Video games have a terrible track record when it comes to adapting them into movies. They almost always end up bad. The biggest problem is Uwe Boll. Boll has a nasty habit of taking the titles to video games but then making something else entirely. Boll uses a number of German tax loopholes that allows investors to make money off of flops. For whatever reason, Boll has chosen to use this scam to make video game adaptations.
Unfortunately, all the bad video game movies can’t be put squarely on the shoulders of Uwe Boll. Films like 1994’s Street Fighter had everything in place to be a bona fide hit, but then the studio wanted too much. Super Mario Bros. went so far off base it was only recognizable in character names only.
On occasion we do get some decent video game movies. The original Resident Evil wasn’t faithful to the source material but the franchise continues to make money. The first Mortal Kombat isn’t the highest rated film ever, but it more than tripled its budget and remains a childhood favorite to many of today’s grown men. The Tomb Raider series managed a sequel that many feel improved on the first.
There are a lot of video games out there that if done correctly, could break the rule of video game adaptations being bad. Here are ten that the film studios shouldn’t give up on.
10. God of War
Plot: A Spartan Warrior is called upon by the goddess Athena to kill Ares, the legendary God of War. This works out well for Kratos as Ares had tricked him into killing his own family. To take down Ares, Kratos must find the mythical Pandora’s Box. If successful, Kratos will become the next God of War.
Who should be involved: Tom Hardy would be perfect as Kratos. A number of older, highly respected, and seasoned actors should be set up to play the various gods and goddesses. It may be a controversial choice, but Zach Snyder’s 300 almost felt like a God of War video game, and Snyder is often criticized for his films looking like video games. That criticism actually makes him the perfect choice to direct.
Plot: In an alternate 1960, an airplane pilot crashes into the ocean near the Ayn Rand inspired underwater utopia of Rapture. Jack comes to find out many of the inhabitants have gone insane, and the city is stalked by the mysterious Big Daddies and Little Sisters.
Who should be involved: Guillermo del Toro should direct. His aesthetic is perfect for the city of Rapture and his work on the Hellboy films proves he can pull off the Big Daddies. If you’ve seen The Devil’s Backbone, he has no problems with creepy children; perfect for the Little Sisters. We know del Toro works well with Ron Perlman. Since we rarely see or here Jack, he’s just as good a choice as any for the lead role.
8. Lollipop Chainsaw
Plot: Juliet Starling seems like the All-American girl. She’s a bit foul-mouthed, overly sexual, a member of the cheer leading squad, and zombie hunter. On her 18th birthday, the school goth resurrects a number of demons and sets the loose on the town of San Romero. Along with the talkative severed head of her boyfriend Nick, Juliet protects San Romero from the evil forces.
Who should be involved: Writer and director James Gunn collaborated on the game so he should do the film. He’s already been involved with a number of projects that blend elements of comedy, sci-fi, and horror. Emily Browning or Alexa Vega could both make a great Juliet.
7. The Legend of Zelda
Plot: Throughout time and space, the hero Link must protect the land of Hyrule and the Princess Zelda from the evil Ganondorf. To do so, he must travel the land with the Master Sword and keep the minions of Ganondorf from obtaining a powerful artifact known as The Triforce.
Who should be involved: Gabor Csupo is better known in the world of animation, but he did the fantasy sequences in Bridge to Terabithia quite well and they have a magical aesthetic similar to the Zelda games. Logan Lerman and Elle Fanning would make a great Link and Zelda, respectively.
6. Devil May Cry
Plot: 2000 years ago, the dark knight Sparda sealed the demon world. In an attempt to keep all dark power at bay, he sacrificed his own and walked the earth as a man. He would birth twin sons, one of which, a boy named Dante, would be the only member of the family to survive a demon attack. Dante carries on his father’s work as a demon hunter in an attempt to avenge his family.
Who should be involved: The Wachowski Brothers need to get back to form and do straight special effects heavy action. They could pull this off in their sleep. It’s been a downhill struggle for them ever since the first Matrix film. Sequels usually aren’t as well received as originals, Speed Racer was a head-scratcher, and Cloud Atlas was based on a book that was almost unfilmable. This could be the perfect film to bring them back to form.
5. Red Dead Redemption
Plot: It’s the Old West. John Marston is a bounty hunter being black-mailed into hunting down his former partners. As Marston heads further into the American Southwest, he finds himself in the midst of a Mexican civil war.
Who needs to be involved: There’s usually a bit of dark humor in Rockstar game’s offerings. Luckily, there exists a writer/director team that does well with period pieces and excel at dark humor: The Coen Brothers. Brad Pitt has shown interest in starring in a film based on Red Dead Redemption, but Josh Brolin would be a much better choice. Brolin already looks like he’s been transported from the Old West.
4. Metroid Prime
Plot: Bounty Hunter Samus Aran responds to a distress signal in space. The signal comes from the ship of a group of Space Pirates she’s had dealings with before. Samus searches the ship to find the crew slaughtered and stumbles across an old enemy. After the ship is destroyed, Samus flees to her gunship and pursues her enemy to the nearby planet Tallon IV, where a deadly secret awaits her.
Who needs to be involved: Ridley Scott is a shoe in for this film that would include elements of science fiction and horror. Scott is also no stranger to strong female protagonists, as seen in his film Alien. A big name needs to be attached to the lead role and that distinction needs to go to Jennifer Lawrence.
Plot: The Belmont Family and dhampir Alucard have fought the forces of Dracula for generations. Along the way they must stop the minions of Dracula as well; a group of classic and recognizable monsters of legend such as mummies, zombies, Medusa, and Death.
Who needs to be involved: Steven Spielberg needs to be in the director seat for this flick. This might seem strange at first but a family of adventurers going through old historic castles sounds a lot like an Indiana Jones film. Spielberg is also no stranger to fear and suspense. The film could put two young Hollywood elites in the roles of Alucard and a female member of the Belmont family.
2. The Elder Scrolls
Plot: A huge cast of characters and a multitude of stories take place on the continent of Tamriel, a richly developed fantasy setting with a large amount of history and mystery.
Who needs to be involved: Peter Jackson. Many have tried to replicate the magic of his Lord of the Rings Trilogy, but almost everyone has fallen short. Jackson is the go-to director if you want to do fantasy on the big screen. Considering the additions he’s made to flesh out The Hobbit as a trilogy, it could be interesting to see what kind of story he would come up with Tamriel as a back-drop. Maybe he could focus on the disappearance of the Dwemer?
1. Mega Man
Plot: In the future, robotics expert Dr. Light invents a sentient android known as Mega Man to assist him and his colleague in the laboratory. His colleague, Dr. Wiley, eventually betrays Dr. Light and plans to use an army of violent and destructive robots to take over the world. Dr. Light must modify his lab assistant for battle to take on Wiley’s forces.
Who needs to be involved: Pixar Studios needs to handle this one. Live-action just doesn’t seem to be fitting for a Mega Man movie. Brad Bird needs to write and direct. Bird has already worked with Pixar and handled robots and high action in animation with his films The Iron Giant and The Incredibles.