Oh, hey, do you hear that? That sort of scrrrtch sound, way off in the distance? Kind of like a knife being desperately applied to wood by the creatively bankrupt?
That’s right, folks: It’s the sound of the bottom of the barrel being well and truly scraped, as THR reports that Legendary Entertainment and Cobra Kai creators Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg are teaming up to make a movie based on abandoned ’90s video game icon Duke Nukem. The film rights to Duke’s “character” have been licensed from game studio Gearbox Software, which is also responsible for that Eli Roth-directed Borderlands movie we’re also feeling none too cheerful about.
For the unfamiliar—i.e., anybody born after, like, 1995—Duke Nukem was once one of the premiere names in the then-newborn first-person shooter genre. Created by 3D Realms, the Nukem games reached their apogee (see what we did there?) with 1996's Duke Nukem 3D, a game which did two things exceptionally well: Revamping the fast-paced combat of id Software’s Doom games with innovative map designs, exciting new weapons, and revolutionary multiplayer support; and including lots of bits where the titular Duke said naughty words, ripped off lines from old movies, and tossed cash at pixelated strippers on behalf of the most desperate of video game masturbators.
Of course, plenty of game franchises have begun with more retrograde philosophies before updating themselves for more modern tastes; Duke Nukem ain’t one of them, though, something on full display when 3D’s massively-delayed, infamously busted, and deliberately throwback sequel Duke Nukem Forever came out in 2011. The game was so poorly received, and so horrifically delayed, that it killed the character outright; the Duke brand has been dead for more than a decade at this point, kept alive only in the memories of the terminally nostalgic.
Until, again, today, when THR revealed that the Cobra Kai guys are apparently very excited to make a movie centered around gaming’s least relevant hero. (Amazingly, this isn’t the first time plans like this have been floated in a post DNF world; Paramount was trying to get something similar off the ground with John Cena in the starring role a few years back.) A search for a writer and director capable of doing Duke’s largely piss-and-fart-based character traits justice is apparently underway. Godspeed, heroes.