Fletcher Munson: [sunnily, on homecoming] Generic greeting!
Mrs. Munson: [warmly] Generic greeting returned!
Fletcher Munson: Imminent sustenance.
Mrs. Munson: Overly dramatic statement regarding upcoming meal.
Fletcher Munson: Oooh! False reaction indicating hunger and excitement!

That’s Steven Soderbergh’s brilliant dialogue from Schizopolis, but it could very easily be the stuff of EverQuest, Sony’s hopeful franchise-in-waiting, based on Sony Online’s once-successful online multiplayer game. Not that I’m trying to disparage 300‘s Michael Gordon, who has been formally announced as the film’s (current) writer, after a rumor period tossed his name around in conjunction with the project.

Set aside for a moment the fact that it’s entirely impossible to decipher who would care about this movie at all. Like the announced World of Warcraft film, EverQuest will be based on source material that is a hollow shell. The title tells all: in the game world of Norrath, perpetual walking around and hitting things with sticks is the order of the night, not plot and character. Actually, EQ is worse than WoW when it comes to leveraging tired and obvious post-Tolkien tropes.

Androgynous Elf: [sunnily, on entering the Inn] Upbeat greeting implying successful treasure hunt!
Group of muscular warriors: [coldly] Generic financial interest. Guarded sexual interest.
Robed Warlock: Imminent rape.

And so on.

Now back to the ‘who cares about this movie?’ part. Variety reports that at it’s peak, which is a few years in the past now, EQ had 450,000 paying subscribers. That’s identical to the number of people who, at any given moment during the day, have paused World of Warcraft to take a shit and smoke a bowl.

Neither EverQuest nor World of Warcraft, of course, has a snake’s chance in Whacking Day of making it to screens before 2009 if the writer’s strike goes forward as aggressively as Terry George claims it might. Not that Gordon couldn’t just cut and paste a few dozen pages of online interactions and extrapolate a script out of that.