I’ve spoken about gaming movies many times before, and my eternal optimism that one day we’ll actually get one that’s good. After the garbage fires that were Assassin’s Creed and Warcraft, however, I’ve abandoned all hope.
So in the spirit of jaded cynicism, I’ve compiled a list of games that would make amazing movies and how they could be great, then discussed how Hollywood would ruin all of that and put The Rock in them.
I’m almost afraid of this coming true. I’ve dealt with enough disappointment with the non-existent Half-Life 3, having a HL movie that blows would probably be the thing that finally has me taking up permanent residence on the floor of my shower.
There’s so much potential here for an incredible series of films. A nefarious corporation, an alien presence, an unassuming everyman tasked with leading a rebellion and saving the human race from a bleak Orwellian existence.
Ed Norton would be my pick for Freeman, a scientist who’s forced through extraordinary circumstances to do things he didn’t think himself capable of. Ironically, I think this would work pretty well as a trilogy, and no knowledge of the video game series would be required at all to enjoy this one. It’d be like The Matrix, but we wouldn’t have to pretend the second two movies didn’t exist.
How Hollywood would ruin it: They’d cast Matt Damon as Freeman and have him go full Bourne Identity for a 90-minute action-fest that’s big on headkicks and low on substance.
Quake III Arena
Remember the first Mortal Kombat movie? Remember how it didn’t suck? I loved the idea of taking the Mortal Kombat universe and making it actually about the competition, but with the salvation of humanity at stake.
I’d love to see something similar for Quake, a sort of hybrid between Mortal Kombat and The Running Man. It’s a dystopian future, everything sucks and the world’s worst criminals compete in deathmatches for the entertainment of the bloodthirsty masses.
It’s a great jumping-off point, with a lot of potential for engaging storylines that raise the stakes in a meaningful way.
How Hollywood would ruin it: Making it like the second Mortal Kombat movie.
RTSes in general have gotten very neglected by movie-makers, which may be a blessing. But the StarCraft universe has all the ingredients necessary for a great film franchise.
There’s potential here for some really decent sci-fi, with compelling storylines built around the three warring races as they jostle for galactic control. Diplomacy, betrayal, epic battles – hell there’s even a love story embedded in here.
How Hollywood would ruin it: Did you see the Warcraft movie? Hollywood would turn this into a CGI extravaganza, with the humans as the heroes dropping one-liners and taking on all comers – like Starship Troopers without the satire and social commentary.
I’d love a more complex screenplay where we see the motivations of the various races, and our bias towards the humans is challenged. Having the Zerg and Protoss be soulless cannon fodder would rob the story of its depth.
This is one that I think would almost work better as a series. There’s just so much to this world that a long-form medium may work a lot better. This sort of property easily has the potential to be another Game of Thrones.
It would require moving away from the protagonist-heavy video game narrative and not making Geralt the focal point of everything – something like this needs a strong supporting cast with complex, three-dimensional characters.
How Hollywood would ruin it: Making it “too” fantasy. Game of Thrones works because regardless of it being full of dragons and magic, it feels relatable. It’s essentially a very human story, and the fantasy elements are doled out sparingly and without being a deus ex machina whenever something inconvenient needs to be dealt with.
A Witcher series would need the same to capture the public consciousness. The focus needs to be on character development rather than filling every scene with high fantasy.
Now I didn’t actually finish Infinite because I didn’t really like it all that much (sorry), but I’ve always thought it would make for an epic movie.
What I’d love to see from a BioShock movie is a slow burn – a mounting feeling of discomfort and dread, a creepiness that gets under your skin and crawls down your spine. That’s something I feel like Infinite did really well – you can tell immediately that something just isn’t right in Columbia, but there’s a subtlety to it. I’d like this to be a claustrophobic, character-centric horror that has you squirming in your seat.
How Hollywood would ruin it: You just know they’d make it a vapid action flick with all kinds of absurd augments and some kind of “villain” up front and center that the hero gunfights his way to an epic final confrontation with. Boo.
So NAGanites, which of your favourite things would you like to see Hollywood destroy?