At this point I think we’re all familiar with the documentary The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters. Most of us have either heard about the 2007 documentary that chronicled the battle to become the Donkey Kong champ or we’ve watched the film countless times. I’ll admit to watching The King of Kong every couple of months with the last time being earlier this year before I saw Steve Wiebe try to reclaim the #1 spot again.
The King of Kong is highly regarded within the circles of gamers since it’s one of the few video game documentaries out there that is actually good. Despite never catching on with the mainstream public in a huge way, the King of Kong has garnered a cult following of sorts which led to film company New Line Cinema acquiring the film rights of the movie in 2008. The plan at the time was to do a retelling of the King of Kong except it would be a straight up drama with actors assuming the roles of Steve Wiebe and Billy Mitchell. The tough task of doing a proper retelling of the King of Kong was a tall order not only because of having to replicate Billy Mitchell’s hair but because how do you approach the subject matter of becoming a Donkey Kong champ without it being too silly or taken too seriously?
Since New Line acquired the rights to do a King of Kong film we haven’t heard too much about the project and it was assumed New Line Cinema owner Warner Brothers put the kibosh on the project. All may not be lost for the King of Kong remake as Seth Gordon (the chap that directed the documentary) has given us a new update on the project. Apparently there’s still some desire to do a King of Kong film since Seth Gordon is still involved in the project and revealed that the latest approach being considered for the film is going the mockumentary route. For those out there that may be wondering what the hell the mockumentary is, it’s basically when a plot for the film involves a documentary being made but it’s presented in a comedic fashion. If you’re one of the many people who has watched the TV show The Office (either the UK or American versions) that’s what a mockumentary is.
“There’s a few different avenues [the film can take]. I’ve done some work on ‘Modern Family’ and ‘The Office’ and have worked in this doc style, and so that inspired me to say, instead of doing a traditional narrative feature script, what if we did the remake in the doc style? What doors what that open? What opportunities? What additional story could we tell? And that’s essentially the approach we took,” said Seth Gordon in an interview with The Playlist. I’m still a bit unsure whether a remake of the King of Kong needs to happen since the documentary is so damn good, but going the mockumentary route may be the best thing to do. While I’m afraid that there may be too many easy opportunities to make some easy gamer geek jokes that the mainstream audiences will chuckle at, the mockuemtnary format may allow the film to have a bit of levity too it instead of being an overly serious drama or a straight out slapstick comedy.
This small update on the King of Kong remake still doesn’t guarantee we’ll ever see the movie happen and considering its been four years since the film was released, I don’t know if New Line Cinema still has this project as major priority for them. In one way it would be interesting to see a remake happen since we hardly see any films tackle the video game subject matter outside of dreaded film adaptation of popular games. But how the hell is an actor going to be cast that can live up to the beautiful mane of Billy Mitchell?