Enough Comic Book Movies! 7 Video Games That Need to Become Films NOW

It is, in many ways, a grand time to be a nerd or geek who is a fan of movies. The last decade has not only seen comic book heroes be the star of movies like Spider Man 1 and 2 and The Dark Knight which were actually good, we’ve also gotten grand fantasy epics like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter – and even a few great Sci-Fi flicks like District 9 and Star Trek.

But with the release of Iron Man 2 this week – and the news that the next Batman film hits in 2012 –  I can’t be the only what wants to say “Yeesh! Enough with the comic book movies already!”. You can only milk a certain type of source material for so long until it becomes a bit stale.

No, what we need are more movies based on video games. Now, I know: the video game movie doesn’t exactly have an illustrious past. In fact, using video games for inspiration has resulted in some of the worst movies of all time. But video games are the future – not simply for geeks and nerds, but for everyone. And as games become more sophisticated and smart, the gaming mentality is creeping its ways into all facets of our lives, from social networking to even the way we go about fixing the world’s problems.

So with that in mind, here are 7 video games that need to be turned into movies. Like, now.

1. Super Mario Galaxy

A movie of SMG? Yes! Sure, Super Mario Bros. starring Bob Hoskins was the film that made us equate ‘terrible’ with ‘video game movies’. It was a strange, awkward mess that many complained was nothing like  the game – and who wanted a dark and gritty Mario film?

But the best thing about Mario has always been how it seemed like it was created by a kids storybook illustrator on a serious drug-induced bender: boomerang throwing turtles? Man-eating cacti?  Spinning into crystals and then turning into a half-man, half-bumblebee creature? Sure! Why not!? It’s all insane! Which is why we need to hand some peyote or LSD to a completely mental, abstract director and then just let them tackle Super Mario Galaxy. What results will likely be a film that flies its weird flag loud and proud – and isn’t ashamed of it. Sure the game’s story sucked. But where we’re going, we don’t need stories.

2. Uncharted

Now okay, this one is cheating a bit. After all, when Nathan Drake & Co. recently returned in sequel Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, almost everyone on earth described the globe-trotting adventure-action game as ‘cinematic’. But come on: a game in which the quality of the action is, for once,  actually matched by the plot is screaming out for a movie – and rumors suggest it will. Besides, sending Drake and Elana and Sully on a worldwide adventure  will allow us to forget that Indy 4 ever happened. Seriously Hollywood: drop every stupid ‘tacked-on-3D’ film you have in production and make this now. Hell, make this 3-D. I don’t care. Just do it.

3. Mass Effect

Maybe the most surprising thing about the Mass Effect series is that here were a pair of Sci-Fi games set in in space that had aliens in them and – shock of shocks – they had plots and ideas that weren’t stupid. Who knew such a thing could exist? Well they could and do, imaginary person who I’m asking this question to. And the world and story is compelling enough to make a seriously cool film. Sure, the core of any RPG game is character creation and the fact that you move through the plot yourself. But it’s hard to argue the universe created by Bioware wouldn’t make for an awesome Sci-Fi movie. Besides, what about the inevitable inter-species sex scene? C’mon, admit it: it’d be a little hot.

4. The Last Guardian


I know, I know: talking about a game that hasn’t been released yet? That’s a video game world no-no. But I’ve got two words for you: Ueda & Miyazaki. Yeah, ya’ heard me. Why not let Haayo Miyazaki, the guy responsible for Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke, create something based on the work of the minds that brought us Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. Imagine the strange, eerie, beautiful possibilities.

No, I was serious. I want you go and sit for 5 minutes imagining what it’d be like. Then come back here and report about what you came up with. I’ll wait.

5. Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem

This underrated, often terrifying Gamecube classic was the kind of game only the brave dared to play alone at night. It’s also the perfect fodder for movies: careening through time and with a incredibly dark, ominous tone, this game would make you forget about those adolescent Resident Evil movies, and will have you reaching for your Depends instead. And if the filmmakers could really think outside the box and break the fourth wall in ways similar to the way the game did – we’d be onto a new kind of movie-going terror (and I’m not talking about Gigli).

6. Serious Sam

First-person shooters don’t make for very good movies – please see the disaster that was Doom. But a humorous parody of the ridiculous things about FPS’s? Now that would make for some good popcorn-fodder. And ever since our dreams of Duke Nukem faded away and died, it’s Crotek’s Serious Sam that has taken the reins on over-the-top, ridiculous shooting games. Get yourself a good comic action hero (Nathan Fillion! Nathan Fillion!) and the story of a man who shoots headless people with bombs for hands could turn into… actually, wait: that’s already awesome. But a movie that took that idea and ran with it and the exaggerated sense of humor could bring some much needed levity to the action-game inspired flicks.

7. Conker

You gotta’ love Pixar, right? Their sweet, family-friendly films are almost perfect. Yet, don’t you find yourself occasionally wishing sometimes that Woody would drop a couple of F-bombs? Or that Wall-E would smack around some of his lazier human masters? I mean, it’s all… just a little too ‘clean’ sometimes, right?  Well, wouldn’t it be awesome to have a totally-not-family-friendly squirrel in a movie of his own, cursing and destroying his way through the first major R-rated CGI picture we’ve seen? YES. YES IT WOULD. Which is why the swearing, violent Conker of Conker’s Bad Fur Day should star in his own animated film. And let’s be honest – the filthier the better.

K, What Did I Miss?

So, I admit this list is a little ‘2000s- heavy’. What other games, whether from 20 years ago or last year would make for great movies. Remember! Great games won’t always make for great movies – and similarly bad games won’t always result in bad films. Hit the comments and tell me what I’ve missed.

By navneetalang

Navneet Alang is a technology-culture writer based in Toronto. You can find him on Twitter at @navalang

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