"Max Payne" tells the story of a New York cop whose wife and baby are killed by thugs high on a designer drug called Valkyr. Devastated, the cop joins the Drug Enforcement Agency and goes undercover with the mob to find the source of the drug. The game's intricate film noir story, which involves government cover-ups, the Mafia and a city crippled by the century's worst blizzard, is told through comic book-style storyboards.
"I think this is a real actor's part because although the story will have action and intrigue, at its core it's a story about a man who loses everything in life that's dear to him," said Scott Faye, who will produce with Julie Yorn.
"Max Payne," which was the first video game to employ cinematic techniques like slow-motion "bullet time" (popularized in "The Matrix") into its game play, was an instant hit for Finnish game developer Remedy Entertainment and game publisher Gather of Developers.
According to video game tracking firm the NPD Group, "Max Payne", released on PC in July 2001 and later that fall on Xbox and PlayStation 2, sold more than 5 million copies in the U.S. alone. Its sequel, "Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne," which shipped for PC, Xbox and PS2 in fall 2003 from Rockstar Games, sold more than 950,000 copies in the U.S.
Faye said the "Max Payne" movie will focus on the origin of the vigilante character. He said he has wanted to make his own "Dirty Harry"-like movie since he first saw Remedy's game at E3 in 1998. Remedy began creating the game back in 1996.
With "Max Payne," the filmmakers have the luxury of a narrative structure that lends itself to a feature film adaptation, Faye said. "Unlike a novel, video games by nature leave gaps in the story, which allows filmmakers an opportunity to flesh out the story and fill those holes in a meaningful way," he said.
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