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Castle Wolfenstein headed to the big screen

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Return to Castle Wolfenstein

Another classic video game from id Software is on the way to movie theaters. Let's just hope it turns out better than "Doom."

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Castle Wolfenstein is ready for its close-up. Roger Avary, who co-created the story for "Pulp Fiction," will handle the writing and directing duties. At present, there's no estimated release date for the film.

The movie will be primarily based on 2001's Return to Castle Wolfenstein, though the franchise dates back to 1981's Castle Wolfenstein on the Apple II. That would go on to inspire a number of other Wolfenstein games over the years, including Wolfenstein 3D, considered by most to be the granddaddy of the first-person shooter game genre.

The movie will take a couple liberties with the story, but isn't going too far afield. Avary's story will focus on a U.S. Army captain and a British special agent on a top-secret mission to Castle Wolfenstein. As they try to take out Hitler (who's there for the unveiling of a new secret weapon), they'll have to fight Himmler's SS Paranormal Division.

Castle Wolfenstein doesn't have a U.S. distributor, but that's not the kiss of death that it might seem at first glance. "Resident Evil" was already in production before it secured a U.S. distribution partner, and that series has gone on to make over $800 million.

"With Roger at the helm, we expect everyone will join us for a wild and fun cinematic ride that will grab contemporary film audiences with the same irreverent, hip, over-the-top approach that Roger brought to Pulp Fiction and the other films he has either written or directed," producer Samuel Hadida said in a statement. "It is a big action adventure but also strongly character driven and based on a very solid story."

Avary says he has been a fan of the game since his childhood and says it has actually influenced his writing style on films such as "Reservoir Dogs," "Killing Zoe" and "Beowulf."

id Software hasn't had a lot of luck with film versions of its games, however. The 2005 "Doom" movie (starring Dwayne Johnson) was widely touted, but was a critical and commercial flop. It was particularly embarrassing for the developers.

"That'd be real embarrassing," said Tim Willits, lead designer on "Doom 3," a couple years before the film was released. "I mean, I'd hate to have a bad Doom movie and have all my friends say 'Dude, your movie sucked!'"

On the upside, at least "Doom" wasn't the worst video game movie ever.

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