There hasn’t been a genuinely good video game movie adaptation yet, so we decided to take a closer look at the games that could successfully make the leap to the big screen.
Game-to-film adaptations tend to go poorly. There are a few exceptions here and there, and there’s the odd franchise (like the X-Men, for instance) that doesn’t really belong to film or gaming, but is rather just a broader fictional phenomenon unto itself. But often what we see is that filmmakers get a little bit lost along the way as they try to capture the action and familiarity of a game and imbue it with a plot and character development at the same time. So, while it’s easy to criticise films like Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time, Tomb Raider, or Assassin’s Creed, it’s actually pretty tough to make these things work.
Nevertheless, if you think that’s going to stop studios from trying, you haven’t been paying attention to Hollywood! Sure, these films often flop critically, but they also tend to have built-in audiences, which lead to profits despite poor ratings. Assassin’s Creed, the proud owner of a 19% rating at Rotten Tomatoes, made almost $241 million worldwide on a $125 million budget. Those aren’t exactly Marvel or Star Wars numbers, but most studios will take a $116 million profit.
With this in mind, I took a fairly broad look at the modern gaming landscape and came up with a few guesses as to which games could be headed to the big screen next.
I swear, I had this idea all on my own. With Mario having made the leap into mobile gaming, and with the Nintendo Switch representing arguably Nintendo’s most successful venture in a decade (or more), it felt like it was about time for a legitimate attempt at a Super Mario movie. Well, I’ve since come to learn that Nintendo announced just such a movie, from the studio that brought us Minions, this past January. It still doesn’t quite feel real, and it’s a big risk (particularly given a main character who famously says about three words, if you include “wa-hoo!”), but it does seem inevitable at this point.
Monument Valley doesn’t quite have the following the Super Mario games do (yet), nor does it have an obvious target demographic (as its fellow mobile hit Angry Birds undeniably does). For those reasons, this may be a little less likely than some other games on this list. However, what we do have in Monument Valley and it’s incredible sequel, Monument Valley 2, is a gorgeous set of animations, a vague story that could do to be beefed up a little bit, and a sympathetic (if simple) main character. In the right hands, this could lead to a beautiful, heartfelt film – though it may be better off as an online short or even an animated mobile storybook. There’s also the fact that a Monument Valley movie has been on the cards for a while now. Oscar-winning director, Guillermo Del Toro was said to be interested in the idea of bringing ustwo games’ beautiful game to the big screen, yet his schedule is rather packed these days.
Fallout, and specifically Fallout 4, is one of the biggest games of the last few years. It’s also already one of the best-selling games in virtual reality, having been adapted to the format fairly recently. If sales are to drive game-to-film adaptations – which seems only logical at least to some extent – that would put Fallout near the top of the list. And while gameplay is the real fun of the whole series, the idea of an action-packed adventure in a nuclear wasteland isn’t exactly a stretch for modern cinema. A Fallout film, probably in live action, seems more likely than not in the coming years.
This is probably the most obscure game on the list, and therefore right alongside Monument Valley as one of the least likely predictions. However, it’s extremely well-known in certain circles. You can find the game among the free demo offerings at some online slot and casino sites, if you don’t want to play for real money, and you’ll quickly find that it’s more than your average arcade slot reel. There’s a whole little story about a fun, animated explorer galavanting around Peru in search of treasures and the lost city of El Dorado. The game has enough clout already to have been adapted to VR, and an eventual move to the screen doesn’t seem beyond reason.
Grand Theft Auto
There’s an argument to be made that Grand Theft Auto has been around too long to suddenly be of interest to a film studio. Then again, look what’s happening with Super Mario! Grand Theft Auto V, in particular, has been a whopping success over the last couple years and was still among the best-selling console games in 2017. Granted, the protagonists in this series tend to push the boundaries of the antihero (basically you play a murderous mega-criminal), but the action genre is always looking for something new. Plus, all it would really take to make the protagonists more legitimate is an early catalyst that explains at least a little bit of what the guy gets up to.
This one was a bit of a no-brainer. Naughty Dog’s Uncharted is already a Hollywood blockbuster in its own right. It’s one an Indiana Jones-type movie that you get to play on your PlayStation. There have been multiple attempts to bring it to the big screen, however, for some reason the project has hit multiple roadblocks along the way. Multiple directors, writers and stars have been attached to the Uncharted movie, yet we’re still waiting for the day we get to see Nathan Drake on our cinema screens. That said, Spider-Man: Homecoming’s Tom Holland is the latest star to be attached to the movie adaptation, and fan-favourite Nathan Fillion has just released an Uncharted short online which sent the fans wild. It also sounds like he’s going to turn it into a web series, which will undoubtedly be a fun watch.
Which games do you think should be turned into a Hollywood blockbuster, or maybe even independent, movie? Let us know in the comments below.