1999 Chris Roberts WC Movie interview unearthed


Rear Admiral
A 1999 GameSpot UK interview with Chris Roberts was originally linked from the CIC (https://www.wcnews.com/news/1999/01/05/chris-roberts-speaks), but the URL has since disappeared. Thanks to Archive.org's WayBack Machine, we can read the classic Wing Commander Movie interview as it once appeared!

Wing Commander Movie Interview / Chris Roberts Interview
13:32, 05 January 1999

The $25 million Wing Commander movie is due out next spring. Directed by Chris Roberts, it's based on the first four games and follows the exploits of pilot Christopher Blair, fresh from the academy. Carrying a message about a Kilrathi invasion, Blair plus comrades Maniac (Matthew Lillard, Scream) and Deveraux (Saffron Burrows, Circle of Friends) join the Confederate forces to fight the invaders.

GameSpot UK:
So, the WC series makes for a good film?
Chris Roberts:
Not every book makes a great film. It's the same with games. Wing Commander lends itself because its original influences were very cinematic. I'm still more nervous about its reception than any game I've ever made.

GameSpot UK:
Space opera or high-tech war film?
Chris Roberts:
More of a gritty, WWII film in space. A sci-fi Das Boot.

GameSpot UK:
How are you finding the crossover?
Chris Roberts:
You need a lot of insane confidence... I'd directed live action for Wing III and IV. In some ways PC development is tougher than film because you're always trying to work with unproven technology. Something games development also teaches you that film school can't, is the multitasking to cope with a project of this size. Plus there's the technology. If I ask a Hollywood effects team if they can do a sequence, of course they're going to say yes. But they're not going to say how long it will take, cost or how good it will look. We are doing all the effects, we know what can be done and what it will cost us.

GameSpot UK:
Any time left to work on games then?
Chris Roberts:
Some, but not as much as I used to. In the past, my involvement has sometimes been a bottleneck. Everyone else would be waiting on me to finish code, but I'd be in a meeting, filming or doing company stuff. It taught me a lot. On Freelancer I've got myself down to do some of effects and I'm heavily into the game design. I'm not part of the main programming effort.
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