Exclusive: Ruben Fleischer on Why He Wants to Direct Spy Hunter

Video game movies have gotten a bad rap in recent years, some of them deservedly so, but few video games have had a more difficult time being brought to the big screen than Bally Midway’s 1983 arcade game Spy Hunter, which at one point Universal Pictures was trying to turn into a movie with the likes of directors John Woo and Paul W.S. Anderson and screenwriters Michael Brandt and Derek Haas, Zak Penn and Stuart Beattie all trying their hand but then giving up for one reason or another.

Undaunted by Universal’s failure, Warner Bros. and Lin Pictures decided to give it one more go at turning the popular scrolling driving game into a big screen franchise, as well as rebooting the series for modern handheld consoles. Back in September, it was reported that director Ruben Fleischer of Zombieland and the upcoming Gangster Squad was interested in helming it.

As luck would have it, ComingSoon.net was on the phone with Fleischer earlier today to talk about his gangster action-thriller and we asked him what got him interested in taking on a challenging project like Spy Hunter that so many others have tried to do before him.

Here’s what he told us:

“We’ll see what happens. If I can make any movie, it would be a James Bond movie. I’ve always loved the genre but I don’t think they’ll hire an American to direct a James Bond movie, I’ve been told, so for me, ‘Spy Hunter’ is an opportunity to create a new spy franchise. It sounds silly but that was my favorite video game when I was a kid and it had a great title and a great theme song, but there’s no real other associations that people have with it other than a cool car, so I feel like there’s a lot of room for us to invent a new character and a new series. I think just the Spy Hunter that is the most bad-ass spy who hunts down rogue spies is a really cool launch pad for an idea and I hope that we can bring it to life.”

If you’re a fan of the “Spy Hunter” video games, either vintage or current, are you interested in seeing what they can do with it on the big screen? Would Fleischer’s involvement give you higher hopes for this movie happening?

Look for our full interview with Ruben Fleischer before Gangster Squad is released on January 11, 2013

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