Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are one of the best comedy writing and directing teams in Hollywood for many good reasons. Here are a few: Superbad, Pineapple Express, and This is the End. I even have a soft spot in my heart (which several doctors have told me could become a health problem over time) for The Green Hornet, and I’m even willing to forgive them for The Watch. These guys may make the occasional misstep, but when they come back they do so with CGI demon genitalia swinging and stoner jokes erupting from every unplugged orifice.
Since This is the End was loved and laughed at (for all of the right reasons) by many last year, the boys are smoking hot again and piling new film and television development projects on their plate like they’re hitting a Golden Corral after a morning of getting righteously baked. Some of these may never see the light of a movie screen, but one that I personally hope does is their adaptation of Blake J. Harris‘ forthcoming book Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation. Rogen and Goldberg have signed on to write and direct the film, with Oscar-winning powerhouse Scott Rudin on board to produce.
Here’s the synopsis of the soon-to-be-published book for anyone who might think this might be another bout of light-hearted comedy fare for the duo:
Following the success of The Accidental Billionaires and Moneyball comes Console Warsâ€”a mesmerizing, behind-the-scenes business thriller that chronicles how Sega, a small, scrappy gaming company led by an unlikely visionary and a team of rebels, took on the juggernaut Nintendo and revolutionized the video game industry.
In 1990, Nintendo had a virtual monopoly on the video game industry. Sega, on the other hand, was just a faltering arcade company with big aspirations and even bigger personalities. But that would all change with the arrival of Tom Kalinske, a man who knew nothing about videogames and everything about fighting uphill battles. His unconventional tactics, combined with the blood, sweat and bold ideas of his renegade employees, transformed Sega and eventually led to a ruthless David-and-Goliath showdown with rival Nintendo.
The battle was vicious, relentless, and highly profitable, eventually sparking a global corporate war that would be fought on several fronts: from living rooms and schoolyards to boardrooms and Congress. It was a once-in-a-lifetime, no-holds-barred conflict that pitted brother against brother, kid against adult, Sonic against Mario, and the US against Japan.
Based on over two hundred interviews with former Sega and Nintendo employees, Console Wars is the underdog tale of how Kalinske miraculously turned an industry punchline into a market leader. Itâ€™s the story of how a humble family man, with an extraordinary imagination and a gift for turning problems into competitive advantages, inspired a team of underdogs to slay a giant and, as a result, birth a $60 billion dollar industry.
It sounds like Rogen and Goldberg are looking to take their filmmaking game to a higher level (no pun intended) by making a serious feature more in the vein of The Social Network (which Rudin also produced) than anything they have done up until now. The video gaming industry continues to grow competitive with the passing of each year with Sony and Microsoft now dominating the market with their respective increasingly advanced Playstation and XBox platforms. I myself could go on for at least five thousand words in regards to my own history with video game systems dating back to my years as a child of the Atari generation.
If the book provides ample excuses for scenes where guys hang out and hold rambling, profane conversations (something Kevin Smith used to excel at), then Rogen and Goldberg will already be in their comfort zone. Console Wars will find them exploring much darker territory as storytellers in the form of the cutthroat gaming business, but the duo has proven to be at the top of their game when it comes to finding unexpected humor in complicated relationships. They could very well turn this story into a modern day epic, if it gets made.
Console Wars will hit bookstores in hardcover on May 13, 2014. Rogen and Goldberg’s next directorial effort, The Interview, which stars Rogen and James Franco, is set to open in theaters on October 10, 2014. They also have the R-rated animated comedy Sausage Party and an television series adaptation of the classic Vertigo Comics series Preacher for AMC in the works for the near future.