Doom is a film adaptation of the popular computer and video game series. It was released on October 21, 2005 in North America and December 2, 2005 in the United Kingdom. The DVD was released on February 7, 2006.
A movie based on the series has been widely expected since the original game's publication in 1993. In 1994 or 1995, id Software sold Doom's movie rights to two studios, reportedly Universal Pictures and Columbia Pictures, but the rights expired (apparently due to a lack of timely production). In 2002, it was reported that Warner Brothers had acquired the rights, which were subsequently lost and then given to Universal Pictures in 2003. Universal moved the film into production in 2004.
The film is closer in style to the Doom 3 game rather than the original Doom and Doom II. It is likely that the success of Doom 3 played a part in prompting the eventual production of the film. The film's design also featured the involvement of id Software, helping to ensure that things looked "authentic".
The film stars Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as Sarge, Karl Urban as John "Reaper" Grimm (the film's version of Doom's protagonist), and Rosamund Pike as Samantha Grimm, John's estranged sister, who is a scientist at the UAC facility. Other characters include Portman, Goat, Duke, Destroyer, Mac, and The Kid, who are other Marines, and Pinky, another UAC employee.
In a September 2005 interview, executive producer John Wells suggested that a second Doom movie could be created if the first was a box office success. The film's production budget was $70 million. It received mostly poor reviews, eventually settling at 20% on Rotten Tomatoes' Tomatometer,  and grossed $28 million at the box office.  There is no information for a second Doom movie.
Olduvai Research Station on Mars has been shut down and placed under quarantine, for reasons that are unclear but ominous. No one is allowed in or out except the Rapid Response Tactical Squad, a heavily armed Marine special forces unit dProxy-Connection: keep-alive Cache-Control: max-age=0
patched to handle the problem. The RRTS travels to Mars through a wormhole originally discovered by the Olduvai workers, named the Ark.
Upon entering the quarantined area, the Marines discover members of the science team who have changed into hostile zombie-like monsters. Some of them have even become creatures resembling Imps. Some of the creatures attempt to infect the remaining humans. After several Marines are killed, Sarge demands to know more about the research being conducted at the station. Samantha eventually reluctantly explains.
Excavations at an archaeological site have revealed the remains of an ancient race. Although human, they were technologically advanced, and apparently performed research into genetic manipulation. The result was a 24th chromosome. The Olduvai scientists experimented with the chromosome, injecting it into convicted murderers. The test subjects changed into superhuman monsters and the scientists lost control of the facility.
When the Marines fail to protect the wormhole, they must pursue the monsters back to the underground UAC facility on Earth, and find it overrun. Samantha discovers that the disease is selective about who it infects, preferring people with a genetic predisposition for psychotic tendencies.
Sarge decides that they must kill every last human on the base, as they could be infected by the disease. When The Kid refuses to kill a group of women and children who have survived and are obviously not infected, Sarge kills him. One by one, members of the RRTS are killed by the infected humans. Sarge is dragged away while Reaper and Samantha escape.
Reaper is seriously injured by a ricocheting bullet and Samantha is forced to inject him with the 24th chromosome, knowing that the superhuman abilities it brings will heal his wounds. He awakens to find himself alone, and after battling various monsters (including a mutated scientist, Pinky, who has, appropriately enough, become a Pinky Demon), meets with Sarge, who has been infected. The two fight hand-to-hand, and Reaper defeats Sarge by throwing him through the Ark followed by a grenade.
Details known before release
- id Software was heavily involved in the movie's production and development from the start. They reviewed the script that was used in the movie and approved it.
- One of the weapons included in the movie is the BFG 9000, referred to as the "Bio Force Gun v3.14", although Sarge says "that's a big fucking gun" when he sees the specifications for it on a computer monitor.
- The Union Aerospace Corporation (UAC) from the games is also featured in the film.
- Monsters from the series are included, such as a Hell Knight, Imps, zombies, and a Demon.
- The film contains much gore, violence, and harsh language, and has been rated R in the US and 15 in the UK.
- An action scene between Reaper's injection and his fight with Sarge is filmed in a "helmet-cam" style (such as might be integrated in advanced infantry armor), nearly identical to a player's perspective in a first-person shooter.
- A theatrical trailer (1:57 in length) was released by Universal Pictures, and is available on the film's web site. It reveals that Olduvai Station is a UAC research facility located on Mars.
- It has been reported, via the IMDb Pro forum for the Doom movie, that Universal Pictures gives the movie's running time as 98 minutes.
See also this recent interview with John Wells.
The Doom movie was criticized on a number of points by most people who had played or were otherwise familiar with the games. Many objections had to do with differences between the film and the games:
- The origin of the "demons" is no longer Hell (nor is it implied that Hell itself exists), but rather genetic experiments. The creatures are all former humans, although some have mutated into monster shapes. Many fans thought this was a cop-out and turned the film into "just another zombie movie". It is worth noting that some pre-release publicity was quite vague on exactly this issue (see the Ain't It Cool News interviews linked below).
- Iconic weaponry such as the BFG9000, chaingun and the chainsaw is not used much. The BFG fires only three shots (one of which is off camera), the chaingun fires for about 10 seconds total, and the chainsaw is only used for one scene. A shotgun is only fired three times, and what appears to be a plasma rifle is never fired. The explosion of a BFG projectile also appears more like a giant ball of corrosive mucus, rather than a massive green explosion as in the games.
- The monsters themselves are inaccurate and/or sparse — it was expected the zombies would be carrying guns, the Imps and Hell Knights would throw balls of energy, and that the other monsters in the game would appear. Instead, the monsters only attack close-up, the zombies are all (in a way controversial to the plot) almost entirely human and unarmed, and the Imp has some sort of "organism-spit" attack which can infect a human with its condition. Much to the disappointment of fans, many famous Doom monsters do not make an appearance. Perhaps the most noticeable absence is that of the Cyberdemon.
- The first-person sequence is only five minutes long, despite the original prediction of 3/4 of the movie being first-person. (A longer cut is included as a bonus feature on the DVD.)
- In general, the film failed to capture either the tense, scary, and foreboding atmosphere of Doom 3 (on which the movie is apparently based) or the run-and-gun action of the original game.
In addition, the idea of whether a test subject becomes a monster or evolves to a superhuman being (like Grimm) depends on whether he or she is genetically good or evil, and has been criticized as unreasonable. Various arguments, such as the actual existence of a soul, have been made, none with substantial evidence to fully end the debate.
It is believed that all of these points contributed to the film's box-office failure, and its rejection by fans.
- November 27, 2003: Computer Gaming World stated that Warner Brothers is indeed working on the Doom movie and has placed it on the fast track. A revised script was submitted to id Software and approved; John Wells (producer of ER) and Lorenzo Bonaventura (who introduced The Matrix to Warner Brothers) had signed on to the project. Concept art and storyboards have been delivered by Federico D'Alessandro, who has worked on various movies, music videos, and video game covers and advertisements.
- May 15, 2004: The Associated Press, in an article regarding film adaptations of video games, mentioned that "[s]oon, more blockbuster game franchises, such as 'Halo' and 'Doom', are expected to become the basis of movies."
- June 2, 2004: Variety reported that Warner Brothers has lost the rights to the Doom movie and Universal Studios has acquired them. Variety confirms that the Doom movie will be based on Doom 3.
- June 4, 2004: IMDb Pro reported that Warner Brothers has lost the rights to the Doom movie and that Universal Studios has picked them up. Also, Enda McCallion has been signed as the film's director.
- August 9, 2004: A Doom 3 article in an issue of Time Magazine mentioned that Universal is set to film the Doom movie in Prague in the winter of 2004-2005.
- August 10, 2004: The Hollywood Reporter stated that Doom will have a wide release on August 5th, 2005.
- August 15, 2004: The Hollywood Reporter reported that John Wells Productions is currently in pre-production for the Doom movie.
- August 18, 2004: The Box Office Prophets website listed the release date as August 5, 2005. Their article also confirmed that Universal has Doom on a production schedule of "Winter 2004-2005" in Prague's Barrandov Studios.
- September 15, 2004: Variety and the Hollywood Reporter reported that Karl Urban has been cast as the star, John Grimm, the leader of a special forces team. Enda McCallion dropped out of the project and Polish director Andrzej Bartkowiak signed on to be the director. Production was set to start in mid-October with an August 5, 2005 release date. Universal Pictures was reportedly talking to Dwayne Johnson regarding a role in the Doom movie.
- September 22, 2004: The Hollywood Reporter reported that Universal Pictures has cast Rosamund Pike as a scientist named Samantha.
- The characters Dr. Carmack and Dr. Willits are named after John Carmack and Tim Willits of id Software.
- Pinky's character is named after the very monster into which he later transforms. The demon in both classic Doom and Doom 3 is nicknamed "Pinky" or "Pinky demon."
- Unlike in the games, the movie features a Hell Knight wielding a chainsaw.
- The unrated "extended edition" DVD has a running time of 1 hour 53 minutes, which adds 15 minutes of footage that was removed for the original release.
- This article incorporates text from the open-content Wikipedia online encyclopedia article Doom (film).
- Bartkowiak, Andrzej (Director). Doom (Unrated Extended Edition) [DVD]. USA: Universal Studios, 2005.
- Hollywood's Interest in Video Games Grows (Associated Press article of May 16, 2004; archived at KOTV.com)
- IMDb Pro article about the Doom movie (requires registration)
- Doom The Doom movie at Box Office Prophets
- "Doom's day for Pike with Universal Pics" at hollywoodreporter.com (requires registration)
- Official site
- IMDb page about the Doom movie
- Movie trailer at IGN.com
- A report from Comic-Con with information from a panel of the cast and crew, from Ain't It Cool News
- An interview with Karl Urban, from Ain't It Cool News