It’s always nice to meet someone in the entertainment industry with a real reverence for the games, comics and the assorted geekery I hold near and dear to my heart — and former 20th Century Fox exec (and occasional comics writer) Jeff Katz is exactly that sort of person.
I recently had the opportunity to chat with Katz, who returned from the set of the upcoming “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” film just a few months ago, and get a few details about the upcoming “Wolverine” game based on the film — as well as how he mixes business with pleasure when it comes to gaming.
“A couple of the Fox execs, myself and a couple of the principals involved [in ’X-Men Origins: Wolverine’], we’re all gamers,” said Katz. “So when it came to the ’Wolverine’ movie game, it was like, ’Let’s do the coolest possible version of an X-Men game.'”
Katz was quick to add that since departing Fox for an as-yet-unnamed venture, he hasn’t seen much of the game, which will be published by Activision — but what he has seen of it has kept with the darker tone of the film.
“Even the game itself, from everything I’ve seen and been told about it, is going to be slightly harder-edged than the X-Men games that have come before — which fits the tone of the movie,” explained Katz, adding that he believes the plan is to release the game in all of the major platforms, with the Wii version receiving a few family-friendly tweaks.
Given the game’s multiplatform availability, I had to ask Katz (who also served as an exec for game-savvy studio New Line Cinema prior to Fox) what platform he expected to play it on. His response was as close to instantaneous as you can get — and shed some light on the very-appropriate way in which plans for one of the gaming world’s most-anticipated films were set in motion.
“I do business on Xbox Live. When I was at New Line, I put the ’Gears of War’ deal together for the movie over Xbox Live,” said Katz. “It’s been good to me, so I’m loyal to it.”
Pressed for a bit more behind-the-scenes info on the “Gears of War” movie deal, Katz said his gaming experience made the movie appeal of “Gears” one of the most obvious options in his eight-plus years at the studio.
“As a gamer, you just knew what ’Gears of War’ was going to be,” said Katz. “It was a no-brainer.”
Thanks to Rick for the guest-post. See more of his comics-based-movies blogging at MTV’s Splash Page blog.