Today in the Rundown, we catch the latest news on the live-action Pokémon movie, have some good news for fans of virtual reality multiplayer, find out how the Assassin’s Creed franchise is entering the world of VR, have some eye-popping news about The Walking Dead, get even gorier with a look at the new movie The Belko Experiment, and finally, intercept the latest intel on the future of the Battlefield and Battlefront franchises!
A director has been found for Hollywood’s big screen Pokémon movie. The film based on the iconic video game franchise will be helmed by filmmaker Rob Letterman, who last directed the Goosebumps movie, and has also helmed animated films like Monsters vs. Aliens and Shark Tale. Letterman’s experience bringing animated characters to life will come in handy; the Pokémon movie will be a combination of live-action and animation, with real actors interacting with computer animated Pokémon. The story isn’t based on any of the main Pokémon games like the new Sun and Moon. It’s instead based on the recent game Detective Pikachu, which tells the story of a cute little talking Pikachu who joins forces with a human boy to solve crimes. Although there have been many animated Pokémon movies from Japan, this will be the first one made by an American studio, so hopefully it doesn’t disappoint. It will hit theatres in 2018.
Ubisoft wants to bring all the VR players of the world together. With their new VR games Eagle Flight, Werewolves Within, and Star Trek: Bridge Crew being built for multiple VR headsets, Ubisoft has revealed that all three games will support cross-platform multiplayer. Starting now, Eagle Flight allows owners of the competing Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR headsets to play together online, with Werewolves Within and Star Trek: Bridge Crew getting cross-platform support when they launch. Ubisoft says that cross-platform multiplayer was a goal of theirs from the start because all of their VR titles have a strong emphasis on multiplayer, and cross-platform is the best way to ensure that they have a thriving online community. Of course, this same logic could be applied to regular, non-VR games, so hopefully Sony and Microsoft are listening. Werewolves Within will take a bite out of players on December 6, with Star Trek: Bridge Crew beaming down on March 14.
That’s not the only Ubisoft-related VR news. To promote the upcoming Assassin’s Creed movie, Twentieth Century Fox has launched Assassin’s Creed: The VR Experience. It puts users inside the world from the film, allowing them to watch a medieval battle unfold right in front of their eyes. It’s available now on the Oculus Rift, and will also be coming to select theatres alongside the film, which arrives December 21. Hopefully this won’t be the last Assassin’s Creed VR experience. Ubisoft hasn’t said when the next game in the franchise will arrive, but some kind of VR support would be pretty cool.
The most hated new character on The Walking Dead won’t be getting killed off anytime soon. Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays the new villain Negan, has revealed that he’ll be back for Season Eight. Speaking on the Howard Stern Show, Morgan says that his character will have a bigger presence in the remainder for Season Seven, and he’s already on board to return next year. This might be a bit of a disappointment for some Walking Dead fans, given that Negan is the kind of villain that many people love to hate. The good news is that AMC has already promised that The Walking Dead will be around for many years to come, so there’s plenty of time for the character to get his comeuppance. Season Seven is scheduled to end in Early 2017, with Season Eight starting next fall.
Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn is getting back in touch with his horror roots. Take a look at the first trailer for The Belko Experiment, written and produced by James Gunn and helmed by Wolf Creek director Greg McLean. It’s not as family friendly as Guardians of the Galaxy. The story takes place inside a futuristic “smart” office building where everything is controlled by a central computer. Unfortunately for the people working inside, something goes wrong and they all become subjects in a sinister experiment, where one half is forced to kill the other, or else they all die. Sounds like a bad case of the mondays. This seems just like the kind of b-movies that James Gunn used to make before going big with Guardians, and it’s got many of the same actors that he’s worked with before. The Belko Experiment will bring the blood and gore to theatres on March 17.
Don’t expect to be playing a new Battlefield game anytime soon. Electronic Arts is going to take a temporary leave of absence from their popular military shooter series. That’s according to EA’s Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen, who tells investors that they won’t have another Battlefield game for a couple of years. They’ve been releasing new Battlefield games on a pretty regular basis; the new Battlefield 1 was released in October, with the last game, Battlefield Hardline, having just been released last year. Taking a year or two off will make it less easy for gamers to get burnt out on the franchise, something that EA’s rival Activision apparently isn’t afraid of doing with Call of Duty. Because they’re taking a break from the Battlefield series, developer DICE is focusing their efforts on the next Battlefront game, which is due out next year. Jorgensen says that they’ve taken the criticism from the first game to heart, which hopefully means that the new game will have a robust single player experience. We’ll have more intel on that as it develops.