Shattered Union headed for silver screen

Variety reports 2005 turn-based strategy game about a new American Civil War to be turned into a movie by Babylon 5 creator and Jerry Bruckheimer.

Although it was well received upon its release in 2005, 2K Games' Shattered Union made little impact in the industry and served as developer PopTop Software's swan song before being folded into fellow 2K subsidiary Firaxis Games. So it comes as some surprise that more than four years after it came and went with little fanfare, Variety is reporting that the turn-based strategy title is in development as a feature film, and with some big names behind it.

Shattered Union has all the big explosions expected of a Bruckheimer production.

According to the trade, Jerry Bruckheimer's production company has enlisted Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski to adapt the game. Straczynski is also writing a feature film based on Marvel Comics' Silver Surfer and is working on another project based on the zombie apocalypse novel World War Z. The writer's diverse background stretches into other media as well, with runs on the Amazing Spider-Man and Thor comics, as well as Saturday-morning cartoon fare He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors.

Where many game-to-movie projects give filmmakers precious little story to work with, Straczynski will be working from a detailed blueprint with overt political overtones. The Shattered Union plot begins in 2008 with a virtually tied US presidential election. The man who makes it in to the White House, by virtue of a Congressional decision, goes on to polarize the nation. Public protests lead to riots, which become domestic terrorism. A Supreme Court ruling hands the unpopular incumbent the 2012 elections, but the 2013 inauguration is interrupted by a nuclear bomb detonating in Washington, DC. With the president and most of Congress dead, the country sinks into chaos, and Texas and California secede. European peacekeepers sent to DC become embroiled in the fiasco, and before long seven different factions are fighting for control of the United States.

The Shattered Union movie is by no means Bruckheimer's only link to the gaming world. The producer has seen many of his hits adapted into interactive entertainment, from Top Gun to Pirates of the Caribbean. He's also behind the in-development movie adaptation of Prince of Persia, and in 2007 he established Jerry Bruckheimer Game Studio with MTV Games. Described as a "game incubation studio," the operation conceives of games but tries to find external partners to actually develop them.

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Discussion

29 comments
sircyrus
sircyrus

It's an interesting story but not really believable. California and Texas secede? Film makers need to start coming up with some original storylines though. All we get are remakes and sequels/prequels these days. Or the odd crappy game movie. *cough*

starcrafthenry
starcrafthenry

Oh boy, this game was so awesome. I remember I rented it once, and then after my first time playing, I had to have it. I spent months trying find it at Gamestop. About the movie. Sure it's a great story, but I think that one movie is a bad way to go. I totally agree with the idea that this should be turned into a tv series. There's just way too much story for 90 minutes to cover. I wonder which faction they would write as the winners. Lastly, is anybody else reminded of the CBS show "Jericho?"

Fumanchu2
Fumanchu2

Sounds like everybody hated the game but the story sounds great. Me and my friends actually bought a book on how to make an RPG during the 2000 election fiasco.

zyxomma100
zyxomma100

Hopefully the movie will see some sort of success, as the idea is pretty interesting. I never bought the game, though, but it was on the very edge of my radar for a very long time.

ParisSun
ParisSun

Not a very good game. The premise of the story was very interesting though. I think a good writer can something with it. The fact that it was not very popular may be good. Fanboys will not have ridiculous expectations of it. The writers will be able to do what they want with it.

Cabal23
Cabal23

This game was a great turn based game in the same vein as many tactical games that came out in the 90's like Advanced Wars. Very cool story line too.

sonic0491
sonic0491

wierd that they make a movie on a not very popular (or good by the sounds of it) game. I guess the story must be good movie material.

Draaagoon
Draaagoon

I never even played the game... Was this a popular game worth making into a movie?

DiamondDogs
DiamondDogs

Buggy game. Great story though. But... a movie? I'm not knocking or anything; but I'd have the same concerns if Red Storm Rising, or even World In Conflict was turned into a movie. There's so much to it, that it would be better off as a miniseries.

wolf0
wolf0

oh yes it was kind of a bad game but cool story and tanks ,troops might make a good movie or turn it into a shooter

Miroku_of_Nite1
Miroku_of_Nite1

The game was pretty eh, but the story was nice. I hope the best for this game.

Kitty_Fields
Kitty_Fields

Well, considering the Babylon 5 creator has a role in making the film, it can't turn out terrible.

osiris
osiris

This game was barely average at best. Only reason I looked into it was the sweet storyline idea. Here's to a (hopefully) good movie based off of an intruiging idea.

voidshadow
voidshadow

Eh, I prefer Crimson Skies' backstory to Shattered Union's.

Mr_Tweedy
Mr_Tweedy

Not that I wouldn't go see it...

Mr_Tweedy
Mr_Tweedy

Ouch! Do we really need a movie about this? Anyone heard the phrase "tempting fate"? :0

Taegre
Taegre

I'm willing to bet the producers thought of this idea independently, unaware of Shattered Union's existence, then googled to see if anybody else had already done a book or film on the same premise and instead found an RTS game.

alexender00
alexender00

The game was so-so but the plot makes for a great idea for a movie! :)

raahsnavj
raahsnavj

I really liked Shattered Union it was too bad the game was quickly decided and then dragged out as you scraped off the rest of the AI players with ease. The subject material was always cooler that the game let it be.

Silver_Fire
Silver_Fire

Go Great Plains Federation! Hopefully a movie based on something like this will be better than the typical Doom style movies.

airshocker
airshocker

Never played the game, but the movie doesn't sound like a bad idea.

Helloiseeu
Helloiseeu

Holy Crap! I remmeber when this game came out! Good concept but, damn, a movie?? I'm watching this.

stziggy
stziggy

You could make an entire TV series with "Shattered Union." The game wasn't much, but it would make a fascinating sci-fi series.

gijas
gijas

I played this game and loved it back in the day' but its campaign was on the short side and not deep enough to hold my interest for very long unlike Supreme Ruler 2010. However, making a movie about it sounds like a good idea as long as they dont have the south rising again to take revenge on the north for the first civil war as the game portrays.