The film Doom, released in 2005, is considered one of the worst among the many film adaptations of computer games. Not to mention the recent, tolerant-femenist film, which was rolled out immediately to home distribution. But did you know that in 1994 we could have gotten a completely different Doom movie?
This canceled film became known from PC Gamer magazine in October 1996. There are also early concept art for this canceled film, which was drawn by special effects artist Vincent Gustini. And interviews with id software and everything else. Vincent himself worked on Requiem for a Dream and The Dark Tapes after this Doom film was canceled.
So, sometime in the early 90s, film company Unversal Studios got the rights to make a high-budget Doom film, officially stating that:
Universal Studios has officially received the rights to the film, and Ivan Reitman, who has done Ghostbusters-style films, will be the film’s producer. It will be a big budget movie.
However, it is not known exactly how much Ivan Reitman was involved in the creation of this film, because he has nothing to do with the final 2005 film. But, apparently, not only Universal were interested in the adaptation of the film based on Doom. After all, it was stated that some Disney studios and even Dimension Films wanted to make a film adaptation of this game before Universal offered an ultimatum deal.
After Universal got the rights to film Doom, according to official statements, id software was given full control over the production of the film. And after id was asked how much control they got over the screen version, id themselves said:
We have access to everything. And at the moment we are deciding what the final scenario will be. And they must obey us.
This move was very important for id software, as they wanted to create an authentic Doom movie. And if everything went according to plan, then we would end up with a completely different film, which is described as follows:
If I close my eyes and imagine the perfect Doom movie … I see Arnold Schwarzenegger with all the Doom stuff, and ILM (Industrial Light and Magic) is working on special effects. And the plot would be in the manner of something like when Arnie flew to Mars at a time when the otherworldly gates opened and demons invaded from them.
Also, the group (perhaps referring to representatives of Universal) was supposed to meet with id software and discuss the further direction of the film. And if that happened, the film would have followed in very different footsteps than its 2005 final version. And after some time, concept art and models were created to give a more detailed idea of the vision of id software. The arts themselves, as mentioned above, were created by Vincent Gustini.
The first concept we’ll take a look at represents the physiognomy of Baron Hell. And from these arts, you can see that it differs from its in-game original shown in Doom 1 and 2.
The second concept shows us Mancubus, who is very similar to his game original, but with a much more elongated neck and more elaborate guns on his arms.
Next, we see an image that shows what the animatronics of a real controlled Cyberdemon would look like, which was 12 feet high and controlled by hydraulics and other animatronics. Yes, the studio had to use practical effects in the film, supplementing them with CGI instead of full CGI.
And in the last art, we can see an early concept of Pinky’s demon, which was also supposed to be in the movie. Also, a version of the shown demon Pinky was made on this art, from plasticine, which probably served as a prototype, which would then be transferred to a computer and implemented using computer graphics.
Also, Vincent Gustini created a full version of the huge spider brain from Doom, which acted as a boss in one of the episodes of the game. This version was also supposed to be in the film.
In the end, however, the script for the 1994 Doom film changed several times in a row until it was canceled at all, as did the film itself, which was discontinued at an early stage. And what happened next you know without me. We got a film that was released in 2005 and which everyone dubbed one of the worst film adaptations of games at the time.