to know more about his time at THQ, we happen to have an interview with Mr Bilson.
It’s hard to say anything concrete about Don Michael Paul, the movie’s director. So far he has directed a total of four movies, one of which is average (The Garden, 2006), two are horrible, but enjoyable (Half Past Dead with Steven Seagal from 2002 and Who’s Your Caddy? from 2007) and the last is the mediocre Lake Placid: The Final Chapter. It’s not known if Company of Heroes is going to be better.
Author’s note: The costumes seem faithful and accurate to the historical period, as do the weapons and environments. Judging by the trailer and the released material, it looks decent, for a direct-to-DVD movie. Except for the tanks, that is:
It’s understandable that the budget is limited, but a little more effort could have been put into making them, beyond putting sheet metal on a T-34’s turret and calling it a day. Kelly’s Heroes also featured T-34s as Tigers, but customized to the point that the original was only recognizable to fans of armored warfare: