His first video game may have missed its intended holiday-season release date, but fashion impresario Marc Ecko has new reason to be excited about his interactive graffiti opus "Getting Up."
MTV Films announced Thursday (December 8) that it has acquired the feature-film rights to Ecko's game and that Ecko will serve as a producer. No cast, crew or release dates are set yet for what will be MTV Films' first foray into the sometimes-treacherous waters of video-game-based movies.
The film division's slate has included "Jackass: The Movie," "The Longest Yard," "Hustle & Flow" and "Napoleon Dynamite." Now it will face the challenge of trying to succeed with video games where previous companies adapting games from "Street Fighter" to "Doom" have struggled creatively and commercially.
The game tells the story of Trane, an aspiring graffiti artist who learns the notorious street art and slowly gains the political consciousness to use it to fight the oppressive authorities of his city, New Radius. In the game, Trane is voiced by Talib Kweli. Diddy, Adam West and Rosario Dawson are also among the game's deep list of celebrity voice talent (see "P. Diddy Flips Out, RZA Promotes Graffiti In 'Getting' Game").
Earlier this summer Ecko told MTV News that "Getting Up" has been percolating in his mind since the mid-'90s when he wrote the script for a planned graffiti-adventure trilogy. At the time, he said, he was $6 million in debt (see "Designer Marc Ecko Says Graffiti Game Mixes 'Star Wars,' 'Style Wars' ").
The video game version, which is being developed by the Collective, is expected to hit stores in February for PS2, Xbox and PC. It has drawn fire from critics, including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who see it as the glorification of an illegal activity.
This summer, Ecko already had a defense ready for his critics: "I'm not condoning you go out and ruin property," he said. "That's not what this is about. Any cynic that's going to try to just hate on it for that reason needs to dig just three inches deeper and understand the story, immerse yourself in the story and learn about Trane and where his head is really at. He's just trying to flip the script on the system."