Veteran movie producer Stacey Sher has been named co-president of Activision Blizzard Studios.
The Oscar nominee for “Erin Brockovich” and “Django Unchained” joins former Disney executive Nick Van Dyk to oversee the adaptation of the video game company’s popular titles like “Call of Duty” for film and television.
In an interview with TheWrap, Van Dyk and Sher confirmed that “Call of Duty” is the first game they are planning to develop as a feature film.
“We also have to extend these franchises to new audiences,” said Sher, whose credits include Quentin Tarantino‘s “The Hateful Eight,” Steven Soderbergh‘s “Erin Brockovich” and “Matilda.” “Basically we have to marry my approach to content creation with their approach to game development.”
“Duty” has tons of celebrity fans, and has recruited high-profile stars like Kevin Spacey, Cara Delevingne, Michael B. Jordan and “Captain America” himself, Chris Evans, for ad campaigns. Does the company envision spinoffs that are as star-packed as Disney’s Marvel universe?
“That’s how we’re looking at it, ” Sher said.
Van Dyk added that the combination of “valuable” intellectual property and Sher’s relationships will attract the “most incredible talent in the business.”
Sher has already sat herself in front of a console to play the actual games. “Picture my fourteen-year-old son kicking my butt on a regular basis,” she said.
“This company has a culture of inspired creativity for 35 years,” Sher said. “They have this extraordinary IP with built-in fan bases and an attitude toward game development where they won’t release a game unless it’s great. Their highly engaged users know that, so we have to start with honoring our IP and the fans and the players.”
“‘Skylanders Academy’ will most likely come to market this year,” van Dyck told TheWrap. “But the guiding light for everything we do is that we’re going to make great content, and we’re going to release it when we’re ready, which is not until it’s fantastic.”
Activision Blizzard is clearly trying to ramp up its Hollywood presence with Sher’s hire. “Stacey is a rare talent behind two decades of award-winning television series and films. Her ability to collaborate with the most inspired, talented people in entertainment and her unyielding commitment to creativity make her perfectly suited,” Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said.