How much more would you enjoy a movie if you had the chance to determine how it ended? 20th Century Fox is banking on movie-goers jumping for the chance to feel that empowerment, as they are close to gaining the rights to the popular Choose Your Own Adventure book series. The young adult series, which allowed readers to choose which characters and plot points to follow over the course of a story, was first published in the mid 1970s and continued up until the turn of the century. Hit the jump for more information on how this property could be translated to the big screen and other media.
According to the Hollywood Reporter’s exclusive, 20th Century Fox will own all screen rights to the property, which includes over 180 titles. The report also says the studio hopes to create a “cross-platform four-quadrant action-adventure franchise” that will assumedly tell these stories across different digital platforms to incorporate the interactive elements of the format. I’m interested in what exactly that will entail, but I imagine we will see a greater push to incorporate video games, apps, viral videos, and websites as part of the overall “story,” and not just as a peripheral marketing component like it is in many cases now.
The news today shows that there seems to be a natural evolution at work that sees traditional forms of entertainment more actively incorporating today’s interactive technology platforms, resulting in increased consumer control over the content itself. Earlier this year we wrote about CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 offering viewers the chance to vote on Twitter the ending to one of their episodes as it aired. Replicating such behavior for a movie while sitting in a theater seems sacrilege, but I think 20th Century Fox’s overall goal to empower the viewer is similar.
Did you read any Choose Your Own Adventure books as a kid? Do you view this news as another desperate Hollywood gimmick, or a legitimate opportunity to enhance the viewer’s experience? Let us know in the comments below.