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It is tough to be a living legend. Ron's got that mysterious new game to make, but right now his hands are literally too busy signing four trillion certificates of authenticity (huge mistake), so the auteur has no choice but to consent to help. To this end, a few new job opportunities have appeared on the Terrible Toybox web site.

Do you have what it takes to drag limestone blocks across a desert's expanse in order to construct the great pyramid that is the next Gilbert/Winnick joint? Cast your name into the bowl, qualified game developer, and be judged.

So, we all know about the Monkey Island movie that ILM was puttering around with twenty years ago from its concept art and bizarre plot synopsis, all of which was eventually collected as bonus features in the Special Edition compilation LucasArts put out in 2011.

But what about the real behind-the-scenes dirt on this legendary project’s origin and demise? What about that rumor that Steven Spielberg threw a spanner into everything by suggesting that the main character be replaced by a monkey because he has lousy story instincts?

Wait, that was never a rumor. But it is nevertheless one of the several new tidbits unveiled by Polygon’s sordid tell-all about the Monkey Island movie, which offers hitherto unavailable insight into the abandoned project with the aid of its director, visual effects supervisor David Carson. Read all about the various permutations of the story - each pass of which took it further and further from its initial form as a loose adaption of the first game - and feel elTee's shame when the stubborn rumor that the screenwriters of Pirates of the Caribbean had any meaningful involvement is forcefully refuted. Then there’s this:

Beyond the problems of adaptation, there were also more troubling concerns. This included a second meeting with Spielberg. Jim Morris, Patty Blau, Rosen, and Tom Bertino (who was going to act as animation supervisor) were all present at this meeting.

“The first meeting was just this little table, but now Steven wanted to make the project the table … [imagine] this cartoonishly long conference room where Steven is sitting at one end, Tom Bertino is sitting at the other,” Rosen recalls. “The funny thing about Hollywood meetings and creative projects when you come up with ideas is, you’re like, ‘Oh, I have this great idea,’ and then the committee assembles. All of a sudden, this story that everyone was shaking hands on becomes, ‘What if we change the main character to a monkey?’”

“We gathered in Steven’s office, and the first thing he said was that we shouldn’t have the main characters be human,” Carson says. “Instead, he suggested we should make the movie be about the monkeys on Monkey Island. Everyone just nodded, but my heart stopped. What the heck? We had worked for several weeks on a story that was based on the charm and humor of the games, and Steven wanted to throw all that out and make some new story about monkeys? I was completely confused.

Share in the confusion and add to your knowledge by reading the full article.

Comments: 9 / Source: Polygon

Telltale continues its post-death shuffle with Tales of the Borderlands, which will release for the Nintendo Switch on March 24, 2021. I've not played the game, but other people on Mojo think highly of it.


Thanks to Scummbuddy for the heads-up!

Telltale's Tales from the Borderlands is back in action in next week for Xbox, PlayStation, and PC, after being piled in rubble when the company collapsed in September 2018.

The game is set between Borderlands 2 and Borderlands 3, but is purportedly accessible to anyone who's not played them. Gameplay-wise, it follows the template set by The Walking Dead.

My entire knowledge of the series comes from The Campo Santo Quarterly Concern, which published an oral history of the game. Did you know that the series sold so poorly that Telltale almost binned it halfway through? It only survived because its developers fought studio heads for it; a skeleton crew volunteered to stay after-hours to see the game to the finish line. Makes you wonder who stuck that "popular" in Polygon's subheading.

Comments: 9 / Source: Polygon

Some good news for those who missed out on Telltale's Wallace and Gromit's Grand Adventures: they're back! On Steam and GOG. On the latter of which they're 60% off at the moment, setting you back $5.99. Get going if you want 'em, lads; Mojo enjoyed the games back in the day, even if we never reviewed the fourth episode. They hold up nicely.

The real question: when did they return? The answer: who knows? How did no-one tell us about this? In what world is Mojo ahead of the news cycle? What do we pay you people for?

Comments: 9 / Source: GOG

The folks over at VR blog The Ghost Howl snagged HappyGiant CEO Mike Levine for a lengthy interview about Sam & Max: This Time It’s Virtual. The interview can be enjoyed in the form of a one hour video version embedded below in which subject and host are depicted as Costume Quest characters, while those of you left alarmed by this approach can stick with the transcript version.

That’s not all. Some new footage has been released, in which Sam and Max welcome you to “Cap’n Aquabear’s Funtime Park” -- the depilated amusement park which the Freelance Police have retrofitted into a training academy. Check it out below:

Says The Hollywood Reporter:

Willow, the Disney+ fantasy series based on the 1988 movie, has found a new director for its pilot.

Jonathan Entwistle, known for the well-regarded series The End of the F***ing World and I Am Not Okay With This, has been tapped to direct the pilot for the show that is set after the events of the film.

Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) was due to direct the pilot and executive produce but announced Jan. 11 that he was stepping away due to scheduling concerns and an upcoming baby due in the summer.

Entwistle is also exec producing and now joins executive producers and co-showrunners Jonathan Kasdan (Solo: A Star Wars Story) and Wendy Mericle (Arrow). Kasdan wrote the pilot.

“With its epic world of swords, sorcery and adventure, Willow captivated and influenced so many,” said Entwistle in a statement. “I’m excited to be going on this journey and working with Jon and Wendy to create something that is both deeply rooted in that original film and also a fresh, funny and charming addition to the beloved story. To be able to play within the world so painstakingly crafted by Ron back in '88 is a dream come true for me."

The series returns Warwick Davis to the title role of Willow Ufgood, the heroic apprentice Nelwyn sorcerer of the original film. Ellie Bamber and Cailee Spaeny are among the new additions.

The production begins shooting this spring in Wales.

So all of you can stop freaking out now.

An animator who pitched in on HappyGiant's upcoming Sam & Max game shared the following:

My opinion is that all attempts to date to model Max in 3D (the Freelance Police version, the Telltale version, and the one above) have done a commendable job of faithfully capturing the fuzzy maniac, and it's fun to compare the nuances. The in-engine footage of This Time It's Virtual shared so far has subjected the characters to a certain "compressed for Nintendo DS" look to my eyes, so hopefully the shipped version can have Max looking a little more like he does in the animation tool.

Mixnmojo: We pretty much just embed Tweets now.

Right here. There isn’t a whole lot more to be said, other than that their friends apparently have changed over the last fifteen years.

Image

We had a good run!

Sometimes these are easy to write.

Comments: 4 / Source: Twitter

Not surprisingly, EA has been kicked to the curb – thankfully, after the yawn fest that was Fallen Order – and Ubisoft/Massive has taken the mantle. A teaser for a new “story-driven, open-world Star Wars adventure” has been announced:

There’s a short interview which says very little, so we’ll see what happens next. Personally I’d be into a good Star Wars game that aspires to be more than painfully average.

The newly re-christened LucasFilm Games – round and around we go – is hitting the ground running. Working with Bethesda and Machine Games, a new Indiana Jones game is on its way:

No word what platforms the game will be available for, but if memory serves me right, Bethesda is now a Microsoft joint, so take from that what you want.

It was reported last year that the first four Indiana Jones movies would debut on 4K Blu-ray this year, tying in with the fortieth anniversary of Raiders of the Lost Ark. New rumors have narrowed that down to a June 14th release date. And here's some bad box art that may or may not be legit:

The details I am eager for are with regard to the extra features, as it had previously been suggested that Paramount was given access to the Lucasfilm archives to create new supplements, which may possibly, finally, include deleted scenes.

Comments: 4 / Source: Twitter

The Willow series for Disney Plus was meant to start shooting in March, but it seems the latest lockdown in the UK has forced a move of the production schedule. This has created an availability issue for director Jon M. Chu, originally attached to helm the pilot episode, and he has announced his departure from the project:

Ron?

So, teasing by Craig Derrick regarding a Monkey Island TV series not punishing enough? Step right up, son of David Bowie and movie director, Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code, and um, Warcraft), who spent his lockdown adapting the Full Throttle script for screen.

Kotaku has broken the story, nicked from Duncan's twitter feed.

If you know any movie studio bosses looking for something to fund, point them towards the pdf in Duncan's dropbox there.


Comments: 2 / Source: Kotaku

Yesterday Gamasutra reported the passing of Kelly Flock, who was the General Manager of LucasArts in the early-to-mid 90s.

It is noteworthy when a management figure is as fondly remembered by developers as Flock seems to be. He wielded greenlight power during a time when the studio could boast being at a creative height, and various accounts portray him as instrumental in that status due to his championing of original titles.

It was Flock who approached Steve Purcell about licensing his comic strip characters to the company to initiate Sam & Max Hit the Road; Dave Grossman cites Flock as the influential force in the assignment of himself and Tim Schafer to a Maniac Mansion sequel as project leads; Mike Ebert remembers Flock as a counterbalance to "politics," and credits him for approving games like Zombies Ate My Neighbors and Metal Warriors. Ebert even suggests that he left LucasArts largely because Flock did.

May it weigh heavy on his conscience!

You should read the whole thread, which includes this reply to an inquiry about a CMI remaster:

COMI remaster is tricky. I looked into it years ago (as some have mentioned before) but I was always more interested in what we could do with Maniac Mansion first. Haven’t given up that idea quite yet.

I know Craig doesn't mean to be cruel, but tell it to the lacerations on my beleaguered heart.

Comments: 7 / Source: Twitter

Though no timetable has been offered, the innuendo from Skunkape has been strong that they will be following up their remaster of Sam & Max Save the World with similar treatments of the other two Telltale seasons.

Well, the implicit became explicit a few days ago when Skunkape shared this glimpse from episode 201 just in time for Christmas:

The North Pole is sure looking good in HD. Can the same be said of Stinky's Diner, Easter Island, the Stuttgart castle, the mariachis' spaceship and Hell itself? Hopefully 2021 holds the answer.

Well, we’d like to let you all enjoy your Christmas in peace, but people refuse to stop putting out these unspeakably awesome Double Fine videos to report on. Looking to put Santa to shame, the documentarians at NoClip have gifted us with a real doozy – a comprehensive history of Double Fine in Tim’s own words, larded with rare home video footage of the larval days of studio.

There’s too much good stuff here to try and single one moment out in an attempt to sell you on the fifty minute investment; you’re just going to have to place your faith in me and watch the whole thing. The stretch about the LucasArts remasters does have one horrifying moment where Tim points out that the fragile SCSI drives they recovered the original Grim Fandango assets from were gotten to just in time (what the heck does that mean for the older stuff?), but otherwise this tour of Double Fine’s first twenty years will leave you smiling.

Comments: 2 / Source: NoClip

Double Fine has stuffed the stocking with the following holiday greeting slash Psychonauts 2 update. It offers all kinds of nuggets about the sequel while revealing that development has hit an exciting milestone: the game will be undergoing content lock as the year draws to a close and is firmly entering the polish phase. We made it!

Want more? How about IGN’s lengthy new interview with Tim?

We were all sixteen years younger the last time a Psychonauts game was this close to shipping. This occasion is not only awesome, but rare, so enjoy it! And in case we don't see ya, Happy Holidays from all of here at House of Mojo!

Comments: 1 / Source: Youtube
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