It has been 38 years since Apocalypse Now burst onto the cinema screen, and now Francis Ford Coppola says he wants to revisit the classic in computer game form – and wants you to pay for it.
The renowned auteur, estimated to be worth several hundred million, is trying to raise $900,000 to build the game himself after the game companies he approached refused to fund the project. The player will take on the role of Captain Willard and will have to pass through the jungle to find the elusive Kurtz, but the idea is not to kill everyone and let god sort 'em out, but to stay alive and undiscovered.
"I learned quickly that the major game publishers have modeled themselves after the big Hollywood studios, in that they're driven to make risk-free, formulaic, tent-pole projects that fit easily into a specific genre," he said. "So I wasn't surprised to hear that these companies weren't ready to take on Apocalypse Now in the way we wanted to make it."
The 77-year-old had brought together a team of collaborators from the games industry including Rob Auten, lead designer on Gears of War and Battlefield, and Lawrence Liberty, who produced Fallout: New Vegas and some Dungeons & Dragons titles.
The Kickstarter campaign has already sold out of the cheapest $25 investments, which gets you a copy of the game, and there are packages all the way up to $10,000, which nets you a host of goodies including a "Charlie don't surf" t-shirt and an associate producer credit on the game itself.
If the Kickstarter campaign is very successful, the team promises to extend it. If $2.5m is raised, the game will be ported from the PC to the PlayStation and Xbox, and a $3m budget would also see it adapted for virtual reality.
With funding, the team thinks they can have the game finished by October 2020 – although given the original movie was over a year behind schedule due to difficult on-set conditions (a hurricane and Martin Sheen's mid-filming heart attack) and extensive reediting, that date might slip. ®