Friday, November 20 2009 @ 02:13 AM UTC
by John Gaudiosi
"the airport level was a risk we had to take"
We talk to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's scriptwriter to find out what he hoped to achieve with the airport mission, how they considered putting aliens in the game, and why the game should be adapted into a movie.
Jesse Stern has been a writer on the hit CBS show "NCIS" since 2004. With the show currently reigning at the top of the Nielsen ratings, Stern has another hit on his hands with Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. After working with Infinity Ward on Call of Duty 4, Stern returned to collaborate with the developer on the sequel's action-packed storyline. While the game has etched its place in entertainment history with its historic opening gross, Modern Warfare 2 has also made headlines because of its edgy story. In this exclusive interview, Stern talks about the creation of the controversial airport sequence and gives his thumbs up to a potential Hollywood adaptation of the Modern Warfare franchise for the big screen.
JG: What was it like returning to work on the new Modern Warfare after being involved in the first game?
Stern: The second time around, we really felt like we had to play off of all the things we introduced in the first game. People have an expectation now that you're going to die, which is a weird thing. Here we have a video game where at any given moment your character's storyline might end. So, it became a real challenge to play into these expectations and try and keep things surprising and emotionally charged. We all tried to make it emotional.
JG: Did any current events influence Modern Warfare 2's subplot of reopening the conflict between Russia and the U.S.?
Stern: Infinity Ward's Jason West, Steve Macuda, Todd Alderman, Mackey McCandlish and me would talk about the kinds of stories we could tell, and we didn't want to just make a straight sequel to Modern Warfare. We started kicking around anything and everything to weed out the bad ideas.
In the beginning we talked about having things in Modern Warfare 2 like outbreaks, viruses, chemical warfare, and even outlandish things such as aliens and the living dead.
We worked our way through it before we finally ended up with a more grounded version of the real world as it's depicted in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. And as we were kicking around scenarios for conflict, we kept stumbling into things that were happening in real life, which was honestly unintentional.