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Everything You Need to Know About Rampage

The original "Rampage" arcade game allowed for players to take control of one of three giant monsters – Lizzie the lizard, Ralph the wolf, and George the ape – and destroy cities while surviving against military foes. That’s the entire game in a nutshell, and the stories didn’t exactly get to CITIZEN KANE-level complexity in later installments. Not exactly the sturdiest basis for a movie – which is what makes the game a perfect candidate for a movie.

There’s a lot to know about the upcoming RAMPAGE, starring Dwayne Johnson and directed by Brad Peyton, but the most important thing you need to know is that the simplistic basis of the game allowed for an entirely unique story to be created for the film. Sure, there are giant monsters destroying everything. That is the selling point after all. However, what will make it a unique experience is that the characters and story are all grounded in something new, and indeed, something quite human.

  • The original Rampage arcade game came out in 1986 by Midway games, was later ported to Atari, Nintendo and Sega systems. There have since been several sequels, including Rampage World Tour, Rampage 2: Universal Tour and more.
  • In the original game, the monsters you controlled were originally human beings who were subject to radiation, thus mutating into giant animals. The movies will not utilize this element, instead focusing on actual animals mutating to enormous sizes. 
  • Dwayne Johnson plays Davis Okoye, a primatologist who cares more about animals than he does people, with a special silverback gorilla named George acting as his best friend in the whole world.
  • The albino gorilla George was created using a motion capture performance from Jason Liles (Ryuk in DEATH NOTE). The actor spent time working with famed motion capture actor Terry Notary (PLANET OF THE APES, KONG: SKULL ISLAND) in order to create George for RAMPAGE.
  • George is based on a real-life gorilla named Snowflake. Don’t worry, she is not 50 feet tall and will not destroy your home.
  • A major reason for making George an albino gorilla, as opposed to a brown/black one, is because they wanted him to stand out from other big-screen apes, like in PLANET OF THE APES and KING KONG.
  • Producer Hiram Garcia compared the relationship of George and Davis to that of Han Solo and Chewbacca from Star Wars, in terms of how much they care for each other and how well they communicate.
  • The movie opens with a scene in outer space wherein scientists are working on a special genetic serum that eventually gets loose and crashes to earth. These three samples fall into various areas of America, including the swamps of Florida, the wilderness of Wyoming and the San Diego Zoo.
  • The three animals that are infected are a wolf named Ralph, a crocodile named Lizzie, and Davis’ best friend, George. These are the names of the monsters from the original 1986 game.
  • Each monster’s size is based on affected they were by the serum. For instance, George gets only a small whiff of it, so he only grows to be about 35 feet tall, and for the most part, retains the same look of a gorilla. On the other side of the spectrum, Lizzie was essentially drenched in it, so he grows to be the size of about four football fields and begins to take on the form of some sort of GAME OF THRONES dragon…with tusks.
  • Aside from George, the animals will not be bipedal like they are in the game. For the sake of retaining a sense of realism, the other two monsters will remain on four legs, much like their normal forms.
  • The monsters all end up heading for Chicago, as a giant beacon on top of Willis Tower attracts them to the city, which will be the stage for the final climax.
  • Director Brad Peyton said that when he was pitched the movie the idea was thrown out by the studio to have humans transforming into monsters. Peyton said this did not interest him and said he wanted to do something more grounded in terms of story. In his words, he passed on making “Rock-Zilla.”
  • Johnson has worked with Peyton more than any other film director in his filmography. This is the third movie they have done together, with the previous two being JOURNEY 2: THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND and SAN ANDREAS.
  • The movie utilizes a real-life science project known as CRISPR, which involves taking out damaged genes from one species of animal, and then injecting the same animal with genes from other animals, in the hope the animal will gain certain characteristics from other species. In the words of producer John Rickard, it’s all about “pulling out bad attributes, putting the good ones in.” For instance, DNA from a rat could be extracted, and if a scientist wished to give the rat heightened sense of smell they would inject it with DNA from a shark or bloodhound. This is why the infected animals in the movie, like the crocodile, begin to take on characteristics of other animals. It’s all very fascinating. It’s worth a Google.
  • Naomie Harris plays Kate, a disgraced scientist who worked for the organization Energyne, which developed the very serum that infected the animals. Her and Davis have a combative relationship at first, with the latter not even wanting her on the journey to begin with.
  • Joe Manganiello plays Burke, the head of a special ops organization named Black Hill, whose early mission involves heading to Wyoming to retrieve the sample that fell there, and who ends up having an encounter with Ralph the wolf.
  • Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays Agent Harvey Russell, a government agent who works to try and control the monster threat, which involves locking George in a cage and placing him in an airplane. Bad idea.
  • Malin Akerman and Jake Lacy play the villains of the movie, with Ackerman’s Claire Wyden acting as the more dominate and calculative of the duo, with Lacy being sort of a dunce.
  • By the end of the movie George and Davis team up to take on the final two creatures, in what will surely be a fair fight.
  • Though the filmmakers were intent on trying to make this one solid, great movie, they admitted they left room open for more movies.
  • Production designer Barry Chusid has experience in the sci-fi and city destroying arena. Across his career, he has worked on movies like THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW, SERENITY, 2012, INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE and Peyton’s SAN ANDREAS.
  • Naturally, there is room after this movie for a sequel.

Check out the rest of our set visit here!

Naomie Harris and Brad PeytonDwayne Johnson, and producers John Rickard and Hiram Garcia.

RAMPAGE hits theaters April 13.

Source: JoBlo

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