Earlier this month, we showed you that there are a lot of video game-based movies on their way to theaters. This surely will become a trend that will continue for the next few years. There are countless properties available to use as inspiration, and therefore, it’s only a matter of time before someone figures out how to make a great video game movie. Until that time comes, we have to wait patiently. In order to occupy our minds, we asked our contributors to pick a video game that they think would make a great movie and then to create a pitch for that movie. The below list is what we came up with.
What video games do you want to see as a movie? What would that movie be like? Be sure to tell us below in the comments!
My Choice: Portal / Portal 2
For a good video game movie adaptation, you need a video game that is original. You need something that will blow your audience’s socks off with not only a cool premise and story, but the possibility to have amazing special effects. Portal was an incredibly innovative game, and Portal 2 built on that premise. It has all the potential to be a source of inspiration for a film. The game is exciting to play, has a complex plot, makes you think hard, and had a lot of great comedy. All of those aspects would translate well to the big screen.
The Movie: “Portal”
Chell awakens in a stasis chamber in the basement of the Aperture Science facility, unaware of her surroundings or how she got there. She explores her surroundings and finds Wheatley, an escaped AI that has been trying to find her. GLaDOS, the AI in charge of the facility who has run rampant, captures Chell and Wheatley who she believes is a threat. She toys with them both, putting them through obstacle courses in the name of “science”. Chell and Wheatley work together to escape confinement and deactivate GLaDOS. Wheatley takes control and turns maniacal, the plan all along because he knew that Chell was the only scientist who could solve GLaDOS’ obstacles such that he could escape and take control.
Chell – Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Wheatley – Stephen Merchant
GLaDOS – Ellen McClain
Cave Johnson – JK Simmons
My Choice: Command & Conquer (the story from the original trilogy, inspiration from the whole series)
Yes, the game is a RTS where the player spends most of their time, um, commanding and conquering, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of movie “gold” here to be mined. To start with, the original game made excellent use of cheesy cut shots to not only entertain gamers but to create a background story in order to justify all the pixelated violence. Later iterations of the game introduced big-name actors as important characters as the cut scenes became even more sophisticated. Finally, the C&C universe is a diverse and interesting place. There’s the goofy alternate-universe WWII setting of the Red Alert spin offs to the strikingly familiar modern setting of Generals to the post-apocalypse world of Command & Conquer 4. As such, C&C has the potential to be a franchise full of action-packed satirical films. For now though, I’m just focusing on the first installment…
The Movie: “Tiberian Dawn”
An asteroid harboring hostile alien vegitation (“tiberium”) strikes Italy, killing millions and ushering in a nuclear winter for two years. Out of this chaos, a new world order forms with two factions battling for control. The militaristic GDI and the fanatical NOD. GDI is interested in preventing the spread of the alien infestation, while NOD has an almost religious devotion towards it and the genetic mutations it soon causes. The movie would follow the efforts of GDI Captain Jack Harrison as he undertakes a mission to rescue a brilliant scientist Ignatio Mobius from NOD captors. Mobius is on the verge of a breakthrough deep in contaminated Africa. Figure a combination of Apocalypse Now and Zombieland with quirky electronic dance music straight from the 90’s(plot more like Apocalypse Now, tone more like Zombieland). When Harrison is finally able to make it to Mobius, he finds out a terrible secret about NOD’s plans to expand the effect of the tiberium to other areas of the world and he must infiltrate their top secret Temple of NOD and face their fearless leader Kane in order to save the world.
Captain Jack Harrison – Jai Courtney
Dr. Mobius – Javier Bardem
Kane – Richard Armitage
“Commando” – Dwayne Johnson (“I’ve got a present for ya.”)
My Choice: Jak and Daxter
Video games were not always “realistic” and revolving around humans all the time. A great example of that is the PS2 and PS1 era. All the greatest hits from that time period explored something bigger and more creative. Friendly animal sidekicks, or even robotic ones like Clank. God of War explored myths and had all kinds of mayhem, etc… So I shuffled through them, what game should I choose to be a movie? Ratchet? Nope, already being done. Sly? Same deal. Beyond Good and Evil? That is a good one. Or how about Jak and Daxter, one of the greatest titles on the PS2!
The game, unlike Ratchet and Sly, doesn’t need to be full on animation. Jak can be a “real life” character, and Daxter can be CG (Computer Generated) along with the world they live in. By doing this we could bring to life this world that not only entices the fans, but really amazes the younger audience with it. A good mix of funny humor that can be seen as adult, but still make kids laugh would make it perfect. Then have an overall “serious” tone to make people believe the film is simply badass! Jak would of course talk and have a similar “dark” nature to him like in the second and third games. The world would be much like Jak 3, since Naughty Dog slowly opened up more technology and expanded the environment after the first game.
The film would open up with Jak (Around high school age) in his small town and Jak’s mother telling him to not get into anymore trouble. Jak shrugs it off and wonders into the town, clearly showing he is king of his world, and Daxter joins up. They come across an elderly character (Samos) that speaks of a “forbidden island” (Misty Island) and this peaks Jak’s interest. The two plan out a night trip to the island for fun and this is where they come across the villains (Gol and Maia Acheron) surrounded by Lurkers, which talk about “Dark Eco.” Daxter slips up as they plan to spy on the meeting. This sets off an alarm and during the escape Daxter falls into the Dark Eco, which causes him to become “Ottsel” (Half Otter, Half Weasel). They decide to go back to the Samos for help and he tells them of the portals and other Sage they need to find for help. Along the way Jak keeps uncovering more and more about the villains and their plan to flood the world with Dark Eco, and Jak slowly changes his game plan to save the day instead. The ending would seem like a fitting end, but would easily be opened up with an after the credits scene that plays homage to the gate opening when you collect 101 Power Cells.
Not sure who I would cast, but a lot of costume and makeup would come into play anyways so it wouldn’t really matter!
My Choice: Knights of the Old Republic
Back when it started to become clear that Lucasfilm was scrapping the old Expanded Universe stories under the new Disney Star Wars management, one of the few stories I was crossing my fingers they’d leave in the new canon was Knights of the Old Republic. The Bioware game remains one of the, hands-down, best Star Wars games created, and the lore it inspired has been the source of some of the best Star Wars stories since the films themselves.
Being that they take place so long before any of the movies, and have virtually no bearing at all on the events of the current canon, it wouldn’t be that difficult to keep it included, or use one of the planned spin-off films to adapt the story of Revan and his journey. It would be a great way to show off something different on the big screen than Star Wars fans are used to, and would open up a plethora of new storytelling options that could go further with other films or even a spin-off of it’s own.
Because of it’s time frame, filmmakers would have ample amounts of creative freedom to explore new storytelling options and angles, without having to worry about affecting the other films in the saga. It’s ripe territory and the fan base for the property is already there and eager for more. It seems like a no-brainer of an idea and one I’m still crossing my fingers for.
A man (woman) wakes up with no memory of his past but is quickly caught up in galaxy shaping events. In order to stay strong in the face of his new predicament, he surrounds himself with some of the galaxy’s best fighters and tacticians. As a dangerous plot to rule the galaxy is discovered, he must risk everything and learn to harness the power inside in order to stop it.
When a sudden revelation turns his world upside down, he must decide which course to take or risk losing all he holds dear in the galaxy. His decision will affect not only his closest friends…but the fate of the entire galaxy.
This is a tough one. There are so many amazing actors out in the world today who could form up this ensemble cast and make it work. What’s harder is that many of the ones popping up in my mind are already set for new Star Wars movies (and thus wouldn’t work for this time period), or rumored to appear in them!
Those are some of our picks, what about yours?
Other Video Game Movielinx articles from this month: