In what Atari calls a "convergence first" between Hollywood and the interactive entertainment company, the videogame publisher announced it has retained Ridley Scott Associates (RSA) the commercial production company owned and run by legendary filmmakers Ridley and Tony Scott to produce an original three-minute live-action film inspired by the upcoming game, DRIV3R. The film short, which is the first of its kind in the videogame industry, is titled, RUN THE GAUNTLET, and will be the core component of both the DRIV3R Website, www.DRIV3R.com, and an extensive marketing and advertising campaign for DRIV3R being launched globally by Atari, beginning in late January.
RSA, the producers of several of the original series of short films on BMWFilms.com, is in post-production on RUN THE GAUNTLET, written and directed by RSA's Sean Mullens, and inspired by the characters, plot and action of DRIV3R. The third installment in the DRIVER franchise, DRIV3R casts players once again as the original Wheelman undercover cop Tanner who must infiltrate a global cartheft ring in an action-packed adventure that features Hollywood-caliber production values and a gripping, narrative storyline.
"DRIV3R is a unique property and we wanted a marketing approach that matched the game in innovation, said Wim Stocks, evp of sales and marketing for Atari. Since Hollywood and interactive entertainment have become more and more intertwined in terms of content, it was a natural progression to expand that relationship to encompass marketing and promotion. With RSA's tremendous talent and experience, we knew we would get an explosive film that would enhance the DRIV3R brand the way BMWFilms enhanced the BMW brand. And by bringing this original film to gamers in an interactive environment on the Internet, we will be able to deliver the same kind of immersive, adrenaline-filled experience that they get actually playing games."
While the plotline of RUN THE GAUNTLET is closely guarded, RSA, in collaboration with Atari, is producing a series of :30 vignettes as preview trailers for each one-minute episode of the film. A rough-cut of RUN THE GAUNTLET will debut at Atari's DRIV3R U.S. launch event on Jan. 13, 2003 in San Francisco. The two vignettes promoting Episode I will debut on www.DRIV3R.com on Jan. 13 and 19, respectively, building to the exclusive release of Episode I on the site on January 23. Episodes II and III, and their corresponding vignettes, will be released exclusively to www.DRIV3R.com during February and March, respectively, leading to the launch of the game itself.
"To be given artistic license to bring the world of DRIV3R to life through our vision, is an incredible creative opportunity," said RSA president Jules Daly. "DRIV3R plays like an interactive movie, with richly developed characters, expansive environments and non-stop action. There are no boundaries in the world of DRIV3R and Atari put no creative boundaries on RSA for this project."
In addition to RUN THE GAUNTLET, the DRIV3R site contains exclusive content, detailed character studies and renderings, interactive vehicle showcases and information, video content and more.
Developed by Reflections Interactive (an Atari studio), DRIV3R is an action-packed driving adventure game that stays true to its roots, incorporating the cinematic gameplay and gritty street crime of its predecessors with ground-breaking graphics and three mammoth, wide-open city environments: Miami, Nice and Istanbul. Reflections Interactive developed DRIVER and DRIVER 2 - which have sold more than 12 million copies worldwide. DRIV3R is slated for release in March 2004 for PlayStation2 and Xbox.
RSA is one of the leading commercial production companies in the world, with offices in London, New York and Los Angeles. RSA has produced national and international commercial campaigns for major clients. Additionally, in 2002, RSA USA produced the second round of the hugely popular BMW series of films THE HIRE. The three films in the series were directed by John Woo, Joe Carnahan and Tony Scott, and debuted to worldwide notice and critical acclaim.
New York-based Atari develops interactive games for all platforms and is one of the largest third-party publishers of interactive entertainment software in the U.S. Atari Inc. is a majority-owned subsidiary of France-based Infogrames Ent. SA, the largest interactive games publisher in Europe. For more information, visit www.atari.com.