According to the Wall Street Journal, Director Brett Ratner, the director behind Tower Heist, said that he would be producing an “animated sitcom” (Read: Cartoon) based on Zynga’s popular Facebook game, Farmville. Let that sink in for a second as I take a moment to gather my thoughts.
I honestly don’t know why Zynga would ever think that a Farmville cartoon is a good idea. It’s a complete 360° turn from news yesterday. The world seemed like it was going to be a better place when I heard that J.J Abrams would be directing a Portal and/or Half-Life movie! It was great! That news made my day. Then Zynga dashes my hopes for a society that is bettered by exposing the masses to Half-Life by announcing Farmville, the cartoon.
Instead of being a movie, it’s a sitcom. Instead of being based on a good game, it’s based on a Facebook distraction. Instead of it being directed by acclaimed director J.J Abrams, it’s being directed by hack Brett Ratner.
“Animated sitcom” seems like another phrase for “cartoon for adults”, which sounds like it’s going to be in the same vein as The Simpsons, Bob’s Burgers, and Family guy. This is not what upsets me. I’m fine with it being a cartoon, I’d question the sanity of everyone at Zynga if it weren’t a cartoon. I mean, what would you be even watching in a live action Farmville sitcom?
What upsets me is that their source material is devoid of anything interesting. Unlike other shows and movies based on video games, Farmville has no visible plot, no main characters, and nothing beyond a brand name and an addicting mechanic that turns Facebook users into Pavlov’s dogs. I haven’t seen such a clear and shameless money grab since the gamer exploitation movie The Wizard. It’ll be interesting to see how Ratner handles the franchise material, but I don’t have my hopes up.
Source [Wall Street Journal]