John Milius: Homefront is Grapes of Wrath

When I talked recently with David Votypka, the general manager of Kaos studios, he began to speak about how screenwriter John Milius influenced the story scenarios in Homefront.

Milius is a fine writer, the screenwriter for Coppola’s epic Apocalypse Now, one of the greatest movies of the 20th century.

So when THQ and Kaos brought him on to conceive of stories for their Korea-takes-over-the-U.S. plot, Milius didn’t look to other games for inspiration. He didn’t look to science fiction books and he didn’t look to comics.

He looked to American literature. He looked to Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck.

Votypka said, “John Milius wanted the story in Homefront to reflect the great burdens people endured in The Grapes of Wrath,” Steinbeck’s memorable work about the Joads, an impoverished family struggling through The Great Depression.

Homefront isn’t about The Great Depression exactly. But the plot does unfold during a horrible invasion of the U.S., a depressing travesty in which the main character Robert Jacobs feels some of the same feelings of hopelessness that Tom Joad endured.

All this is so exciting. I love it when new media is influenced by American literature, especially when it’s a riff on John Steinbeck’s great novel. There’s a line in The Grapes of Wrath that may say it all about Jacobs: “You can’t scare him – he has known a fear beyond every other.”

Homefront? Bring it on.

-Harold Goldberg

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