Doom (film)

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Doom movie poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based on Doom
1993 game
by id Software
Music by Clint Mansell
Cinematography Tony Pierce-Roberts
Edited by Derek Brechin
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates
  • October 17, 2005 (2005-10-17) (Los Angeles)
  • October 21, 2005 (2005-10-21) (United States)
  • October 27, 2005 (2005-10-27) (Germany)
  • November 3, 2005 (2005-11-03) (Czech Republic)
  • December 2, 2005 (2005-12-02) (United Kingdom)
Running time
105 minutes[1]
  • United States[2][3]
  • United Kingdom
  • Czech Republic
  • Germany
Language English
Budget $60 million[4]
Box office $56 million[5]

Doom is a 2005 science fiction action film directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak[3] and written by David Callaham and Wesley Strick, loosely based on the video game series of the same name created by id Software. Starring Karl Urban and Dwayne Johnson, the film follows a group of marines in a research facility on Mars. After arriving on a rescue and retrieval mission after communications ceased, the marines soon battle genetically engineered monsters plaguing the facility.

After film rights deals with Universal Pictures and Columbia Pictures expired,[6] id Software signed a deal with Warner Bros. with the stipulation that the film would be greenlit within a year.[7] Warner Bros. lost the rights, which were subsequently given back to Universal, who started production in 2004. The film was an international co-production of the United States, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, and Germany.

In an interview with executive producer John Wells, he stated that a second film would be put into production if the first was a success at the box office.[8] The film grossed $28.2 million in North America and $27.8 million overseas for a worldwide total of $56 million; based on a $60 million budget, the film was a box office bomb.


In the year 2046, a heavily populated research facility on Mars is suddenly attacked by an unknown assailant. Following a distress call sent by Dr. Todd Carmack, a group of marines, led by Asher "Sarge" Mahonin, is sent on a search-and-rescue mission. One of the marines, John "Reaper" Grimm, accompanies his sister, Dr. Samantha Grimm, to one of the labs within the devastated sector to retrieve data; here he learns that the dig site where their parents were accidentally killed was re-opened and ancient skeletons of a genetically enhanced race were discovered.

While searching for survivors in the facility, the marines find Dr. Carmack, who is taken to a medical room for examination, but later disappears. The marines find a creature that leads them down to the facility's sewer. Marine Eric "Goat" Fantom is killed during their pursuit, along with the creature. The corpses of Goat and the creature are taken to the medical room. Marine Gregory "Duke" Schofield stays with Sam as she starts an autopsy, when they are attacked by a second creature. After trapping it, Sam continues the autopsy on the first creature, finding that its organs are human. Goat suddenly revives, and then kills himself by slamming his head against a glass window.

The squad tracks a third creature down into the dig site, where it kills three more marines. Sam and Reaper try to convince Sarge that the creatures are humans from the facility, mutated by the addition of a Martian chromosome (called C24) they found and synthesized from the bones discovered, and that not all of those infected will fully transform into creatures. Regardless, Sarge orders his team to sanitize the entire facility. Sarge kills the creature in the medical lab (revealed to be a mutated Dr. Carmack) and executes one of his marines for defying his commands. Sam and the surviving marines are then flanked by the infected, partly mutated, humans. Only Sam and a wounded Reaper escape. Sam injects Reaper with the C24 serum, enhancing his abilities so that he is able to kill the infected humans and fully mutated creatures. Reaper then battles an infected Sarge and kills him. Having survived, Sam and Reaper enter the elevator to leave the facility.


The marine squad
From left to right: The Kid, Duke, Destroyer, Portman, Sarge, Reaper, Mac, Goat


The film's producer, John Wells, admitted in an interview that "many" video game movie adaptations had "sucked." He revealed that the crew was able to get "a lot of financial support from Universal" and that it wasn't "done on the cheap." Wells also revealed that the Doom movie would have a sequence shot in a first-person perspective because "Doom without that would be a miscarriage of justice!"

Wells also revealed that "we were all very concerned that we make sure that it was exactly the kind of experience that we [the crew] remembered so fondly from the game: turning the lights off at midnight, cranking it up and scaring the hell out of yourself!"

Wells further stated that there is a balance between CGI and prosthetics in the Doom movie, and he, for the first time as a producer, admitted that "we didn't wanna rely on the CGI. Those effects still haven't quite got to the level where you fully believe it — certainly not for long periods of time," and that the crew used Stan Winston's Creature Shop and that his work is only "enhanced with CGI." He also admitted that "if you rely too much on CGI it can look cheesy: it doesn't quite work. It'll get there, but it's not there yet."

Wells has stated that the crew insisted that the Doom movie be made into an R-rated movie and that he didn't "think it was possible to do a PG-13 version—and that's been the mistake made by a couple of other computer game movies," and that "a lot of studios didn't want to do it. But we made a conscious decision that we'd prefer not to make it any other way."

Wells also revealed that if this first Doom film is successful, a second one could be made, and that "we certainly have some ideas for the next one, if there is gonna be one. We'll have to wait and see: the audience will have to tell us ..."

One of the most noteworthy aspects of the film is a short sequence near the end of the film where the camera follows the progress of Grimm from a first-person perspective in homage to the original game. In the words of Karl Urban, the actor who plays Reaper:

"In some ways, it makes cinematic history in that, for the first time, the audience becomes the hero of the film."
"When we go into FPS, the audience is doing the rampage, the audience is doing the work and that is so cool. It’s insane!"[9]

Production history[edit]

  • November 27, 2003 — Computer Gaming World printed an article on their website regarding the Doom movie. It states that Warner Bros. is indeed working on the Doom movie and has placed it on the fast track. A revised script was submitted to id Software and approved; John Wells (producer of ER) and Lorenzo di Bonaventura (who introduced The Matrix to Warner Bros.) have signed on to work on the Doom movie. Concept art and storyboards have been drawn by Federico D'Alessandro, who has worked on various movies, music videos, and video game covers and advertisements.
  • May 15, 2004 — the Associated Press (AP) released a news article regarding video game to movie adaptations that mentions the Doom movie.[10] Here's an excerpt that mentions the Doom movie: "Soon, more blockbuster game franchises, such as Halo and Doom, are expected to become the basis of movies."
  • June 2, 2004 — Variety reported that Warner Bros. has lost the rights to Doom and Universal Studios has acquired rights to Doom and Variety confirms that Doom will be based on Doom 3.[11]
  • August 9, 2004 — A Doom 3 article in an issue of Time mentions that Universal is set to film the Doom movie in Prague in the winter of 2004–2005.
  • August 10, 2004 — The Hollywood Reporter released an article that mentioned release dates for 8 movies and the third movie listed was the Doom movie. It states that Doom will have a wide release on August 5, 2005.
  • August 15, 2004 — The Hollywood Reporter reported that John Wells Productions is currently in pre-production for the Doom movie.
  • August 18, 2004 — a website, Box Office Prophets, made the Doom movie project their movie of the day and they list the release date for the Doom movie, August 5, 2005. The article also confirms that Universal has Doom on a production schedule of Winter 2004–2005 in Prague's Barrandov Studios.[12] The planned release date was mentioned as August 5, 2005.
  • September 15, 2004 — major news has been revealed by both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter on the Doom movie. Karl Urban has been cast for the Doom movie as the star, John Grimm, a leader of a special ops team. It has been revealed that he will be dealing not only with alien demons but also the organization known as the United Aerospace Corp that is responsible for the death of his parents. It has also been revealed that Enda McCallion has dropped out of the project and Polish director Andrzej Bartkowiak has signed on to be the director. It has also been revealed that production will start in mid-October with an October 21, 2005 release date. Also noted is that Universal Pictures is talking to The Rock regarding a role in the Doom movie.
  • September 22, 2004 — The Hollywood Reporter reported that Universal Pictures has cast Rosamund Pike opposite of Karl Urban as a scientist named Samantha.[13]


The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 19% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 130 reviews, with the critical consensus "Sure to please fans of the video game, but lacking in plot and originality to please other moviegoers."[14] Roger Ebert said, "Doom is like some kid came over and is using your computer and won't let you play."[15] Richard Roeper has also stated, "The performances are awful, the action sequences are impossible to follow, the violence is gratuitous, the lighting is bad and I have my doubts that the catering truck was even up to snuff on this project."[citation needed] Rob Gonsalves gave it two stars, citing incoherent action sequences, flat and humorless characters, and poor acting: "Only Richard Brake, as the sleazy and duplicitous grunt Portman, gives a performance of any interest, and even that's on the level of caricature."[16] In 2009, Time listed the film on their list of top ten worst video games movies.[17]

It did well on its opening weekend, taking in $15.5 million. However, it quickly dropped in its second week in theaters and the final gross of the film was only $28.2 million domestically and almost $56 million worldwide, with a budget of $60 million. The film was nominated for a Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Dwayne Johnson), but lost to Rob Schneider for Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo.[citation needed]

In a 2009 interview, Johnson described the film as an example of "trying and failing" to do a good video game adaptation, and that it was a cautionary tale of what "not to do".[18]

Home media[edit]

Doom was released on DVD on February 7, 2006, HD DVD on April 26, 2006 and on Blu-ray Disc on February 10, 2009.[19]


The film's score was composed by Clint Mansell, upon which he produced a remix of the Nine Inch Nails song "You Know What You Are?", which was used in the film's ending credits. The song "Switchback" by Celldweller was licensed to be used for marketing and media purposes, such as the theatrical trailer and TV spots.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "DOOM (15)". British Board of Film Classification. October 18, 2005. Retrieved February 23, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Doom". British Film Institute. London. Retrieved November 20, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Deming, Mark. "Doom (2005)". Allmovie. Retrieved November 20, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Doom (2005)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-06-30. 
  5. ^ "Doom (2005)". The Numbers. Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  6. ^ "Interview with id Software CEO Todd Hollenshead (page one)". Tom's Games. Retrieved June 25, 2008. 
  7. ^ "Interview with id Software CEO Todd Hollenshead (page two)". Tom's Games. Retrieved June 25, 2008. 
  8. ^ Archived November 8, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.‹The template Wayback is being considered for merging.› 
  9. ^ "Interview with Karl Urban". Empire Online. Retrieved February 25, 2007. 
  10. ^ Hollywood Interest in Video Games Grows
  11. ^ Variety
  12. ^ Doom
  13. ^ "'Doom's' day for Pike with Universal Pics". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on October 10, 2004. 
  14. ^ "Doom (2005)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 22 November 2015. 
  15. ^ "Doom". Chicago Sun-Times. 
  16. ^ Gonsalves, Rob. "Movie Review: Doom". Retrieved 22 November 2015. 
  17. ^ "Top 10 Worst Video Game Movies". Time Magazine. October 20, 2008. Retrieved 2013-06-13. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Universal to Bring "Doom" to Blu-ray this February". Retrieved 30 November 2008. 

External links[edit]