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‘Duke Nukem’ Movie in the Works by ‘Cobra Kai’ Creators – The Hollywood Reporter

‘Duke Nukem’ Movie in the Works by ‘Cobra Kai’ Creators – The Hollywood Reporter

Duke Nukemthe 1990s video game that helped popularize the first-person shooter genre, is getting the feature film treatment.

Legendary Entertainment, the company behind dune and the Godzilla monster movie series, picked up the film rights from Gearbox, with Cobra Kai creators Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg on board to produce.

Legendary will also produce, as will Jean Julien Baronnet (Assassin’s Creed) from Marla Studios, which specializes in video game adaptations. Heald, Hurtwitz and Schlossberg produce through their banner, Counterbalance Entertainment.

Launched with a self-titled debut album in 1991 by Apogee Software, later called 3D Realms, Nukem is a billion-dollar video game franchise that began life as a platform game for personal computers. When the third game, Duke Nukem 3D, released in 1996, became not only a critical success, but one that helped first-person games become ubiquitous for years to come. After years of keeping a low profile and stalling development, the franchise returned in 2011, after Gearbox acquired 3D Realms, with Duke Nukem forever.

Nukem focuses on its titular hero, inspired by some attributes of 1980s action movie heroes (including catchphrases), who battles an alien invasion in Los Angeles. He travels from strip clubs and movie sets to moon bases and spaceships, dealing with mutated LAPD officers, women used in alien incubators, and the Cycloid Emperor.

A search for a writer to tackle the subject is in progress. And while no director is on board, the door is open for one of Counterbalance’s team members to potentially sit behind the camera.

With its over-the-top action movie styles, it’s no surprise that Hollywood has been trying to adapt the game into a feature for quite some time. Various independent producers have attempted to develop Nukem, although none have gone very far. The gearbox had a Nukem project in development at Paramount with John Cena attached to star more than four years ago, but it stalled.

This has led Gearbox to become more deliberate in its Hollywood strategy of video game adaptations and it now already has one on deck: Borderlands, directed by Eli Roth and featuring an all-star cast including Cate Blanchett and Kevin Hart. Lionsgate is behind the film which is slated for release later in 2022.

The Counterbalance trio made a name for themselves by first writing and then directing the Harold and Kumar comedies and taking up the American pie franchise. They reinvented The Karate Kid for a new generation with Cobra Kai, a runaway success for Netflix that also garnered numerous Emmy Award nominations. Heald, Hurwitz, and Schlossberg serve as the show’s creators, executive producers, and showrunners, writing and directing many episodes.

The counterweight is replaced by CAA. Heald is also replaced by Behr Abramson while Hurwitz and Schlossberg are replaced by Hansen Jacobson.

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