There has been talks between Palladium Books and Walt Disney Pictures to have a motion picture based on Rifts developmed under Jerry Bruckheimer. Here are the relevant press releases by Palladium Books.
Rifts® Movie News
For those of you who haven’t heard, Palladium Books has signed an option with Walt Disney Pictures to have Jerry Bruckheimer develop a major motion picture based on our Rifts® role-playing game. Palladium is not at the liberty of saying anything about the movie at this time, but Jerry Bruckheimer, himself, told a Rifts fan in an open forum on the jbfilms.com website that writer, David Franzoni, the man who wrote the screenplay for Gladiator (and I believe won an academy award for it) has been hired to work on the Rifts® Movie script. This came straight from Jerry and is good news indeed.
Rifts® Movie Option Extended
Rifts® movie option extended one year by Walt Disney Pictures.
For those of you who have been living in isolation these past few years, Palladium Books had signed an option with Walt Disney Pictures to have Jerry Bruckheimer Films develop a LIVE action movie based on the Rifts® role-playing game. That option has recently been extended another year.
Jerry Bruckheimer is one of the most influential film and television producers in the world, with such films as Pirates of the Carribean, National Treasure, Top Gun, and The Rock, and TV powerhouse shows including the CSI franchise, Without a Trace and The Amazing Race, among others. Disney is one of the biggest, best brand names in film, ‘nuff said.
Will there be a Rifts Movie? Only time will tell, but we sure hope so. The renewal of the movie option does not mean a movie will ever be made, but it is promising. We’ll keep you posted.
Rifts® Movie News
Before the film industry’s movie strike, Rawson Marshall Thurber was approached to write the Rifts® movie. That means Disney will be renewing the movie option next month for one more year, and when the strike is over, Mr. Thurber will get to work on a treatment and screenplay.
Palladium staffer, Alex Marciniszyn, found an online interview with Rawson Marshall Thurber that really got people excited at the Palladium offices. It turns out Rawson Marshall Thurber, age 32, is a FAN of RIFTS®!
When the interviewer closed the discussion with the question: "Do you have a dream project? Is there another novel out there you'd really like to adapt?"
Rawson said: "I guess, in terms of dream projects, there's a property that Jerry Bruckheimer has that I've loved for a long time. It's a role-playing game called Rifts® that I used to play a lot in junior high school with my friends - that's okay to admit, right? Ladies, line up. Anyhow, it's sort of a post-apocalyptic sci-fi thing that I'd love to get my meat hooks into. We'll see what happens."
Find the full interview here.
“From what I can tell, Rawson Marshall Thurber is a budding, new force in Hollywood,” said Kevin Siembieda. “I can’t help but be excited that he’s a Rifts® fan too. The fact he knows Rifts® as a gamer can only help him capture the look, feel and fun of the RPG. I think this is awesome news.”
Rawson Marshall Thurber’s breakout movie was the comedy, Dodgeball, an Underdog’s Tale. His current film, in post production, is The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (an adaptation of a novel), he’s been tapped by Universal to write and direct the film adaptation of Magnum P.I., is doing a comedy for Dreamworks, and will be working on the Rifts® movie script after the Hollywood writers’ strike is resolved.
A number of friends and fans have asked if Mr. Thurber will be contacting Palladium Books and talking with Rifts® creator, Kevin Siembieda. We don’t know, but Kevin said he would sure welcome the opportunity.
You’ll know more when we know more.
Could Rifts® Movie limbo be coming to an end? We sure hope so. It has been 7 years since we signed the Rifts® movie option and waited to see what comes of it. Longer if you include all the time spent negotiating the deal.
I tried to caution people that Hollywood moves at its own pace and functions in mysterious ways. I also pointed out that 1 in 10,000 movie “options” are ever turned into movies.
I suspect a number of people have given up on a Rifts® movie. While I don’t count on any third party anymore, I take comfort in the fact that Jerry Bruckheimer seems to remain very interested in Rifts®. He could have cut us loose years ago, but hasn’t. I think the brilliant minds at Jerry Bruckheimer Films see the potential of Rifts® and want to do it right. That means finding a screenplay that brings the imagination, ideas, power and content of Rifts® to vivid life. Personally, I’d much rather see JB Films wait or not do the film at all, rather than see Rifts® done badly. We hope 2009 is the year there is movement on the Rifts® movie.
Expansion into new & other mediums As of late, I’ve gotten the impression from a number of people that because Palladium hasn’t talked about it, they think we haven’t been trying to get Rifts® and other Palladium RPG intellectual properties into other mediums. Things like videogames, online games, film, television, animation, comic books, novels, toys and so on.
Truth is we have spent a huge amount of time (perhaps too much) trying to do ALL of the above. We thought we had pulled it off 4-5 times, only to have the deal unravel or the company we were talking with go out of business. In other cases, the company was unable to get necessary financing.
Project X falls into one of those categories. If you had asked me around Thanksgiving time if it was going to happen, I would have told you no. But things change, and as of this moment I’d have to say, maybe. Financing the project has been the problem, but there is new interest and activity in that area. I sure as heck hope so, because Project X will be awesome if it happens.
The business world is a lot more complicated and fragile than you might imagine. Deals aren’t done with a handshake over a friendly business lunch. They involve time, money, attorneys, politics, negotiations, funding, a lot of patience, and a little luck.
FYI: We have tried to get Rifts®, Nightbane® and Beyond the Supernatural™ into other markets, but so far, the deals have never panned out. Just last year, Palladium was contacted by two other filmmakers (one famous, one small) about the availability of the Rifts® property, so there is plenty of interest in Rifts®. There was also some interest in BTS. The trick is making it happen.
I just wanted you to know that Palladium has been busy on that front. Heck, on ALL fronts. We don’t talk about these potential deals, because we don’t want to get your hopes up and dash them over and over again. Trust me, having lived through a truck load of “potential opportunities gone bust,” you do not want to experience these letdowns with us. It is disheartening and frustrating every time one of these exciting deals flops. A Rifts® MMOG – oops, guess not. A Rifts® Anime feature direct to DVD – nope, didn’t pan out. Another opportunity to do a Rifts® MMOG – never mind. A BTS movie – sorry, just inquiring, we lack the financing. A Rifts® video game – sorry, the big boss nixed the idea. Those and many others were among the disappointments you never heard about.
We can’t talk much on this front but here is what we can tell you (excerpted from The Rifter® #47 ):
- JB Films liked Rawson Marshall Thurber’s first draft screenplay. - The Rifts® Movie option has been renewed for one more year. - There have been some rumblings and mumblings, but nothing official to announce. - There is a growing excitement at Palladium Books.
We think JB Films has always wanted to make a Rifts® movie, but film-making is not a simple matter. It takes time – sometimes an excruciating amount of time. Everything has to fall into place just right. There are a lot of money, a lot of people, and a lot of different things to consider and deal with.
Certainly, all of us at Palladium Books would LOVE to see a Rifts® movie – and videogames, and MMOG, and toys, and comic books, and, well, everything you can imagine! Will any of that ever happen for Rifts®? I guess we all have to sit tight and wait and see. Ah, but the dream is still alive.
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