There have been very few good movies based on video games, but there is still a treasure-trove of great video games out there that are just waiting to be made into movies. A handful of video game movies are set for future release, but what great video games have still not made the leap to the big-screen but deserve to?
Let's take a look at some awesome video games - in no particular order - that Hollywood should consider making into movies, with some casting and production advice thrown in to help spur them along:
A game that features a cab driving wildly around a city trying to pick-up and drop-off customers as quickly as possible, is ripe for a big-screen adaptation! Why not? If "Angry Birds" can be fleshed out enough to be made into a movie, than so can "Crazy Taxi." Aziz Ansari stars as a New York City cab driver who gets hijacked by a coked-out Emma Roberts, who forces him around the city on a massive chase as he races from one task to the next. Tommy Lee Jones is the Police Captain just days away from retirement, sucked into the chase since his father was killed by a hit-and-run cabbie years earlier. "Furious 7" director James Wan can helm.
"Metal Gear Solid"
This game is ripe for the pickin' as a movie franchise, as the storyline already exists in the games. Mark Wahlberg is Solid Snake, a soldier sent to eliminate the terrorist special forces unit, FOXHOUND. The video game has enough depth of story and a colorful cast of characters that would work well on-screen. In fact, why not give this series the "Avengers" treatment, and release a series of one-shot movies on the likes of Sniper Wolf, Revolver Ocelot and Psycho Mantis, culminating in an epic "Metal Gear Solid" movie. Yes, apply the successful comic universe formula to other genres! You're welcome Hollywood!
"Grand Theft Auto: Vice City"
Why Vice City specifically? Because of the awesome idea for the trailer. The trailer begins with a Miami Vice, '80s-appropriately-dressed Don Johnson strolling down a hot, sunny, inner-city street. We think that this may be a "Miami Vice" movie, but at a red light, he walks up to a car, pulls the guy out and throws him into the gutter, but not before throwing a few punches at some randoms walking down the street. Cut to a close-up of Don grinning and tilting his '80s-era sunglasses on his nose, before peeling away in a cloud. Cut to the graphic "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City: The Movie" and there's your Summer 2018 box office blockbuster.
"Devil May Cry"
This could be a big-budget disaster waiting to happen, but even still, the folks in Hollywood should think about green-lighting a "Devil May Cry" film franchise...there has already been a Japanese Animated Series made. The unique game features main character, Dante (played here by Ian Somerhalder), a half-demon lord who looks to avenge his mother's murder (told in flashback and played by Laura Dern in an Oscar-caliber performance). This movie is firmly planted in the horror/fantasy genre, so why not ask Peter Jackson to breathe some life into this franchise? It's right up his alley. But the uniqueness of story and the cool visuals of the video game definitely deserve a big-screen translation.
If you're not familiar with the video game "Gemfire" then you should be. Developed by the RPG masters at Koei (makers of the "Dynasty Warriors," "Fist of the North Star" and "Romance of the Three Kingdoms" series), "Gemfire" is a medieval strategy game taking place on the fictitious Isle of Ishmeria. It's a classic fantasy tale involving feuding families, wizards and mystical creatures, but the game had unique attributes not found in other games that make it primed for the movies, like the ability to get monsters-for-hire, or how the various lords from the six kingdoms could be swayed and bought. Mutiny, betrayal, wizards, warlords and dragons...here's another movie that's set and ready for Peter Jackson, but if he's off doing the "Devil May Cry" movie, let's see what "Mad Max: Fury Road" director George Miller could do with such a rich, vast world to work with.
"Red Dead Redemption"
Quentin Tarantino is not likely to make another Western on the heels of "The Hateful Eight," but how amazing would it be if he were to take the reigns on a big-screen adaptation of "Red Dead Revolver?" The game is set at the turn of the Century in the Old West, and follows outlaw John Marston (Benicio Del Toro). Marston's wife and child are held at ransom by the government so that they can use his sharp-shooting skills to hunt down three members of his former gang. It's known as one of the best video games ever made, so how can this not be in the cross-hairs of Hollywood?
Let's go old-school for a minute and produce a big-budget version of a classic NES game. Spoiler Alert! Our masked hero Samus Aran is revealed to be a woman, played here by "Game of Thrones" actress Sophie Turner. It's a pretty simple story really: Protect the galaxy from evil space pirates. But in the right hands, maybe a dude like Duncan Jones ("Source Code," "Warcraft"), could make this a super-cool, female-driven, action sci-fi adventure.
Anyone who has ever played the popular RPG games "Chrono Trigger" or its sequel "Chrono Cross," know that they are among the best video games of all-time. This is another franchise just waiting to be put in theaters, as the fascinating plot is already there in the games, just waiting to be adapted. In a nutshell, the game follows a time-travelling group of adventurers who need to prevent a global catastrophe. Think "The Terminator" meets "The Avengers."
There was once an animated "Ninja Gaiden" film in the early '90s, but it was never released state-side. Since "Gaiden" means "side-story," why not make a martial-arts movie based on the popular side-scrolling adventure game, but have it be a series of short, inter-twined stories? Think of it like "Cloud Atlas" or "Crash" but with a martial-arts/ninja theme. Different directors can direct the different segments, and it can become an anthology of some kind.
Tim Burton, this one is for you. "Maniac Mansion" was a ground-breaking, cult-classic adventure/strategy/puzzle game released in the late '80s. There was a loose premise that could be expanded upon, about a young girl taken hostage by a mad scientist who is being controlled by an alien meteor, and her teenage boyfriend who tries to rescue her. With the popularity of shows like "Stranger Things," the time is right for a "Maniac Mansion" movie, and keeping it set in the '80s when the game was conceived would be a great idea. The game itself was based on bad B-Movies and horror cliches, and in the hands of Burton this could be a visual masterpiece of nostalgic weirdness. Best of all, guess who developed this game and who still holds the rights to it? Lucasfilm, which was of course recently purchased by Disney. Not only is there money to be made here, and as much as it would suck to lose such a classic ride, but "The Haunted Mansion" or even the "Tower of Terror" are perfect theme park tie-ins should a big-budget "Maniac Mansion" become popular. Get on this, Disney!
"Leisure Suit Larry"
If you remember "Leisure Suit Larry" from the '80s...then you probably were too young to be playing it. This "adult-themed" video game was revolutionary and controversial for those exact reasons. It was a video game - typically reserved for children - where the protagonist was balding, creepazoid Larry Laffer, a leisure-suit wearing hornball whose purpose was to go around and bed attractive women. Jim Carrey as Larry Laffer? Let's do this thing, man. With R-rated raunchy comedies making a comeback in recent years, the world is ready for "Leisure Suit Larry."
Another game set in a medieval setting, who can forget "Gauntlet"? To this day it's one of the best multi-player dungeon-crawler games ever made. The camera would linger overhead, as four playable characters - a warrior, elf, valkyrie or wizard - would wreak havoc on a series of ghosts, demons and monsters. Back to the earlier "Angry Birds" theory (which states: If they can make an "Angry Birds" movie than why not X?), a "Gauntlet" movie would need a bit of fleshing out, but the popularity of this game would intrigue an entire generation of adults who are probably saying "Oh yeah! Gauntlet! I remember that game!" right now as they read this, and who would probably check out a movie-version.
Chris Pratt stars as Simon Belmont, the whip-toting hero who is sent in to take down Count Dracula, played by (who else?) Willem Dafoe...or better yet, Benedict Cumberbatch. Everybody remembers "Castlevania" as one of the earliest hits on the NES, and it's a series that was popular enough to spawn several sequels over multiple platforms, and even an animated series on Netflix. A film franchise of "Castlevania" wouldn't suck.
How cool would it be to see a movie version of "Punch Out!" the most successful boxing games of all-time? It could follow the normal "rise-from-nothing" boxing movie cliches, and could be slanted as a comedy, with, say, Kevin Hart tapped to play the film's protagonist, Little Mac. Craig Robinson co-stars as Doc, his faithful trainer. With an all-star cast featuring Timothy Olyphant as Glass Joe, Nick Offerman as Von Kaiser, Ben Kingsley as Great Tiger, The Rock as Super Macho Man, Charles Barkley as Bald Bull, Chris Christie as King Hippo, Adam Sandler as Don Flamenco, Ving Rhames as Mr. Sandman and Sylvester Stallone as Soda Popinski (with Mike Tyson making a cameo late in the film), this movie would be a colossal hit and would draw even the most casual of fans to the franchise.
"The Legend of Zelda"
If there is ever a game begging to be adapted as a film, please let it be any incarnation of "The Legend of Zelda." It's the most popular game - by far - never to be a movie. Everybody knows the potential that a Zelda film franchise would have, if done the right way. There was rumor of a Netflix Zelda TV series, but so far there is still no confirmation. But of all of the great video games on this list, "The Legend of Zelda" needs to be a movie.
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