With the likes of Warcraft and Assassin's Creed looking increasingly promising, there'll no doubt be renewed interest in turning video games into films if both films perform with critics and audiences.
Already, studios are hurriedly buying up rights to certain gaming franchises in hopes that Warcraft and Assassin's Creed will, once and for all, prove that video games can be turned into decent films. There's been plenty of thinkpieces on why games to films don't work and even more examples, but we're being hopeful here.
We've come up with nine choices for studios that could be easily turned into films with the right director and script attached.
You could use the old PlayStation classic, WipeOut, for this if you'd prefer something a little harder edge. Remember that podracing scene from The Phantom Menace? It's basically the only scene in that film, nay the entire prequel trilogy, that's worth watching. Now imagine a film based around that scene. You're probably saying to yourself that you can't make interesting for 90 minutes. That's right. But what you CAN do is build a story around it that makes sense and has an emotional weight. It's basically any Formula One story, but with flying space cars instead. Think Rush with Chris Hemsworth if it was directed by JJ Abrams.
8. RED DEAD REDEMPTION
Red Dead Redemption took a lot of influence from Sergio Leone. In a sense, the game was essentially a Spaghetti Western that had you playing along with it. That's fine, we're not hear to knock that. But what we would LOVE to see is the DLC, Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare, get a possible film adaptation. We're sort-of getting that already with Kurt Russell's upcoming Western, Bone Tomahawk. It's about cannibalism in the Old West so it's kinda like that. But yeah, Red Dead Redemption would make a fine film. Or just any Spaghetti Western, really. There aren't enough of them. Plus, the soundtrack would be incredible. The famous Mexico entrance was, for us, the best use of music in a video game. Ever.
Although this has already been turned into a TV miniseries, we didn't really rate it because A) the story didn't make sense, B) it had terrible acting and poor CGI and C) the script was just as bad as the acting and the CGI. So, no, we don't count Forward Unto Dawn. Neill Blomkamp was allegedly in the final stages of negotiating a Halo movie with Steven Spielberg attached to produce when it all went up in smoke. Why is that? Do they not like money, maybe? Who knows. What we do know is that the Master Chief is long overdue a film adaptation.
6. MIRROR'S EDGE
One of the most innovative and engaging games we've played in years, Mirror's Edge had an intelligent story mixed with blisteringly fast visuals. You put those two together on screen and you've got something people would line up to see. What most studios fail to grasp is that there's no need to put a director who has strong visuals in for a video game adaptation. There has to be an emotional weight to it, something that gets the audience invested. It's not enough to just put up nice scenes and hope it works. We have to get invested. Speaking of...
5. FALLOUT 3 (And possibly Fallout 4, if the story's good)
Liam Neeson's your dad who goes in search of resources to help save you? Malcolm MacDowell's a Nixon-esque president over an apocalyptic wasteland? Yes, we can absolutely see a Fallout movie happening real soon. The disappointing Book of Eli from a few years ago had flashes of Fallout, but put someone like Toy Story 3's Michael Arndt in charge of the script, get Roger Deakins to do the cinematography and John Hillcoat to direct and this will win Oscars left and right. A collapsed society, clinging to the vestiges of authority, a lone figure roaming the Mojave? Of course this will work.
4. LEGEND OF ZELDA
Again, this one's been mooted for some time and there was early talk that Netflix were working on an adaptation with Nintendo. That, ultimately, turned out to be false - although Nintendo have opened the possibility of getting into the film business. Legend of Zelda could be very easily turned into an engaging adventure series. The animation style in The WInd Waker, for example, lends itself to something more experimental than a live-action take on the series. Plus, there's literally decades of lore for the screenwriters to take a run through. Someone like Andrew Stanton from Finding Nemo would be perfect to take this on. Basically, give it to Pixar and let them turn it into an even bigger cultural phenomenon.
Yes, Portal was a game about solving puzzles using... portals. But! The storyline, the comedy and the voice-acting by JK Simmons and Stephen Merchant were really top-notch. The meta-humour that's on display in Portal really does lend itself to the sort of work that, say, Phil Lord and Chris Miller became famous for. Or, better yet, get Stephen Merchant to write the script and get maybe Paul McGuigan, who did Sherlock and is currently doing the Victor Frankenstein thing with James MacAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe, to direct.
2. METAL GEAR SOLID
OK, this would need a LOT of cleaning up. For one, they'll need to drop all that nano-machines crap, that whole La-Li-Leu thing from Metal Gear Solid 2, they'll need to make Solid Snake not sound like a complete idiot (Kiefer Sutherland fixed that already, in fairness) and they'll need to make a story that actually makes sense. We'd argue The Phantom Pain has done all those things and then some, except for the pervy costume Quiet wears. That's just weird and no explanation is going to help. But, Metal Gear Solid does have the same sort of help or hindrance that Legend of Zelda has - namely, decades worth of lore to pick and choose from.
Ico is regularly cited as one of the shining examples of a video game that transcends genre and moves into the realm of true art. It didn't exactly do well over on this side of the world, but those who are familiar with it will know the story well. A young boy, who's born with horns, is imprisoned in an abandoned castle where he's due to be buried alive. However, an earthquake causes him to escape and go on an atmosphere odyssey that sees him find a mute princess called Yorda who has a connection to the castle and an evil Queen who has nefarious plans for both of them. It's an incredible story, that kind that Cartoon Saloon or Studio Ghibli could easily turn into a film with a minimal amount of editing to the story or visuals.