Dear Christophe Gans,
How are you doing? My name is Brad Rice, and I’m one of the writers here at Destructoid. Not only that, I’m also planning to go into the film industry once I’m out of college — and so I feel I have a vested interest in video game movies. So, for my weekly column “Weekend Reading,” I was hoping that I’d get the chance to get your attention regarding Silent Hill 2.
You did a good job on Silent Hill, really. Your direction in almost every aspect of your job was wonderful, and was very befitting of the whole thing. The only problem with the film, and what ultimately held it back from being a great film, was the fact that you had Roger Avary write the script. I paid attention to the extra features on the DVD and saw the interview with the man. Claiming that sticking to what happened in the game held him back? Dear Lord, when I heard that, I would’ve fired the man on the spot.
Everyone in your staff was so enthusiastic about the project, since you made them play the game — which was ultimately a great decision. Avary utterly destroyed what made Silent Hill 2 (the game) special; he turned Pyramid Head from something that was a manifestation of James’ guilt into something that was just a random bad guy with a large weapon. Blatant exposition that held the viewers’ hands through interesting plot points, such as why the main character (it should’ve remained as James) was in Silent Hill to begin with. Seriously, cut out everything up to when Rose wakes up after the car crash, and the film instantly becomes a hell of a lot better.
Now I know that you’re still in search of a writer for Silent Hill 2, and I must say that you cannot hire Roger Avary again. Really, I mean it. I’ve lost all respect for that man and his writing abilities. I remember the rumor about Neil Gaiman writing the script, and it’d be great if you actually worked with him to get it done. You really have to look at writers who can tell a good mystery story — someone who can leave the audience in the dark enough so that they find out things as the main character does. I might suggest Brad Meltzer or Andrew Kevin Walker as possibilities. Hell, even I would write it — I’ve played through the games, at least and am not afraid to stick to the story of the source material.
Now that brings me to this: what are you going to do about the story? The story of Silent Hill 2 is already done. The original Silent Hill certainly is a possibility, as it could have theoretically taken place in the same point and time as Silent Hill 2. Silent Hill 4 seems like it’s too bizarre for viewers to follow at this point in time. You’ve got to hand them a good film before they will be able to accept a Silent Hill 4 movie. What about Silent Hill 3? Well, this is what I think the next Silent Hill movie could actually be.
Plenty of mystery exists within the game — and only the barebones of the back story needs to be explained in order to keep the viewers in the loop. Just make sure you have the proper writer. If you have them slip in backstory through conversation, quick flashbacks, or some other subtle methods, then everything will go just fine.
I’m really trusting you to do a good job on Silent Hill 2. Please, I beg of you, put out one of the first video game movies that can be considered good by all.