Tanna scribe John Collee is writing video game adaptation Just Cause for Warner Bros. and director Brad Peyton (San Andreas).
Set to star Jason Momoa (Aquaman), the film is based on the Avalanche Studios game which follows Rico Rodriguez (Momoa), an operative for a shadowy organization called the Agency whose mission is to help overthrow a South American dictator.
Collee describes the feature as his "first pure action film."
"I think I freaked the game manufacturers out a little bit by saying we’ve got to locate this in a real moral and psychological world. He’s always indestructible in the game and he blows up lots of shit and it’s great fun, but a film is different in that you’ve got to have a moral context for all this stuff to happen in. What’s in it for him? What’s the difference between a just cause and an unjust cause?"
Collee was brought on to the project by Peyton's producing partner Jeff Fierson, with whom the scribe had worked previously.
Fierson and Peyton are producing Just Cause through their ASAP Entertainment banner. Fierson, Peyton and Momoa previously teamed up on Netflix series Frontier.
Collee, whose follow-up project will be a TV series with Mel Gibson, is aiming to have a draft delivered by mid-year after an extensive research period in which the scribe has been playing the game and reading up on anything that might supplement its story.
"On a film I give myself three months, of which two months would be research and reading and thinking and plotting, and a month at most would be the actual writing. You’ve got to charge up with an awful lot of knowledge of the world, and then write in a rush. So the research for Just Cause has been reading a lot about the politics, the war on drugs, binge-watching Narcos, and reading about the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua."
"All these things feed in. And I’ve got a great friend who’s an ex-Special Forces guy, so I'm talking with him about guns and hardware and the actual practical elements of how you ambush a building. And you just build up a great file of notes and at the same time you’re working out plot elements and details of scenes."
Collee's most recent movie 'Hotel Mumbai', co-written with director Anthony Maras ('The Palace'), completed filming earlier this year on location in India and on sets in South Australia. Maras is post-producing in Adelaide with a view to a probable 2018 release.