In 2015, Activision revealed that a Call of Duty-based movie was in development. It was stated that the first movie in a series would be released in 2018, but this never surfaced. It was then explained in 2020 that Activision had essentially abandoned the idea of a Call of Duty movie, a choice that seems somewhat bizarre. It’s likely that a Call of Duty movie would make an incredible amount of money and please hundreds of millions of fans, so why hasn’t Activision ever followed through with the idea?
There’s so much groundwork already done in the Call of Duty series, and there are plenty of directions that the Call of Duty movie could go in. It could be a World War II epic, a space-faring, jet-pack-themed adventure, or something more mysterious and thrilling, like a Cold War escapade. It could be something entirely original, too – which would also be fine. None of those facts changes the ultimate notion that Activision seems to have forever given up on the idea of producing a Call of Duty movie.
Will we ever see a Call of Duty movie in our lifetimes?
Can Call of Duty’s Movie Take Advantage of the Trend?
In recent years, video game adaptations have been soaring upwards in terms of success. In 2023 alone, The Last of Us’ television series broke records, and the Super Mario Movie became one of the highest-grossing animated movies in history. There have been other adaptations that saw considerable success, such as Warcraft, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Tomb Raider, Assassin’s Creed, and Mortal Kombat.
So, why has there never been a Call of Duty movie?
It could be that the publisher and developer is scared of the movie flopping. That’s a legitimate concern, but it’s seems that just having the Call of Duty name attached to the movie means that it’d be a commercial success. If it were a generic enough action movie, it’d be seen by those that don’t even have an interest in the franchise but would consider themselves fans of movies of that genre.
It could also be a general disinterest in making the movie, and nothing more. There’s obviously more of a focus needed on the development of Activision’s top games, and all Call of Duty games come with big budgets and huge teams. Perhaps there just isn’t enough time or resources to dedicate to making a Call of Duty movie.
But, if a Call of Duty film were to be produced and released, we think it could be a smash hit. There are so many countless examples of other movies in that vein having performed remarkably well in the last few decades, so why wouldn’t a Call of Duty movie be successful?
Alternatives to a Call of Duty Movie
There are plenty of alternatives to the Call of Duty games, but what about alternatives to the missing movie? Here are some of the best films that you can watch if you’re hurting for a Call of Duty-themed story:
- Saving Private Ryan (1998)
- Fury (2014)
- Black Hawk Down (2001)
- Act of Valour (2012)
- Lone Survivor (2013)
- Green Zone (2010)
- Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
- Extraction (2020)
- Sicaro (2015)
- Shooter (2007)
These movies are perfect examples of what you’d expect from a Call of Duty movie. They boast themes of war, intense firefights, and typically strong lead characters that almost always manage to avoid losing any fight they find themselves in. If that’s not the most basic premise for a Call of Duty movie, we don’t know what is.
Could Modern Warfare II Be a Movie?
Out of every Call of Duty game, it seems that Modern Warfare II (2022) could be the closest thing to a movie. Every actor in the game is a real actor, the motion capture for the title is like-for-like with a live-action adaptation, and behind-the-scenes footage revealed the actors going on experiences dressed in full costume, on location. It’s as close as you can possibly get to a full movie production without actually being a movie production.
Not only that, but the Modern Warfare II story was cinematic and well-written. It could certainly serve as the basis for a Call of Duty movie.
Who knows? Perhaps one of the best Call of Duty Zombies games could be adapted into a terrifying and gory horror movie. There are so many options out there.