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Francis Ford Coppola’s Next Act Is an ‘Apocalypse Now’ Video Game

Robert Duvall and Sam Bottoms filming 'Apocalypse Now' in 1979.Robert Duvall and Sam Bottoms filming 'Apocalypse Now' in 1979.
Robert Duvall and Sam Bottoms filming 'Apocalypse Now' in 1979.Courtesy of United Artists

Apocalypse Now could make a comeback in a new form.

American Zoetrope, a private film studio founded by Apocalypse Now director Francis Ford Coppola, is partnering with video game developers and other industry insiders to create a role-playing video game based on his iconic Vietnam War film. To celebrate the announcement and help get the project off the ground, the team behind the game has launched a Kickstarter campaign aimed at raising money from those who want to support its development.

According to the Kickstarter page, which was earlier discovered by Deadline, the game is being developed by “a cross-disciplinary team of AAA game developers, motion picture professionals, and interactive creatives.” In a statement, those folks said that they’ve decided to petition for support through Kickstarter so they can sidestep the “traditional video game publishing system” that might otherwise diminish the game’s “creative freedom and integrity.”

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The game, which is slated to be released in 2020, will put players into the role of Caption Benjamin Willard, who must assassinate Colonel Walter E. Kurtz. The developers say it’ll be a role-playing game and feature “psychedelic horror” elements.

“The game is an interactive recreation of Willard’s journey, as seen through a survival horror lens in which players with limited resources face unspeakable terrors,” the game’s description reads. “By choosing how to react to these situations, each player molds a unique version of Willard within the loose confines of the film story. You are Willard and your actions will determine his fate.”

Apocalypse Now is one of the many iconic Coppola films. The film premiered in 1979 to rave reviews and follows Captain Willard, played by actor Martin Sheen, in his attempt to assassinate Colonel Kurtz, played by Marlon Brando. The film lives on as a Hollywood classic, and won two Oscars. It was nominated for a slew of Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

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To deliver the game to players, Coppola’s film studio has signed on Rob Auten as the lead writer. He’s best known for his writing work on the Gears of War and Battlefield franchises. Montgomery Markland, who has produced titles in the past, will serve as its director.

Raising money for such a high-profile game on Kickstarter is unorthodox, but those who support it will get a slew of perks, including a collector’s edition box, a digital copy of the film, and much more. The game’s developers are hoping to raise $900,000 through Kickstarter, which will be put towards development costs. As of this writing, they’ve raised $56,700.