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

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

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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.

Written by Navneet Alang

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

 
#1
Cliff
May 4th, 2010 at 10:07 am

Just hope they won’t be as bad as Max Payne!

 
 
#2
Matt
May 4th, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Max Payne was not that bad….seen way worse.

 
 
#3
chris
May 4th, 2010 at 10:09 am

You definetly missed Diablo and Starcraft!
But afaik Diablo is in the pipeline already… Go legendary pictures go ;)

 
 
#4
Tschai
May 4th, 2010 at 10:53 am

Uncharted and ICO/The Last Guardian are already great movies…
;)

 
 
#5
tydunitz
May 4th, 2010 at 11:13 am

You’re forgetting the rule, Nav! All videogame movies to date invariably blow. Should we really be gambling such excellent videogame IPs, given the history thus far? ;)

 
 
#6
tydunitz
May 4th, 2010 at 11:15 am

That said, Tetris should be a movie. It could be an espionage thriller set against the backdrop of the Cold War. They could even use the same tagline as the game: THE SOVIET MINDGAME.

Chilling.

 
 
#7
Fred Yates
May 4th, 2010 at 12:42 pm

Super Marios Bros was awesome. I don’t think the first Tomb Raider or Hitman were THAT bad, either.

 
 
#8
navneetalang
May 4th, 2010 at 1:11 pm

You’re totally right, Ty – video game movie is usually code word for ‘2 hours I will never get back’. But I think that filmmakers tend to focus on the wrong things, or just pick the wrong source material. Who looked at Street Fighter and thought that would make a solid base for a movie? I totally think that games should be games and movies should be movies – but maybe some of these titles have compelling enough worlds that a smart team could actually make a watchable film.

 
 
#9
Ken
May 4th, 2010 at 11:55 am

How about Myst or Riven?

 
 
#10
adam
May 4th, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Hey,

I’ve seen the announcement of your site on WDD, and have just checked it out .

It is cool. I like it.

I hope you’ll knock out the ‘crazy titles and headlines’- problem soon… :D
[viewed in G chrome, win7]

 
 
#11
kalel06
May 4th, 2010 at 12:50 pm

The Half-Life series would be phenomenal on film if they figure out how to make a plot with a mute protagonist work.

 
 
#12
Matt
May 4th, 2010 at 1:16 pm

Completely agree!

 
 
#13
Matt Webb
May 4th, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Yes they should so make Half-Life game series into a movie. They could at least have a trilogy. The only issue is, it will be awful unless the studio making it has a large budget.

 
 
#14
Jeroen Marechal
May 4th, 2010 at 1:30 pm

What about Duke Nukem? I loved that game back in the days!

 
 
#15
wpBlast
May 4th, 2010 at 2:33 pm

All of these would be awesome movies!

 
 
#16
Bryan Markham
May 4th, 2010 at 3:02 pm

How could you leave out God of War and Duke Nukem? You should be ashamed of yourself!

 
 
#17
pixelheat
May 4th, 2010 at 3:23 pm

I would love to see Beyond Good & Evil <3

 
 
#18
Chris
May 4th, 2010 at 3:36 pm

System Shock 2.

 
 
#19
Luke
May 4th, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Half-Life
Bio-Shock
God of War

 
 
#20
Rezzurekted
May 18th, 2010 at 10:14 pm

They are making a Bio-shock film XD

 
 
#21
oshoney
May 4th, 2010 at 3:46 pm

uhhh… Bioshock. would be the best movie ever if they could do it right.

 
 
#22
Aaron
May 4th, 2010 at 3:47 pm

totally forgot half life (1-2 etc) and bioshock fallout (1,2,3) idk ….

 
 
#23
KS
May 4th, 2010 at 3:50 pm

no Zelda???

 
 
#24
Jonathan
May 4th, 2010 at 4:02 pm

Uhh…

How about The Legend of Zelda?

How quickly we forget the April Fools Day prank that had us all drooling!

 
 
#25
Simão Freitas
May 4th, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Metal Gear Solid for sure. The best story in a game i’ve seen so far. All 4 of them. That would be huge!

 
 
#26
Rezzurekted
May 18th, 2010 at 10:16 pm

Already been made and its good aswell, its a B-movie like but still good never the less, and anyways Escape from LA and such was MGS films!!!

 
 
#27
Justin M
May 4th, 2010 at 4:07 pm

Zelda
Mega-man
Half-Life
HomeWorld

But you know what? How about some ORIGINAL stuff!

 
 
#28
The Chosen
May 4th, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Yup, Fallout. Doesn’t even need to be one of the stories, just the Fallout universe.

 
 
#29
Dan O'Neill
May 5th, 2010 at 7:46 am

100% agree with this. The Fallout universe is pretty special.

Is everyone ignoring Halo for a reason? Excellent universe, story, and characters. With the right budget, director and look, it could be absolutely epic. I remember reading reading one of the halo books ages ago, First Contact, and thinking that it would be the best of all the stories to turn into a movie.

 
 
#30
Coris
May 4th, 2010 at 4:39 pm

definitely Half Life….and Speedball 2

 
 
#31
Zarko
May 4th, 2010 at 6:12 pm

How about a movie based on Monkey Island series, now that in good hands could be some epic stuff. Pirates of the Caribbean already broke the ice for that genre.

 
 
#32
Neoky
May 4th, 2010 at 6:57 pm

Please don’t say such things OP. There hasn’t been a video game based movie yet.

Doom. Farcry. Blood Rayne I & II. Max Payne. Street Fighter. Double Dragon. Super Mario Bros. Mortal Kombat. Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. House of the Dead. Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life. Alone in the Dark. Dead or Alive. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale

 
 
#33
Jeroen Marechal
May 5th, 2010 at 5:28 am

How you mean “There hasn’t been a video game based movie yet.” Sure there are… for example Hitman – the game was cool, the movie was really bad. Haven’t seen Max Payne yet though http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0467197/

 
 
#34
sophers
May 5th, 2010 at 12:31 am

Gothic 1&2, Dragon Age, Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy

 
 
#35
Chris
May 5th, 2010 at 3:33 am

Broken Sword. Would be perfect for an Indiana Jones/Da Vinci Code style flick.

 
 
#36
Blaney
May 5th, 2010 at 9:59 am

- Assassin’s Creed (Everyone that worked on the Hitman movie should be banned from the production of this movie)
– Zelda
– Final Fantasy (Not a disjointed futuristic sci-fi movie that had nothing in common with FF franchise other than the name and not a movie that’s a continuation of a 100 hour extremely complex video game that’s over 10 year old which you had to be familiar with to understand this movie. Just give us a movie that has the character relating they had in FFX, the amazing caliber of plot that was in FFVII, and the cinematic quality they had in XIII and I’ll be happy)
– Splinter Cell (1 condition, obviously you can’t have Michael Ironside as Sam Fisher because he’s getting up there in terms of age, but just dub his voice over whatever actor they get to play him.)
– Gears of War
– Fallout (My personal choice out of this entire list, also keep Liam Neeson as the paternal figure)
– Modern Warfare (Get Ridley Scott to direct)
– Dungeon Keeper
– Twisted Metal
– Left 4 Dead (Really just because I love zombie movies and this an excuse for one)
– Metal Gear Solid (Directed by Doug Liman and Screenplay by Paul Haggis?)

 
 
#37
Rezzurekted
May 18th, 2010 at 10:19 pm

Assassins Creed already has a movie series out, MGS films have been out for YEARS AND YEARS (escape from NY & LA….Kurt Russel being Snake ALA Call me Snake line) Gears coming out shortly! do you homework man ffs!

 
 
#38
Splat
May 5th, 2010 at 11:53 pm

Grand Theft Auto – any version – maybe leave some of the ‘grand theft auto’ bits out, but the story lines aren’t too bad.

 
 
#39
Rondell RoyaltyClub Paul
May 7th, 2010 at 3:10 pm

a proper Super Mario Bros is needed indeed!

 
 
#40
Josh
May 18th, 2010 at 1:21 pm

I think the problem with basing movies off video games is how familiar it is with the general public. I mean, who HASN’T heard of Batman or Spiderman or Superman? Part of that familiarity comes from being around for decades. How much of the world’s population is really familiar with gaming? And different games appeal to different niches within the gaming community. Making a movie based off a game which has only a cult following isn’t going to bring in the big bucks, and, ultimately, that’s why movies are made. Maybe someday somebody’ll strike it rich with the first really good movie-to-game translation, but I don’t see it happening.

 
 
#41
k
May 26th, 2010 at 3:11 pm

how can you forget Half Life???????

 
 
#42
Sneaksie Thiefsie
December 4th, 2010 at 6:15 am

Thief The Dark Project
Thief 2 The Metal Age
Thief Deadly Shadows

 
 
#43
Daniel Wood
October 10th, 2011 at 3:05 am

They need to make:

Uncharted
Halo
Metal Gear Solid
Bioshock
Half-Life
Legend of Zelda
Mass Effect
Final Fantasy VII
Gears of War
Modern Warfare

 

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