Today: May 25, 2024

Video Game Movies We Want To See

Let’s be honest, most video game to movie adaptations haven’t really worked out. From Mario Brothers to Need For Speed, Doom to Tomb Raider and let’s not even get started on Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter. But such films haven’t stopped Hollywood from looking to video games for inspiration and adaptations – Assassin’s Creed, Splinter Cell and War Craft are currently all in the pipeline. If there’s a trick to bringing pixel heroes to screen it’s not to try and adapt the game itself but rather the concept of the game; the kernel that keeps players glued to screens for hours on end to see what will happen to the titular character. With this in mind, Editor Alex Moss looks at 10 video game movies that we want to see.

Metal Gear Solid
One of the longest and most popular running video game franchises around, Metal Gear Solid follows one-man-army Solid Snake as he tries to track down and destroy a secret weapon known as Metal Gear which has been stolen by a group of terrorist soldiers. It’s been around since 1987 so the franchise is rich in characters and all manner of gadgets and gizmos. Hell there’s even cyborg ninjas, super-powered villains and nuclear launching bipedal tanks to contend with. But above all else Metal Gear is about a man isolated from the world who has only ever known war. The games have already heavily influenced Hollywood – a look at the futuristic uniforms in X-Men: Days Of Future Past  is one clear example and it’s about time Hollywood gave back to Snake.
The Movie: You need a director with big scope and a finger on the pulse of the way technology impacts both humanity and the world as a whole. They also need to be able to handle massive, often CGI infused, action sequences. Look no further than James Cameron and give him a Taylor Kitsch as a young Snake for his lead.

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The Last Of Us
There are already rumours of this being turned in to a movie and it’s no wonder given the cinematic scope with which The Last Of Us is executed. The game follows Joel who, after a fungal outbreak turns most of humanity into zombie like mushrooms, loses his only daughter. Jump forward a few years and Joel is a battle-hardened survivor who must escort a young girl called Ellie, who may hold the cure to the outbreak, across a land filled with all manner of horrors. Think The Road but with zombie like creatures.
The Movie: There’s something very Walking Dead in The Last Of Us and like the hit TV show much of the interest sparks from the central characters. As such you need a filmmaker who can do apocalyptic horror that rests on the shoulders of genuine emotional investment. Give Frank Darabont (who not only produced the first series of The Walking Dead but also wrote and directed the similar themed The Mist) a call and cast Josh Brolin as Joel with Mad Men’s Kiernan Shipka as Ellie.

TheLastOfUsGame1 

Uncharted
Uncharted is another game that Hollywood has had its eye on for a while, with Mark WahlbergRobert De Niro and Silver Linings Playbook director David O. Russell all attached to the project  at one time. Uncharted follows the adventures of Nathan Drake, a descendant of Francis Drake, as he tracks down hidden treasure. He’s helped by old friend Sully and reporter Elena as they find themselves on a remote island rife with bad guys, booby traps and evil creatures that even the Nazis were wiped out by. Sure, it sounds like Indiana Jones but Drake is a hugely likeable character in pixel format so get the casting right and this has blockbuster written all over it.
The Movie: You need a director who can handle action but more importantly humourous, snappy character interaction. Cue Shane Black, the writer of Lethal Weapon and writer-director of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Iron Man 3. Cast Chris Pine as Drake (who can do action and comedy in his sleep thanks to Star Trek) with Emma Stone as Elena and throw in a curve ball with Sylvester Stallone playing against type, but with age, as the grumpy Sully.

DrakesFortuneGame1 

Dead Space
Think Alien meets John Carpenter’s The Thing and you’re on your way to seeing Dead Space. The story follows Isaac Clarke, an engineer who is sent to the planet-cracking starship Ishimura. Once aboard however it becomes clear that the Ishimura has found something while mining a planet and whatever ‘it’ is has turned almost all of the crew into hideous monsters known as Necromorphs. The game itself is nothing short of terrifying, with every dark corner potentially holding a grim creature poised to rip Isaac limb from limb.
The Movie: You need someone who can conjure seriously creepy atmosphere and who is happy to unleash genuine gore when it’s called for. Step forward Ti West of The House Of The Devil fame. And taking the lead role of Isaac, you need someone sullen, someone moody and scarred. You need a Christian Bale.

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Halo
This one has epic sci-fi written all over it. Set in the distant future, humans have colonized space and in doing so angered a race of aliens called The Covenant. Thankfully humans have been grooming children to grow into super soldiers known as Spartans but when an invasion of the Covenant world goes wrong all bar one of the Spartans, known as Master Chief, are wiped out. There’s also a Biblical element about an ancient race of aliens called The Flood, weapons of mass destruction and all manner of naughty AIs to throw into the already messy situation. In case you hadn’t guessed it this is BIG budget stuff. At one point District 9 and Elysium director Neill Blomkamp was attached to direct with Peter Jackson all set to produce.
The Movie: Blomkamp is a solid choice to direct this one and he knows how to world build with the best of them. In the role of Master Chief you need someone tough but relatable. Blomkamp’s Elysium star Matt Damon should do the trick.

Portal
Remember the awesome opening of X-Men: Days Of Future past where we see mutant Blink creating portals to jump to different locations? Now imagine a whole game on this theme. Portal follows a young woman called Chell as she wakes in a lab and is told by a malevolent robot, called GLaDOS, that she is part of an experiment. The game’s unique selling point is she is given a Portal gun, a device that allows her to open holes in special surfaces and through these, traverse huge distances in a single step. It’s hugely inventive and the sequel introduced an AI voiced by none other than Stephen Merchant. Portal boggles the mind in the best way possible and any film adaptation should reflect that.
The Movie: You need someone inventive but with a sense of wry humour to bring this one to life. Looper’s Rian Johnson would be ideal with Jennifer Lawrence delivering dry quips as she navigates a maze of sinister traps in order to take on the evil GLaDOS.

PortalGame1a 

Half Life
HalfLife combines a great sci-fi concept with a deadly conspiracy theory. The protagonist is Dr. Gordon Freeman who works at a highly secret research facility which has uncovered an ancient artifact. Unfortunately, said artifact opens a portal to another dimension and allows a deadly race of creatures to start wiping out the scientists. In an attempt to keep the accident under-wraps the government sends in soldiers to kill poor Freeman, but there’s more here than meets the eye.
The Movie: Who can do sci-fi and conspiracy with their eyes closed? JJ Abrams, that’s who. If he’s not sick and tired of sci-fi after Star Trek and Star Wars he’d be perfect for this. A bespectacled Ben Affleck would be a pretty great shout to play Freeman.

HalfLife2 

Bioshock
Freaky, weird, terrifying and with no shortage of hints of superhero like potential to tap into the current zeitgeist, Bioshock has movie written all over it. The story takes place in the underwater utopia of Rapture, built after the Second World War to avoid the horrors and economy of the world above. Years later our hero Jack’s plane crashes into the sea which results in him arriving at a rundown and desolate Rapture. What he soon learns is the people down here have mutated into something else. You can’t trust anything you see or hear, oh and there are creepy little girls running around after a drug named ADAM.
The Movie: It would take someone with a BIG imagination to pull this one off but an imagination with a hint of surreal quirk to it. That leaves either Tim Burton or Terry Gilliam to do their thing and either one would happily bring in Johnny Depp as either Jack or Rapture’s eccentric founder, Ryan.

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Shadow Of The Colossus
Shadow is a wonderfully sparse, beautiful and powerfully emotional game, the kind of stuff that should thrive on film. The story is simple; our hero Wander must defeat sixteen giant creatures for the entity known as Dormin who will then return life to Wander’s girl Mono. Traversing sun kissed vistas with his loyal horse Agro, Wander tracks down and kills these deadly, yet strangely stunning, creatures.
The Movie: It needs a director who can handle epic monsters but heart-wrenching romance. You need someone with an eye for something a little existential. You need Monsters and Godzilla director Gareth Edwards to conjure something haunting and powerful without anything resembling the clichéd blockbuster material. This really is a visual story where less is more and if Edwards was allowed freedom he could bring it to stomping life. Throw in a James McAvoy in the near silent lead and Shadow Of The Colossus could be the Monster movie Terrence Malick never made.

ShadowOfTheCollossus1 

Ratchet And Clank
Another long running franchise and one that has captured the hearts of anyone who has ever played it; Ratchet And Clank sees Ratchet, a raccoon like creature called a Lombax and his helpful robot friend Clank, teaming up with an endless arsenal of inventive weapons to bring justice to the local star systems. As with any good buddy relationship the pair have endless arguments and much eye-rolling to keep all enthralled. Their relationship is key but so is the whacky world they inhabit. As they travel the galaxy trying to save all manner of planets from a plethora of evildoers.
The Movie: Only way to go on this one is animation so we’re looking to you Pixar or DreamWorks. For that we need a director who can do comedy and action while never losing sight of a good bit of banter. That means The Incredibles’ Brad Bird is our man for the job.

RatchetAndClankGame1

Alex Moss Editor

Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com

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