#39 – “I Still Don’t Feel the Code Has Been Cracked on How to Adapt These Things”: Screenwriter Dave Callaham on DOOM

Today’s guest is screenwriter Dave Callaham, and our conversation revolves around one of his early screenwriting assignments: the adaptation of the influential video game DOOM by id Software, turned into an action movie starring The Rock in 2005. Dave quickly became an in-demand writer in Hollywood, and his credits include a ton of high-profile action movies and blockbusters – he wrote the initial script of what would then became Sylvester Stallone’s THE EXPENDABLES, he worked on films like GODZILLA and ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP, he was a screenwriter on big comic book movies like WONDER WOMAN 1984, SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS and SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE, and apart from that, he was the creator of the Amazon series JEAN-CLAUDE VAN JOHNSON and the writer and producer of a satirical animation film, AMERICA: THE MOVIE.

Our interview, however, focuses on DOOM. Dave talks about the aspects of the game which he wanted to bring to the screen and about some of the changes that were made, He also discusses the film’s legacy and his collaboration with original director Enda McCallion – who was replaced by Andrzej Bartkowiak during pre-production – and he talks about his work on another video game adaptation, the 2021 action film MORTAL KOMBAT. Please note that the connection during our interview was a bit shaky, so the sound quality may be a bit wobbly at some points during the interview – but you won’t have any problems following our conversation.

My interview with Dave Callaham was conducted in connection with our German-language podcast Lichtspielplatz, so if you speak German, please visit lichtspielplatz.at and check out episode #71, which features an in-depth discussion of the two DOOM movies. Also, make sure to listen to my conversation with original DOOM director Enda McCallion and my interview with Tony Giglio, the writer/director of the second DOOM movie DOOM: ANNIHILATION.

If you enjoy my interviews, please consider heading over to Patreon and supporting the production of new episodes.

So without any further ado, here’s screenwriter Dave Callaham!


The mp3 file can be downloaded HERE.

Photo courtesy of Dave Callaham
Editing: Christoph Schwarz
Music: Clark Kent

Christian Genzel works as a filmmaker and journalist. He has written and directed the psychological thriller DIE MUSE/The Muse plus several music videos and short films. His mystery short CINEMA DELL' OSCURITÀ was nominated for the 13th Street Shocking Short Award in 2017. He is currently working on a documentary on cult filmmaker Howard Ziehm called FINDING PLANET PORNO. As a journalist, Genzel has been published in/at Film & TV Kamera, Celluloid, 35 Millimeter, GameStar, Neon Zombie, gmx.de and the All-Music Guide. He has conducted in-depth interviews with numerous filmmakers, musicians, game designers, and others.