SXSW 2011: 'The Boondock Saints' Director Exploring Video Game for Cult Franchise
The Boondock Saints director Troy Duffy was in Austin this week to connect with his fans at SXSW. After releasing two movies theatrically, the next step for the franchise would be to enter the video game space.
“We’re thinking of making a video game out of Boondock and I went and listened to these guys pitch me the game and they had already done some programming,” said Duffy. “They had already built part of the game and I got to play it.”
Duffy said the game industry has come very far from his own days as a gamer, back when he was playing TRON at the arcade.
Duffy was playing the new Yoostar 2: In the Movies game, which featured two exclusive scenes from The Boondock Saints for fans to interact in.
“Gamers are so far removed from what I know that I wouldn’t even know how the hell to play them,” said Duffy. “The demo the developer put together for Boondock seems like real-time…realistic action. You’re looking at real characters…you can see sweat on their brows. The technology is out of this world.”
When it comes to a video game version of the film franchise, the two things that are most important for Duffy is to maintain the gritty and rough look for the game world’s environments and to allow fans be able to play as any of their favorite characters.
“The Boondock fan base wants to have a beer with the MacManus brothers and then pick up a weapon and fight,” said Duffy. “With a video game you can increase that kind of intimacy, where they can actually be the brothers and hang out and do some shooting and have some fun. That communal aspect of the game is very important to me.”
Back in January of 2000, filmmaker Duffy released The Boondock Saints, an independent movie starring Willem Dafoe, Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus, Billy Connolly, and David Della Rocco. The NC-17 film generated about $30,000 at the box office, but once the movie hit home video, a cult gathering followed.
The director was able to assemble most of the original cast and complement them with new actors like Peter Fonda, Brian Mahoney and Julie Benz for the 2009 sequel, The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day. The R-rated sequel earned over $30 million at the box office.
“Video games are a way not only to expand beyond what you see in the movies as far as story and characters, but they’re a new way for your fan base to commune with one another and get even deeper into the whole brand,” said Duffy. “There are gamers now playing multiplayer games together online from different states in the same game world.”
Duffy said it’d be at least a year before The Boondock Saints go virtual in any game, once he makes the decision to expand the franchise in that direction. He already has one actor on board.
“I think this game’s a great idea,” said Della Rocco, who played Rocco in both films. “It seems like they make a lot of games out of movies, including older films like Scarface.”