“The Boondock Saints” director Troy Duffy was in Austin, Texas, recently to connect with his fans at the SXSW music and media conference. After releasing two movies theatrically, the next step for the franchise will be to enter the video-game space.
“We’re thinking of making a video game out of ‘Boondock’ and I went and listened to these guys pitch me the game and they had already done some programing,” Duffy said. “They had already built part of the game and I got to play it.”
Duffy said the game industry had come a long way from his days as a gamer, back when he was playing TRON at the arcade.
“Gamers are so far removed from what I know that I wouldn’t even know how the hell to play them,” he said. “The demo the developer put together for ‘Boondock’ seems like real-time realistic action. You’re looking at real characters, you can see sweat on their brows. The technology is out of this world.”
When it comes to a video-game version of the film franchise, the two things that are most important for Duffy is to maintain the gritty and rough look for the game world’s environments and to allow fans to play as any of their favorite characters.
“The ‘Boondock’ fan base wants to have a beer with the MacManus brothers and then pick up a weapon and fight,” he said. “With a video game you can increase that kind of intimacy, where they can actually be the brothers and hang out and do some shooting and have some fun.”
Back in January 2000, Duffy released “The Boondock Saints,” an independent movie starring Willem Dafoe, Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus, Billy Connolly and David Della Rocco. The NC-17 film generated about $30,000 at the box office, but once the movie hit home video, a cult gathering followed.
The director was able to assemble most of the original cast for the 2009 sequel, “The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day.” The R-rated sequel earned more than $30 million at the box office.
“Video games are a way not only to expand beyond what you see in the movies, but they’re a new way for your fan base to commune with one another and get even deeper into the whole brand,” Duffy said. “There are gamers now playing multiplayer games together online from different states in the same game world.”
Duffy said it would be at least a year before “The Boondock Saints” goes virtual in any game, if he decides to expand the franchise in that direction. He already has one actor on board. “I think this game’s a great idea,” said Della Rocco, who played Rocco in both films. “They make a lot of games out of movies, including older films like ‘Scarface.’ ”