Following the success of Sonic 2, readers suggest more video games that should be turned into movies, from Metroid to Metal Gear.
The subject for this week’s Hot Topic was suggested by reader Snake, who asked what new adaptations you hope and expect to see in the future. Do you have any faith they’ll be better than normal for video game movies and do you have a cast or director in mind?
There were plenty of sensible decisions but Horizon Forbidden West was the most common recent title and one that, thanks to Sony, may actually happen.
I’m not a great fan of the video game movie concept but thinking about this question, one series did jump out as one that would actually benefit from the transition, and that’s Horizon Zero Dawn/Forbidden West. As many have pointed out the background lore is really good, but the actual story and characters are boring as hell. A movie, you would hope, could improve on these elements and then something would actually be gained from the adaptation.
Obviously, giant robot dinosaurs are a selling point whatever you do, so it seems to me that Sony could be on to a bit of a winner. So why do I still get the feeling it would miss the point and get it all wrong, like the recent Uncharted movie?
I do believe Sony has already talked about making a Horizon movie, and Uncharted’s success makes it much more likely they’ll go through with it, but please, just recognise what the game does well and what it does badly and match the film accordingly. Trying to recreate the game exactly as it is is pointless – the film has to do something better, or show something new, that the games never did.
I wish they’d gone through with the Monkey Island movie idea that was floating around in the 90s, starring Alex Winter out of Bill & Ted, but ever since Pirates of the Caribbean that’s been a no-go, since Disney doesn’t want two pirate franchises.
If I can’t have that though then Metal Gear seems the obvious choice, which is probably why there’s been rumours of it being made for decades. Who knows whether it’ll ever happen but haters and fans both have always been aware that the games are half movie anyway so going the whole hog should be a relatively easy transition.
The problem is that making it without Kojima seems like sacrilege, but I don’t see how he becomes involved while there’s still bad blood with Konami.
I think a Metroid movie could work well. It would have to be a very atmospheric sci-fi/horror, with very scant use of dialogue. Sort of like the final acts of the first couple of Alien movies, although it’d be tough not to come across as derivative of those classics. The Samus actress would need to react non-verbally to a lot of what’s happening, so casting an actress with a very expressive face and eyes is paramount.
I know Captain Marvel’s Brie Larson has been lobbying for the part if a Metroid movie ever appears, but I don’t think she’s right for the movie I envision. They really would need to nail that sense of isolation and hostility that a good Metroid game has. I’m also interested to see how the Bioshock film and The Last Of Us TV show turn out.
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Video game inception
I’d love to see a movie version of To The Moon. It seems to be tailor-made for being a movie in fact, with the game itself being mainly a vehicle for a magnificent story, and the more ‘video gamey’ elements, i.e. some annoying tile-flipping puzzles, mostly getting in the way.
The game itself centres on a really cool, but also quite disturbing, idea: a pair of scientists trying to implant a memory into a dying man’s (Johnny) mind so that he can die happy, but needing to know precisely why he wants that memory (Johnny himself isn’t entirely sure) in order for that to be possible. They therefore need to go deeper and deeper into Johnny’s memories of his own past to find this out, finding out more and more about him and his key relationships, and making some dubious ethical choices to achieve their goal along the way.
There’s a lot to be explored there in terms of how perception of memory can affect personality and sense of self, along with the moral dilemmas faced by the scientists, and it’d be great to see this given the big screen treatment. In terms of a director, Christopher Nolan has exceptional form with this kind of thing (Memento/Inception) so he’d be my choice. No strong feelings about a cast, but the music would have to be by Kan Gao, with Everything’s Alright by Laura Shigihara as the centrepiece. The soundtrack in the game is one of my favourites and is key to the experience.
Speaking of Inception, a prequel of that as a game would be incredible: infiltrating people’s subconscious to extract/implant information has huge gameplay potential. Similar to Psychonauts I suppose; Inbox magic, make it so!
Luke Goss writes…
Bro, I’d like to smart video game movie adaptions. Based on the success of Sonic, they should make video game movies that resonate with the audiences with the power of nostalgia. Lots of people who grew up with and love Sonic would take their kids to see the movie. It’s an easy money making movie choice. Ratchet & Clank never had that strong attachment or legacy to be a success bro, but Sonic has that over decades.
Uncharted being a relative success, bro, could be attributed to the casting of Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg. Tom Holland moreso being in the very successful recent Spider-Man movie.
I’d like to see video game movie adaptions of Portal, Horizon Zero Dawn, Shadow Of The Colossus, and Kingdom Hearts.
Portal could make for an interesting mind-bending movie where the story is about the main character having to escape some sort of hell/prison, bro.
I believe Horizon Zero Dawn has huge lore to be a potential big time movie franchise. It can make an interesting world with the robot animals/dinosaurs creating a threat similar to a Jurassic Park movie.
Shadow Of The Colossus would be a vast open world where the hero takes on the giants. It’ll be a hard sell but could make for a triumphant tragic story, bro.
Kingdom Hearts kind of writes itself. I can imagine with the cast of Disney owned character crossovers, this would be a draw like Ready Player One.
Bro, would it be cheating to say Injustice: Gods Among Us could make a good movie?
The trick is to make the first film a bit general/casual to be a success, but then make the sequel have more elements of the video game, which by then people will hopefully be attached to – pleasing both casual and long-term fans.
The one hope to be the greatest is Metal Gear Solid, as that is my favourite franchise ever, bro.
GC: This is getting very tiring, bro.
First off, the best video game movie is Ace Attorney, no question. As for the one that would make the best adaptation I honestly think Zelda would be a pretty good choice. Zelda games only have a bare minimum of story, and very little characterisation, so that gives the movie makers plenty of freedom, while the very distinctive style and traditions of the games means there’s lots of details to get right for the fans and ensure it doesn’t feel like a random fantasy adventure.
As with most of these movies I do feel it would work better as a CGI animated film but they never seem to go for that, for some reason. Tomb Raider would certainly have been better that way, I feel.
I have a very rose-tinted glasses view of the 90s Super Mario Bros. with Bob Hoskins and co., and despite it being plain unrepresentative of the actual games I enjoyed. I was still a kid though! Street Fighter I found half good and half bad. I coped with the cheesiness for the main part of it, even though Blanka and M. Bison were my least favourite. Bison was strangely cast and Blanka’s story was just so very cringy and pointless!
Mortal Kombat was a pretty good one and Alone in the Dark was awful. But I found Silent Hill with Sean Bean very enjoyable and all the Resident Evil movies with Milla Jovovich succeeded, in my own eyes, by creating its own narratives and storylines.
I am sure Sonic and Detective Pikachu are fine, and possibly better movie adaptations. I have not seen Uncharted yet and being a fan of the game series I’ll check it out. Hey, I enjoyed all the Tomb Raider movies, from Angelina Jolie to Alicia Vikander, which manages again, in my own eyes, to be what the spirit of Tomb Raider was supposed to be.
I am not too worried about the future of video game adaptations and will watch them if I feel the need to. I am not an overly critical person and will take something for what it is.
The CGI Final Fantasy film that came out I enjoyed and would love to see more of, as the story was as far out as the games were and the characters I could feel for. If game to film adaptions could find that secret formula then the entertainment industry might be on to something. But for now, I’ll remain open minded and judge them according to their merits. Not taking it too seriously is a good way of starting.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Snake, who asks what video game movie would you like to see in the future?
Inspired by the success of the second Sonic The Hedgehog movie, what new adaptations do you hope and expect to see in the future? Do you have any faith they’ll be better than normal for video game movies? Why do you think your idea would work and do you have a cast or director in mind?
Do you think Sonic 2 will end up inspiring a new wave of video game movies and how do you think announced, but not yet seen, films like the new Super Mario and Metal Gear will turn out?
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