Dodge cars will star as post-apocalyptic police cars this spring in a new television series and online game that is designed to blur the boundary between the two mediums.
Called “Defiance,” this near-future science-fiction hybrid is set in what’s left of the United States following the “sudden and tumultuous” arrival of aliens on Earth.
The television show will center on the sheriff of the boomtown of Defiance, built on the ruins of St. Louis, who fights the good fight from the driver’s seat of a Dodge Charger modified by alien technology. At the same time, players in the online “Defiance” video game will drive a similarly modified Dodge Challenger as they navigate a related storyline.
“We wanted to be the first to do something entirely new,” said Mark Malmstead, media manager for Chrysler Group LLC’s Dodge brand. “We just loved the look and feel of this project, and it aligned perfectly with our demographic targets, who are young, predominantly male and educated. There’s a lot of car chases and gunfights in the program.”
“Defiance” is being developed by NBC Universal’s Syfy Network, which is reportedly investing $100 million in the project. Malmstead said Chrysler is getting input into both the massively multiuser online game, which goes live in early April, and the TV series, which debuts April 15.
“It’s a true transmedia experience. It’s neither a game based on a series or a series based on a game,” said Mark Stern, president of original content for Syfy. “They complement each other; they refer to each other. Some of the characters cross over and some of the storylines crossover.”
Stern told The Detroit News that he is enthusiastic about Chrysler’s participation, adding that its “sexy muscle cars” are a perfect fit for this brave new world, and while they look like something out of “Mad Max” by the time Hollywood gets done with them, he said the show and the game are more hopeful and aspirational than other end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it fare.
Which begs the question: Will Chrysler make a production version of the Charger equipped with armor and guns as a tie-in with the show and game?
“It’d be cool,” Malmstead said, “but not likely.”