It's not hard to see why fans everywhere still clamour for a sequel to Bully, even after all these years. Rockstar's 2006 schoolyard shenanigans simulator still holds up today as an excellent piece of work, and one of the most original projects the iconic developer has ever released.
It's an ongoing point of contention among fans, then, that we still don't have a sequel. Gamers everywhere have convinced themselves for over a decade that Rockstar has a Bully follow-up in development in secret somewhere, but one has yet to materialise. The closest we got was a few years ago, when we learned that Rockstar had been working on a sequel at one point... and then ultimately scrapped it. Fantastic.
While Rockstar may not have an open interest in returning to Bullworth Academy, many of those who brought the original game's characters to life certainly do. Gerry Rosenthal, who played protagonist Jimmy Hopkins back in the day, has said on multiple occasions that it's a role he'd return to. Now Peter Vack, who portrayed Jimmy's nemesis Gary Smith, has also expressed interest in a sequel.
"I mean, yeah, it would be amazing!" Vack told GAMINGbible when asked about coming back to play an older version of Gary Smith in a hypothetical sequel. "I mean, that would be so cool. I don't even know how I would approach it. But I would certainly not say no to that. Yeah."
Vack, who spoke to GAMINGbible about his upcoming "unconventional romantic comedy" PVT Chat (more on that in just a second), had a lot of positive things to say about his experience with the original Bully. Curiously, it's the only video game role the actor and fledgling director has ever taken on, but it's the kind of thing he'd be keen to try more of.
"It turned out it was this great role antagonist, Gary Smith," Vack explained. "And truly, Gary Smith is by far the character and most well known for it without a doubt. I mean, Gary still has like a whole legion of fans and followers online. And he really is a cool character, you know?
"The fun, I think, for a performer doing these video games is how large the characters are. They're comic book level big, and part of the joy as a performer is getting to inhabit larger than life scenarios and emotions. It's so rare in life that we get to like, explore the extremes. But when you're playing the villain in a video game, you are an extreme embodiment. And there's almost like nothing more fun or more cathartic than getting to do that."
Vack added that this concept of exploring the extremes was something that initially drew him to PVT Chat. Directed by BODEGA frontman Ben Hozie, PVT Chat explores the story of Jack (Vack), an internet gambler from NYC who develops an obsession with Scarlet (Julia Fox), a cam girl from San Francisco.
"Honestly, there are moments of that high drama in PVT Chat," he added. "That's part of why the movie was such a yes for me, because I've done 'low key', and that can be really fun, but it's not really why I decided I would love to have the life of an actor, which isn't always fun.
"For me, it's about those rare moments where you're asked to do something that really challenges you. And that really, where you're forced to experience something that you might never want to experience in life, or you wouldn't want to experience life that is a real test in some way. And a huge, grand, life changing scenario that then you can walk away from, and be like, cool. You know, it's a little bit like a rollercoaster in that way. You know? Yeah, you're strapped in and you don't actually die."
To describe PVT Chat as a rollercoaster is certainly apt. Hozie's latest effort is a low-budget curio that explores the nature of addiction and questions the honesty of the relationships we forget with people behind screens. Through the ups and downs of the budding relationship between Jack and Scarlet, we see a young sex worker who is completely in control of her life and her choices, and a would-be gambling hot shot who... is not. Over the course of the movie, Vack's character becomes increasingly unlikable over a series of questionable and often abhorrent choices. But, he says, this was by design.
"Jack isn't doing these things from a place of malice," Vack explains. "You almost feel like he's just a child. He has this puppy dog-ness and a brightness that I think definitely isn't on the page and isn't in the sketch of the guy. But what was so important for Ben was that the inherent sweetness almost makes the bitterness of the guy feel palatable. And Ben is a romantic, and so it's important to Ben that he's making romantic comedies... unconventional romantic comedies."
PVT Chat, which might well be the most unconventional romantic comedy you ever see in your life, will be released on various digital platforms on February 12, 2021. Bully 2 is coming... probably never.
Featured Image Credit: Rockstar Games
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read