The Hollywood Reporter just broke news that Paramount is bringing Penny Arcade’s showcase concept “The New Kid” to theaters. The script is being penned by Gary Whitta, writer of The Book of Eli (I’d also followed Whitta during his tenure as EIC of PC Gamer), marking a step in the right direction by the Penny Arcade crew.
As part of a new annual ritual, Penny Arcade unveils a handful of unique concepts that don’t fit into their standard canon, normally powered by creators’ Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins’ alter-egos Gabe and Tycho. The Penny Arcade guys then allow their audience to pick the best of breed, which they expand upon. In 2009, it was “Automata“, a noir-punk detective story set in a world in which robots are second-class citizens. Last year, “The New Kid” competed and lost against “Sand”, a western with a sci-fi twist, but today’s announcement makes sense as a kid-friendly follow-up to Paramount’s own Rango. In”The New Kid”, Solomon must hop across the galaxy as his father’s job dictates, frustrated at the culture clash he experiences with each new world and species they encounter.
“The New Kid” wasn’t my favorite out of this latest round of Penny Arcade concepts, and The Book of Eli‘s script was a drag, but these elements combined may voltron the concept. Hopefully the move allows the Penny Arcade guys more creative leverage. I’ll be there day one.