So, it is confirmed! The writer for the movie adaptation of Ghost of Tsushima is John Wick writer and director Chad Stahelski, which should instil some hope into a genre that has historically been a laughingstock of the film industry.
Remember Mario with Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo?
Or even closer to home, an Uncharted movie starring Tom Holland as the swashbuckling Nathan Drake?
That cute face has never buckled a swash in its life.
All this to say that gaming adaptations are nothing new.
Bob Hoskins didn’t know what he was really doing when he donned the red hat and dungarees.
He kicked off a series of movies that have been everything from cringeworthy to “meh” but never anything more than middling.
However, there are a lot of elements that make a good intellectual property to adapt before you even tackle the idea of adapting it well.
We’re looking at whether or not every gaming IP needs its own adaptation, and how to do it well.
Could video game movies get good after Ghost Of Tsushima?
Increasing gaming has a more prominent position in culture.
The range of genres and types of successful games that reach the upper echelon of cultural references is various.
Ghost Of Tsushima, for instance, is a single-player game – one you collectively enjoy the story and world design of.
Fortnite and Call of Duty: Warzone is a collective experience of playing together.
Traditional games have received contemporary variations, like poker games at GGPoker, keeping them fresh and relevant too.
As such, due to the size and scope of the gaming industry within culture, movie and TV studios want to capture that interest and transfer it to what they’re producing for screens.
Can a movie based on a video game be done well?
Well, that’s the billion-dollar box office question, isn’t it?
As yet, the only gaming IPs that have had warm reception is the Resident Evil series with its cult fanbase who appreciate the more campy elements, and the Sonic franchise, which, let’s face it is less the height of cinematic masterpiece and more a reason for mums to keep their kids quiet for 2 and a half hours.
When you think back over the Mortal Kombats, the Tomb Raiders, the Assassin’s Creeds, the Hitmans, you might cringe at the results.
Some of them on the list have been named one of the worst movies ever, like the Far Cry adaptation.
Did you know there was a Far Cry movie adaptation?
Could TV be a better medium for video game adaptations?
And yet, if you were to utter the words, The Witcher, you might, A) burst into a chorus of Toss a Coin to Your Witcher, and B) even smile at the reception of the Henry Caville-led show.
Arcane is getting good reviews and plenty of re-edited clips spreading on social media, and The Last of Us looks promising, with Pedro Pascal redoing his role as the protective dad, just looking after Bella Ramsey rather than Baby Yoda.
And they all have something in common: they’re TV shows rather than movies.
Is there something there?
Do these characters perhaps need breathing room?
Is the TV industry more adept at treating the characters and plots with the love they deserve?
Is Hollywood too busy trying to get that quick buck to make anything more than a (bad) comedy action movie?
Or has the reputation of the genre been irreversibly destroyed?
What does a good video game movie need?
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But we all know that a star-studded cast isn’t a recipe for success.
The Ghost of Tsushima adaptation already sounds better than any movie adaptation before it and the cast hasn’t even been announced.
Instead, we have the writer behind one of the most acclaimed action movies of the past decade.
The John Wick series turned action into ballet, dialled the dialogue right down and pushed the world-building to 11.
But Ghost of Tsushima has a lot going for it too, like its narrative-driven action, its themes of passive warfare and its beautifully crafted action and world.
Ghost of Tsushima has a very in-depth story, that can, say, fill a three-act structure and 2 hours without adding ill-thought-through plot points, Assassins Creed, and with the makers of John Wicks behind the action, it won’t be reduced to slow-motion shots trying to make firing a gun look cool.
And if the people behind the adaptation appreciate its strengths and apply them, we might just have a good gaming movie.
It sounds crazy, but it might just be possible.
What do you make of this news and this feature?
Are you looking forward to watching the Ghost of Tsushima movie?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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