5 Phenomenal Video Games Perfect for a Movie Adaptation

movie_theatre - Phenom 5

Some of my fellow movie-oholics may not know but I’m a huge video games guy. My gaming résumé dates all the way back to the Atari 2600. For those wondering that’s a pretty long time. Over the years video games have developed into a pretty amazing storytelling vehicle. Today many games consist of much more than ‘jump, shoot, punch, run’. In fact, many games have been able to tell some of the most immersive stories that you’ll find, quite similar to good movies. So I thought it might be fun to look at five wonderful video games that seem perfect for a motion picture adaptation. Even if you aren’t a gamer, check out my thoughts on them and see if you agree. Now with so many games out there I wouldn’t call this the definitive list. But I’m certain that these five video games would make for movies that could be phenomenal.

ASSASSINS#5 – “Assassin’s Creed” – The “Assassin’s Creed” franchise has given gamers some of the most beautiful and immersive period settings ever. Mixed with clever doses of science fiction, “Assassin’s Creed” has visited the Crusades, the American Revolution, and most recently the age of pirates. And while the story of Desmond Miles experiencing the long past memories of his assassin heritage has hit some bumps in the road, there is still ample material for a really great movie. I mean can’t you see Ridley Scott bringing these huge historical period landscapes to a big screen? The video game franchise has fell victim to some clunky and convoluted storytelling but in the hands of a talented and able screenwriter I think the potential is sky-high.

Black Ops#4 – “Call of Duty: Black Ops” – All who has played any of the “Call of Duty” games know that it’s a franchise that thrives to create a true cinematic experience. It’s massive action set pieces, explosions, and combat are always laced with a big, intriguing story that seems taken straight from a huge summer movie blockbuster. And the great thing is they manage to pull it off. So is it a stretch to think a flashy cinematic video game couldn’t make it as a flashy cinematic movie? I think “Call of Duty” is ripe for the big screen especially considering its current turns in the Black Ops run. And the franchise has already used the voice talents of Sam Worthington, Gary Oldman, Barry Pepper, William Fichtner, Idris Elba, Lance Henriksen, Kiefer Sutherland, Michael Keaton, Ed Harris and several others. Mix that with the good team of writers and top notch composers frequently used and it wouldn’t be a stretch to see it in the form of a big, entertaining summer action movie.

Castlevania#3 – “Castlevania” – While it seems to have cooled down, there are still people consumed with vampires. Unfortunately this has resulted in a lot of sophomoric silliness passing as vampire movies and television. But a “Castlevania” movie could remedy all of the “Twilight” and “True Blood” mush. “Castlevania” debuted in 1986 on the Nintendo Entertainment System and it’s still one of the hardest games I ever finished. Much of the series followed famed vampire hunters the Belmonts and even in its earliest incantations it managed to create an eerie and immersive atmosphere. With an assortment of spooky creatures and unique weaponry (including Simon Belmont’s trusty whip), “Castlevania” produced more than you would ever imagine from a side scrolling action title.

HALO#2 – “Halo” – Microsoft’s most well known video game franchise is also one of my very favorites. “Halo” was a groundbreaking first person shooter that first appeared in 2001. Over the years several sequels and spin-off games along with hugely popular novels have added to the amazing mythology. “Halo” has so many things that could translate into a great motion picture. First, it’s great science fiction built around a truly immersive world. Second, it features a truly great protagonist in the Spartan supersoldier known as Master Chief. The series has done a great job of developing the heroism and mystique of Master Chief and his adventures and cast of supporting characters is truly big screen material. There have been rumors of a Halo movie for some time. The content is there. Here’s hoping it happens.

BIOSHOCK#1 – “Bioshock” – I still remember the first time I played the “Bioshock” demo and was introduced the the underwater city of Rapture. I’ve never been swept away and immersed in a world the way I was then and I remember thinking throughout the entire game that someone just had to make a movie about this place. While set in 1960, the secluded utopia is still functioning as if it were the 40’s (the years it was constructed). Everything from the music to the outfits to the architecture brilliantly brought back that time. Then there was the whole underwater thing. It was stunningly realized and everywhere you look there was a window to the outside underwater surroundings. Now add into this world a bit of science fiction and some very effective horror elements built around a compelling story. Strong commentary, Ayn Rand objectivism, human enhancements, and brutal anarchy are just some of the deeper themes that permeate this entire project. It’s perfect for a movie adaptation and those who have played it know exactly what I mean.

Gears of War, Uncharted, Half-Life – there are so many great games that I think would make great movies. I’d love to hear from you. Please take time to share your thoughts.

37 thoughts on “5 Phenomenal Video Games Perfect for a Movie Adaptation

  1. Black Ops is garbage.. We don’t need another GI Joe like flick… I agree with Assassins Creed, can’t wait for Fassbender. Halo will probably never get made with all its issues. I’d love to see an Uncharted flick (with Nathan Fillion).

    • Totally disagree. While I’m not a Black Ops junkie like many, I still think its a quality game and the voice talent I mentioned is a lot more impressive than the cast of GI Joe.

  2. Well, Halo is coming as a TV series with Spielberg overseeing it. I doubt we’ll ever see a movie now, but a big budget series from Spielberg / Microsoft? May work well…

  3. Great piece Keith and I totally agree about Bioshock, it could be an unbelievable film. It’s been off and on for a whole now apparently. Having just played The Last of Us I think that could be a phenomenal film or mini series.

    • I’ve heard great things about Last of Us. I just haven’t played it yet. Glad someone mentioned it.

      This was a hard list to do. That’s why I cheated and showed some love for Gears of War, Half-Life, and Uncharted. All three are games I like more than Black Ops and Assassins Creed but in terms of a movie…

      • Oh man, you’ve gotta play The Last of Us, it’s stunning.

        But yeah there are plenty of games I love but wouldn’t make great films. Legend of Zelda, for instance. I reckon Red Dead Redemption might make a decent film but not sure if it’s too similar to other westerns.

  4. I’m not sure if I’m making this up or not, but isn’t the Halo film back on? Or wait…it’s a TV show now, right?

    I always thought that Prince of Persia would make a fantastic film. Sure, what we got was okay, but I always feel that the writers that the game producers use are far more able than the ones who eventually pen the adaptations.

    • The Halo thing is a series. Anxious to see how it turns out.

      I was one of the only people that didn’t think the Prince of Persia movie was all that bad. That said, I love your point. I think the game writers would do a much better job. They understand the character and his history and I think that would make for a solid movie. Unfortunately I don’t think that will ever happen.

  5. I’ve been looking forward to the World of Warcraft movie since it was first rumored, so I would certainly go there. Maybe something in the Diablo universe. (I’m more of a computer gamer than console).

  6. Oh “Assassin’s Creed” definitely, I’d watch that! I just hope the film would do the game justice, I mean visually speaking it’s quite stunning! I saw my brother played that when I was back home in Jkt, and we both would like to see the film version.

    How about Uncharted? I blogged about who I’d like to see as Nathan Drake, either Gerry Butler or Richard Armitage would be my pick 😀 😀

    • Yes I mentioned Uncharted at the end of the post. I think it would be a fantastic movie!

      Assassins Creed is actually in the works. Michael Fassbender is attached to it! I just want to hear a little more confirmation before I get too excited. They are saying 2015 release.

  7. I think Assasin’s Creed is in planning stage for a movie, maybe I’m confusing it with God of War. Hmmm…not sure, but both I’d love to see adapted into a movie. I’d want to see Uncharted the most, and I’m with you for Bioshock and Castlevania. I’d love to see Metal Gear Solid get a movie. I can hear my boyfriend yelling Dead Space is a good one too 😉

    • Oh Dead Space is a good one!!! Talk about a gruesome sci-if horror movie! That could be good!

      You’re right about Assassins Creed. Currently Michael Fassbender is set to play the lead. But I’ll have to see a little more confirmation to believe it. Although it does have an IMDB listing!

  8. Great list! I think a Splinter Cell movie would be pretty epic myself! Bioshock has so much potential for greatness.. Could discuss the founding and eventual decline into what it was in the video game.

  9. All good choices Keith, I think Neil Blomkamp and Peter Jackson were both at one point involved in some sort of Halo film that fell apart. I recall Michael Fassbender being attached to some sort of Assassins Creed project.

    • You’re right. The Halo project eventually fell through so the two went to do District 9. Fassbender is tied to a AC film but I gotta see more to fully believe its happening.

  10. Great list. I actually wrote a script for Castlevania a few years back with Heath Ledger as my Simon Belmont, but then I heard that Hollywood already had a Castlevania project going on, so I shelved it.

  11. Interesting selections. It’s kind of baffling that there hasn’t been a genuinely great adaptation of a video game yet, especially since the two mediums are getting closer and closer to each other in terms of content.

    Bioshock is a strong pick for #1. It will be interesting to see how its lead writer, Ken Levine, does in his transition to Hollywood. Apparently he’s penning the remake of Logan’s Run, so maybe that will eventually lead to a Bioshock film…

    • I hope so. I really do think special-effects technology has reached the point where a good Bioshock is possible. And Levine could definitely handle the project. My fingers are crossed.

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