Spoilers ahead. Based on the 1986 arcade game, the new sci-fi action film Rampage certainly lives up to its title, as three morphed monsters make their way to Chicago and wreak major havoc. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Naomie Harris star as primatologist Davis Okoye and geneticist Kate Caldwell, two people with stakes in situation trying to stop the destruction. And, well, they sort of succeed. But is this where the frenzy ends, or will Rampage have a sequel?
It's definitely possible. In an interview with Flickering Myth, director Brad Peyton acknowledged that they'd already built up a fully-realized world to play around in, making a sequel a lot easier to jump into. "When you're making a movie, there's a lot of ideas that come where you could go with this, what you can do. For me, every single thing I do, I'm just trying to do something bigger, better, different," said Peyton. What couldn't make it into Rampage might be a great starting point for Rampage 2, in other words.
There's also the fact you can't keep a good franchise down. The video game inspiration for the film had no less than five sequels, with 1997's Rampage World Tour even featuring a space lab-themed final level that might have inspired Rampage's opening scene. The interesting twist about the games vs. the film: the game is famous for players playing as the monsters. Instead of saving the princess or the world, players have to destroy buildings, grab helpless bystanders, and bring entire cities down to dust. Whether a monstrous POV is a potential future option is uncertain, but the game's escalation from monster smash-and-grab to revenge against their creators is certainly another angle. So far this fan has the best sequel combination of both ideas:
Not to bust their bubble, but that's exactly what happened to Johnson (minus the gorilla) in 2005's DOOM, another video game-based film. In an interview with Collider, the actor said he'd already lived the "video game curse" (where movies based on video games tank in theaters) through that movie, leaving Rampage free to tear up the box office. This is Johnson's third project with director Peyton, and when asked about working with the filmmaker, he said he admired Peyton's ambition. Speaking with Collider he said, "We don’t get a lot of shots at this, in any business, so if you’re gonna take a swing, why not take a swing for the fences and go for it. We have the ability, the resources and the talent to come to the table for us, so we’ll take a swing and see what happens."
That sounds like if Peyton pushed for another Rampage, Johnson would be in for the ride. Nothing official has been announced yet, though that likely hinges on how Rampage does this opening weekend, and seeing if the video game curse has finally been broken. And if a sequel does happen, there's a lot of story it could cover. In the film, Okoye's closest friend, an albino gorilla named George, is hit by a new chemical developed by unscrupulous company Energyne. Two other animals across the country are also hit, and the DNA-warping superweapon transforms all three (matching the original arcade game's trio of terror) into towering killing machines with attitude.
Energyne's sociopathic CEO has a plan to cover up their mistake and get their (clearly successful) chemical weapon back, by flipping on a giant frequency transmitter so painful the monsters will rush to stop it by any means necessary. The monsters will race towards their headquarters in Chicago killing inconvenient witnesses Okoye and Caldwell in the process, the Army will kill the monsters, and Energyne can get its samples back, win-win.
So, Okoye and Caldwell race ahead of the Army and FBI to reach Energyne to find the chemical cure they know the company engineered before creating the cause, and sure enough they find it. Without spoiling too much of the titular rampage, the chemical transforms George back into his intelligent self without affecting his size. It takes a monster to fight a monster, and Okoye, George, and Caldwell team up to take down Energyne and their other creations.
There's no corporate accountability for the massive destruction wrought by Energyne's villainous CEO and her milquetoast brother, though there is mild personal comeuppance. Successful companies are monsters themselves, specifically Hydra; cut off one head and another springs right back to take its place. Despite the P.R. disaster of destroying a swath of the country and half of Chicago, there's always the possibility the company will bounce back with a bigger, badder version of their CRISPR chemical, tweaked even further. So if a sequel does happen, we're likely to see more rampaging in the very near future.