It may seem hard to believe, but a Duke Nukem movie is apparently actually happening. The video game character’s heyday was in the ’90s, and questions remain about just how well the stripper-loving antihero will translate in the #MeToo era, but that isn’t stopping Platinum Dunes’ Andrew Form and Brad Fuller from plowing ahead with their movie plans.
In an interview with CinemaBlend, Form discussed the fine line they’ll have to walk in order to make a Duke Nukem movie palatable to today’s audiences, and stated his desire to capture the tone of Deadpool. “We are working on Duke Nukem right now,” he said. “It’s going to be about tone. That’s about tone. How do you nail that tone in the way that Deadpool nailed the tone? I think we have to do that and if we don’t get the tone right then we’re not going to make the movie.”
OK, so far so good. Duke Nukem, like Deadpool, is meant to be a satirical character who offends at every turn. The main difference is that Deadpool isn’t inherently sexist, while Duke Nukem’s history with women is troublesome. Form comments on that, too, but in a more puzzling way: “You know that having a misogynistic guy in today’s world, how do you make that fun and lovable and at the same time he’s got to be an incredible badass, so those are the things that we’re struggling with and we’re going to try and come out with what I hope is a really fun ride. That’s the goal, is for it to be a really fun ride,” Form said.
Making misogyny “fun and lovable” doesn’t seem like a wise endeavor — at all — but we’re willing to give Form the benefit of the doubt here and assume that what he meant to say was, “how do you soften this character so he’s not a misogynistic monster who’s slapping around strippers and treating women like objects?” A Duke Nukem movie can be done smartly while maintaining the character’s offensive satirical edge, but making him a fun and lovable misogynist probably isn’t the way to do it.