Video Game to Movie Adaptations We Need NOW!
Guest Blog by Nathan Warby
With E3 fever currently gripping popular culture and bringing the video games industry into the forefront of media coverage, there is no hotter topic online right now.
Some of the world’s most talented creators work in gaming, offering us some of the most ambitious and powerful stories available in any medium. E3 is the time of year that they take centre stage. All this hype got us thinking – which video game series should have their narratives explored on the big-screen?
Not through lack of trying, we still haven’t had a genuinely good adaptation from game to film.
The recent Tomb Raider reboot was “meh” at best. Assassins Creed couldn’t quite capture the spirit of the source material and I don’t even want to talk about Need for Speed. With so many stunning game worlds out there to explore, we’re hoping it’s only a matter of time.
Here’s our five picks of games series’ that could make for truly excellent movie adaptations.
For what feels like forever, there have been rumours about a movie set in the beautiful yet disturbing city of Rapture. The game itself is iconic (and one of my all-time faves) because of its consistently creepy atmosphere melded with a compelling story. The underwater, dystopian world is an intriguing character in itself, some of the game’s most captivating moments are found just by exploring and learning about what exactly went wrong in Andrew Ryan’s people’s paradise. It could be the backdrop to an incredibly creative suspenseful thriller of a movie. Unfortunately, the big-screen adaptation has now been cancelled – but we can still dream.
The Fallout series is one of the most critically acclaimed titles in recent memory, with the third entry in-particular garnering widespread adoration. Fallout 4 released in 2015 and Fallout 76 has been leading this year’s E3 headlines.
The actual stories within the games are fairly forgettable, instead it’s the quirky post-apocalyptic world and crazy characters that make the franchise memorable. This alternate history is one of a world ripped from 1950’s pop fiction and the dreams of that era’s Popular Science. This world pictures the 1950’s hope for nuclear technology fused with an era of big cars, steel, new plastics, and atomic lasers before technology shrank in the digital age. Fallout envisions where this world ended up after a one-day nuclear war between the US and China brings humanity to the brink of extinction. It is a powerfully fascinating concept to explore, and the alternate history in which an early atomic-age causes a cultural stasis, produces some bizarre imagery where laser weaponry and advanced robotics appear alongside atomic cars, steel power suits, nuclear slingshots, and mutated super scorpions are set to a rat pack jazz soundtrack.
While a more character driven narrative would be the safest bet, I’d love to see a director take a more minimalist, Mad Max-style approach; focusing more heavily on over-the-top set pieces and expressing the savageness of the new world. There isn’t a more interesting world out there than the alternate history of Fallout.
Red Dead Redemption
In the past, film adaptations have tried used games that have a usual or far-fetched element to them, think Assassins Creed or Doom. Perhaps the secret to a meaningful video game movie is the use of source material that is rooted in realism relying on strong characters rather than outlandish settings. Enter Red Dead Redemption. Set during an engrossing point in history, the death of the wild west, RDR tells the story of a former outlaw who is forced by the authorities into eliminating his old gang to protect his family. Protagonist John Marston cuts a complicated and troubled character, believably portraying a man who used to be bad but is trying everything to be good. Making these two ideas the driving force for an emotional and brutal western tale could make for an enthralling character driven flick.
Life is Strange
Kind of like The Butterfly Effect, but a lot less Ashton Kutcher and hopefully a lot better. Life is Strange is charming tale about two childhood friends, Max and Chloe, who reunite by chance after Max discovers that she can rewind time. It sounds a bit naff but bear with me.
What gave this game its heart was the relationship between the two friends. The supernatural powers were just a means to an end. It was the back and forth between the two characters who were so different, yet cared deeply about each other that made this story so endearing.
Casting for this movie would be critical, who would I pick I hear you ask? Maisie Williams as Max and Sophie Turner as Chloe. You may know them from starring together on a little-known show called Game of Thrones, but they also have a well-publicised friendship away from HBO’s limelight. I think they could have a ball bringing these quaint characters to live, as the chemistry between the two is natural and believable.
Horizon: Zero Dawn
Yes, a film about robot-dinosaurs roaming the earth! Stay with me here. Horizons in-game world is absolutely gorgeous and packed full of lore and subtle storytelling. The mystery surrounding the mechanical beasts is intriguing, whilst the prehistoric aesthetic clashing with the advanced technology on display is striking and leaves a lot of room for creative freedom. The game is truly unique, something that is increasingly rare in both gaming and film. The opportunity to produce something unlike anything that has come before it is one not to be squandered. Plus, main character Aloy has become one of the finest examples of strong female characters in recent years. She’s well on her way to being held in the same regard as female icons like Lara Croft. An on-screen adaptation of her, with the right casting, could be a slam-dunk for any studio brave enough to take the chance.
So, these are my top picks for video game adaptations we would like to see and believe could be amazing movies.
What is the video game you most want to see on the big screen and why?
Tell us in the comments.