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BOP is feeling quite conflicted here. No one loves the videogame Soul Calibur 2 more than we do. Some of our most passionate recent debates among our staff involve which character is our favorite (the only correct answer is Necrid).
We should be fired up about a Soul Calibur movie, right? Well, we would...but unfortunately, we all caught Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter. You see where we're going with this.
Unlike a more character-driven title such as Prince of Persia, Eternal Darkness or Resident Evil, fighting games don't have that single player perspective. Instead, there are usually a score of characters who all merit some attention. Rather than focus on one or two, directors have historically made the fatal flaw decision of trying to spend a couple of minutes on all the main cast. And it doesn't work. At all.
We're not saying this is an imposible feat to pull off. We need look no further than the X-Men franchise to see a production facing similar issues that manages to overcome them. There are roughly 17 zillion X-Men in existence and at least 12 that haven't been discovered yet.
So, how is Bryan Singer able to walk the fine line between too much character development and none at all (i.e. The Jean Claude Van Damme in Street Fighter Approach)? The answer is that he intuits which of the X-Men make for the most cinematically enticing characters and he focuses on them. With the first X-Men, he focused on the franchise player, Wolverine. With X2, he deftly introduced Mr. Bamf, Nightcrawler.
Assuming that this lead is to be followed by Soul Calibur, there are still a ton of problems. For starters, which fighters are the right combination of most recognizable and most visually stimulating? If you know the definitive answer to that one, you have missed your calling as a movie mogul and/or videogame developer.
In order to decipher who the central players are, let's first examine the story. Rather than overly complicate the plot, producer Warren Zide (of the American Pie franchise) has decided simplification is the way to go and rightly so.
Soul Calibur will mainly follow two warriors whom shaolin monks annoint as the chosen ones. Their quest and thereby their destiny involve rediscovering and destroying a legendary weapon known as the Soul Edge. Along the way, they will encounter several other questors with a similar goal, but the real jeopardy exists once the fighters arrive at their destination. The person in possession of the deadly relic is a prince who seeks to use the powers within the weapon to open the gates of hell, thereby bringing an end to existence. No pressure.
So that is the story. Which of the characters will be chosen as the main duo? No one is saying at this point, but we suspect that one of them will be that naughty, bare butt costume clad minx, Isabella Valentine. Her combination of looks and alluring British accent should prove all-too-enticing to the horny male deomgraphic that made the game a hit. And did we mention the outfit enough yet? Sex sells and BOP's Buying.
In the videogame storyline, Isabella's birth father, Count Valentine, is the original possessor of the weapon. Unbeknownst to his daughter, the Soul Edge has twisted the being now known as Nightmare into a Resident Evil: Nemesis-like creature complete with his heart on the outside of his exoskeleton. It makes sense to have this storyline modified and adapted to the big screen in some capacity.
If Isabella isn't selected, the other logical female selections are either the impossibly pert, spandex clad Fu-Ma No Sato or the goddess-selected Sophitia. Both are *ahem* photogenic.
As for the guys, I think it's safe to rule out everyone's favorite non-Serkis golem, Astaroth. The dread pirate Cervantes will likely make an appearance, but he won't be fighting for the home team. And as much we love, the chest-tapping big guy, Necrid's licensing situation with Todd McFarlane probably creates too many legal issues to make him a viable option. The only real option here is Kilik, the guardian of Kali-Yuga who was given the win over Nightmare in the Soul calibur storyline.
But we really hope it's Necrid. He is such a teddy bear of a cold-blooded cyborg assassin. (David Mumpower/BOP)