Maybe the title Duke Nukem Forever referred to how long it would take for them to make a movie out of this video game.
Many years after Duke’s bombastic video game heyday, and at least four years since we last heard about a serious attempt to adapt the game, Duke Nukem is now getting another shot at the cinematic big time. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Legendary has got the rights to the franchise, and they’re working on their own adaptation.
They’ve brought in the creators of the hugely popular Cobra Kai series, Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, to produce the film. At this point, they are neither writing nor directing Duke Nukem — THR claims “a search for a writer to tackle the material is underway” and there is “potentially” the chance Heald, Hurwitz, and Schlossberg could also direct the film.
The last time Duke Nukem was in the movie news came in 2018, when there were reports that John Cena was in talks to play the character. That’s actually pretty good casting for Duke, an over-the-top spoof of tough-guy action dudes. And it’s only four years later, there’s no physical reason Cena couldn’t still play the character if Heald, Hurwitz, and Schlossberg were interested in him. Cena’s Duke Nukem was developed by Paramount and Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes, but it never amounted to anything.
Duke Nukem was one of a bunch of 3D shooters popular in the 1990s. Its twist on the formula was that instead of playing things dark and scary like Doom, Duke was basically a comedy. You only need to take one look at the picture of Duke above to see who the game was meant to mock. With that in mind, it should be perfect raw material for a big broad action comedy. Key word should.