Drama seems to follow Kane & Lynch wherever they go. First, their debut action game–“Kane & Lynch: Dead Men”– kicked up allegations of payola when then-editor Jeff Gerstmann was fired from Gamespot.com website after writing a negative review. Next up, a mini-controversy raged when Jamie Foxx was cast as James Lynch, who’s a balding Caucasian schizophrenic in the game. Bruce Willis-who’d be playing Adam ‘Kane’ Marcus-fall more into type as the mercenary who falls into an uneasy criminal partnership with Lynch.
But, the most cursed thing about the third-person crime drama has been the game of musical chairs that’s plagued the director spot. The first man set to helm the adaptation of the IO Interactive-developed game was Simon Crane, who served as stunt co-ordinator on “Salt” and both “Tomb Raider” movies. When he bailed, Wayne Kramer (“Running Scared”) was being talked up to take the baton. In the same time period, F. Gary Gray (“Friday”) had his name bandied about as well. It finally looked like producers had found their man in Patrick Alessandrin (“District B13: Ultimatum”) but the LA Times is reporting that he’s no longer on the project.
It doesn’t help that the games themselves have become symbolic of what happens overly ambitious storytelling gets hitched to half-baked design. (The latest game in the series, “Kane & Lynch: Dog Days” came out to middling reviews this summer.) The “K&L” games do a decent job of establishing tone and urgency through characterization and have the occasional gem of a good idea but they’re just not that differentiated from other mediocre shooters in terms of gameplay. Still, you can say what you want about the games but they’re still getting made. The film version of “Kane & Lynch” may not be able to say the same if the current struggle to find a helmer keeps up.