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Francis Ford Coppola Launches an ‘Apocalypse Now’ Video Game Through Kickstarter

Apocalypse Now
United Artists

Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now is one of the defining works of cinema of the 1970s. And in the very near future, you could play it as a video game.

That’s because Coppola and a team of game developers have launched a Kickstarter for Apocalypse Now – The Game. The page describes the project as “an interactive recreation of Willard’s journey, as seen through a survival horror lens in which players with limited resources face unspeakable terrors” and its stated goal is “to immerse you in a tale of drama, magic, and horror” of the original film. (-500 points to whoever wrote that line for not ending that sentence with “… the horror.”)

Here is Coppola’s statement (via Deadline) on the news:

“Forty years ago, I set out to make a personal art picture that could hopefully influence generations of viewers for years to come. Today, I’m joined by new daredevils, a team who want to make an interactive version of Apocalypse Now, where you are Captain Benjamin Willard amidst the harsh backdrop of the Vietnam War. I’ve been watching video games grow into a meaningful way to tell stories, and I’m excited to explore the possibilities for Apocalypse Now for a new platform and a new generation.”

Although he’s in his late 70s, Coppola has shown a willingness to experiment and a curiosity in digital media and new art forms that rivals or exceeds many of his younger peers. Back at San Diego Comic-Con a few years ago, he presented an audacious plan to “remix” his movie Twixt live, by touring with the film and recutting it on the fly on his iPad each night. The tour never panned out, but it showed that Coppola had never lost the same spirit of innovation that made him one of the most important filmmakers of the New Hollywood era.

Now, in that same vein, he’s taking to Kickstarter to turn one of his masterpieces into a game. The original text doesn’t seem to lend itself to a traditional war game, but by doing this thing independently (the same way Coppola made many of his best movies) he and his collaborators could have the creative freedom to do something really interesting. Rewards include a digital copy of the finished game, artbooks, flasks, ponchos, and access to the beta, all the way up to a massive package of goodies that includes an actual prop from Apocalypse Now (described as “physical & large”) for $10,000.

The project goal is $900,000; as of this writing, it’s received a little over $6,000 in donations, but there’s still almost an entire month to go in the campaign.

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