MTV Films Contents Under Pressure

Viacom’s MTV Films has snatched up the feature film rights to the upcoming Atari video game Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure. Fashion pioneer Ecko will serve as a producer on the project, which will take the graffiti culture into a futuristic, alternate reality. The game will be released in February 2006 for PlayStation 2, Xbox and PC.

Set in the city of New Radius, the game presents a world where freedom of expression is suppressed and graffiti has been outlawed by a tyrannical city government. Players assume the role of Trane as they learn to master various graffiti skills and use them to expose an oppressive regime and release the city from the Mayor’s stranglehold. Hip-hop artist Talib Kweli will provide the voice of Trane, while other voices are being handled by Sean “Diddy” Combs, Rosario Dawson, Brittany Murphy, George Hamilton, Giovanni Ribisi, Adam West, Andy Dick, Charlie Murphy, The RZA and Michael “M.C. Serch” Berrin.

“We are eager to continually tap into the unique culture that exists in the video gaming world because these types of projects have a unique connection to the MTV audience,” says MTV Films exec VP David Gale, who is developing the film with Jason Weiss. MTV Films’ Gregg Goldin brought the project to the company and will produce alongside Ecko.

“When I first began working on Getting Up seven years ago, I wanted to create a storyline that provided a rare look inside of one of the most influential, yet often overlooked, artistic movements in recent history.’ Ecko comments. ‘Today, graffiti is a global cultural phenomenon and few understand its impact better than MTV, pioneers in its use as a motion graphics tool nearly two decades ago.’

Despite the lackluster performance of such recent game-to-film efforts as Universal’s Doom, studios still see a gold mine in interactive titles. Paramount Pictures, which, will distribute the Contents adaptation, has not yet specified a release window for the film, but may end up putting it out the same year as Microsoft’s Halo movie, which Peter Jackson is exec producing for Universal and 20th Century Fox. Hellboy director Guillermo del Torro is in negotiations to direct that one.