Make My Day
Announced on February 24, 2005, Dirty Harry was a video-game based on the movie. Warner Bros. Interactive broke the announcement and explained that they would be working alongside Clint Eastwood, the house-hold name who bought the infamous lead character to fame in the 1971 film, as well as Eastwoods own Malpaso and The Tehama Companies. Eastwoods involvement was explained as that of a creative consultant, as well as voice actor of the legendary cop.
Clint Eastwood himself appeared enthusiastic at bringing 'Dirty' Harry Calahan to a prospective new audience. "This will be an opportunity to satisfy the many requests over the years to continue the Dirty Harry legacy, only now in the video game medium," Eastwood remarked. "Creating Dirty Harry video games will also introduce this memorable film character to new generations on a medium they appreciate."
At the time, no company was announced but it was revealed that the platforms the game would be coming to would be the Xbox360 and the Playstation 3.
In a series of interviews later that day, Jason Hall, Senior Vice President at Warner Bros. Interactive seemed reluctant to express any furthur comments regarding the game itself but spoke highly of Clint Eastwood and his involvement, as well as citing all 5 of the Dirty Harry pictures as personal favourite films.
News on the project went silent until May 16, 2005 when Warner Bros. Interactive broke the news that they had found a developer to tackle the project. The company stepping up to the task were The Collective, who up to that point where known best as the developers of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer game for the Xbox and the recently released Star Wars: Episode III-Revenge of the Sith movie-tie-in game.
Doug Hare, co-founder and Vice President of Production for The Collective said that "Working with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Clint Eastwood to create a compelling, state-of-the-art game that brings Dirty Harry Callahan to life on next generation consoles is very exciting,"
Feeling Lucky, Punk?
From that point on there was little news of Harry or his game for almost a year. Then on May 10, 2006 Warner Bros. Interactive and The Collective made an appearence at E3 with a roster of big-name actors who would be accompanying Clint Eastwood by lending their likenesses and voices to the game. Gene Hackman was announced as Police Supervisor Al Bressler, whilst Laurence Fishburne was cast in the part of Reverend Carlton Clay. Previously, Eastwood had worked with both of these stars, directing and starring with Hackman in Unforgiven and directing Fishburne in Mystic River.
Word rapidly spread that footage of the game itself was being shown 'behind closed doors' at E3. Later that day Warner Bros. Interactive began dishing out information to journalists.
It was announced that the game itself would be released in 2007 and would coincide with a new 5 disc collectors edition of the original movies on DVD. It was also revealed that the game would take place between Dirty Harry and Magnum Force, the first two films in the saga.
A trailer was shown which Warner Bros. Interactive were quick to explain was neither a CGI-cutscene, nor strictly gameplay footage. The company had apparently taken their character models and engine schematics to an animation house who produced the trailer. The level of detail in the trailer was lauded as impressive and many journalists believed that the game was on course to capture the '70's vibe' of the movies. Because Eastwood had not yet recorded a voice over, the dialogue in the trailer was pulled straight from the films themselves. Although the trailer itself offered no actual sense of gameplay, the animation was intended to simulate what the gameplay would be like in the finished product.
Although Warner Bros. Interactive were particularly reluctant to discuss the gameplay and plot of the game, a few key facts were uncovered. A comment from the Jason Hall, the Vice President of Warner Bros. Interactive sparked mass speculation that the game would be that of the sandbox variety when he commented that "The city of San Francisco can be a character, it can live."
The story was also explained as not a straight link from the end of Dirty Harry through til the beginning of Magnum Force, rather a progressive plot that would allow the character to be explored.
It was also explained that players would be expected to walk the line between bad cop and psychopath. Being just a bad cop would cause criminals to lose fear and respect for you, but acting like too much of a psychopath would get you in trouble with your superiors.
Feeling kind of Unlucky, actually...
On March 1, 2007, Gamespot announced that developers of Dirty Harry, The Collective were laying off approximately 30 of it's employees following Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment's revoking the studio's rights to develop the game. A spokesman for Foundation 9 (the company for which The Collective is a subsidiary) refused to mention numbers but remained adamant that the projects failing was far from destruction for The Collective.
Despite the obvious setback, Warner Bros. Interactive made it clear that production of a Dirty Harry video game is certainly still underway.
Although she refused to disclose where the project had been relocated to, Warner Bros. Interactive's Senior Vice President, Samantha Ryan had this to say: "We are moving forward with the Dirty Harry next generation videogames and will be changing our development plans in keeping with the best interest of the franchise legacy. WBIE is dedicated to creating a game that will bring Clint Eastwood's legendary Detective Harry Callahan character to the interactive space with a new story and great gameplay."
At the time, it was made apparent that The Collective were still working on two other next-generation titles and that it was only the Dirty Harry team that was affected. However, later in the year, the company merged with Shiny Entertainment to form Double Helix games. One of the two titles they were producing, Harker was also cancelled, however the other title, revealed to be Silent Hill: Homecoming was completed under the new expanded companys supervision.
Ever since Warner Bros. Interactive's initial response that the Dirty Harry game is still in production from March 1, 2007, nothing has been heard of the project. The future of the project, if any at all has remained tightly under wraps by Warner Bros. Interactive. Warner Bros. has said as of now the game is not being developed however they do want to eventually finish and release the game.