Ambition and creativity have always been staples of filmmaking. They have not, however, always been staples of successful filmmaking (financially speaking). Studios, despite their objections to the contrary, do not like big risk concepts, preferring to go with more of a sure thing. After all, it is called Show BUSINESS. That being said, it appears that one studio may try to defy the industry standard.
20th Century Fox is nearing a deal to acquire the rights to Choose Your Own Adventure, the iconic 1980/90s series of books, with John Davis of Davis Entertainment attached to produce. Davis is responsible for producing movies that include the Arnold Schwarzenegger action classic Predator, Will Smith’s Sci-Fi adventure movie I, Robot, and the surprisingly adept recent indie darling, Chronicle. With such a plethora of different films to his credit, and a real feel for both adventure and Sci-Fi (subjects most of the books deal with), Davis should be a perfect fit.
For those of you uninitiated to the novellas C.Y.O.A. is a book where the reader is invited to make certain decisions through the course of the story that directly effect the fate of the main character, that person being you (the stories are told in 2nd person). Thus, the franchise itself is set up to be multi-platform entertainment, with Fox having exclusive screen rights as well as collaboration with designers for apps, internet and video game tie ins.
It’s been decades in the works, and now that it nears the beginning stages of production, we get to see how the story unfolds. No word yet on exactly how audiences will (or will not) participate in decision making, but unlike the novels, there’s no skipping back a few pages to mulligan if mistakes are made.