Not too long ago, I wrote a column about four video games that I feel would be pretty awesome on the big screen. Of course, I thought the same thing about Max Payne until someone actually went and made it – awfully.
But I love movies and I love video games, and I have a dream that one day Hollywood will actually get that marriage right. In the meantime, they can read this column, where I’ve neatly laid out how the films should be done and who should star.
You’re welcome, Hollywood.
Grand Theft Auto
There’s obviously an opportunity for a whole franchise here, but I think the characters from GTA V would be the best choice.
I imagine it would be a crossover between something like The Fast and the Furious, and a buddy cop film. It would need a tight script and the right actors, but I think as a kind of action-comedy it could be amazing. The source material leaves a lot of room as well – you could keep the characters and urban environment intact, and generally go wherever you wanted from there in terms of the plot.
Chemistry between the actors would be crucial to pull this thing off – their interaction would really be the foundation of the movie.
I like Steve Buscemi for the role of Trevor – he has a good combination of energetic crazy and unempathetic creepy, I think he could do nicely.
Michael I have two people in mind. First option is Mark Wahlberg, who’s hilarious tough-guy act in The Departed was Oscar-worthy. He could bring that same kind of character to GTA. The other choice is Michael Madsen – a little out of the game, but slick enough for the part and with some previous experience with Buscemi in Reservoir Dogs. At the moment I’m leaning towards Wahlberg, though.
Franklin is harder – if this were a decade or two ago someone like Martin Lawrence would be perfect, but he’s a bit long in the tooth now. A strict comedy guy like Kevin Hart feels wrong – not Franklin’s style. At the moment I’m leaning towards someone like Jamie Foxx (although he’s also maybe a little old), but I’m open to suggestions on this one.
Everyone loves a monster movie, right?
I see this as a kind of hybrid between Godzilla and Armageddon – bear with me. The Godzilla part is obvious, but I like the Armageddon aspect for this one – a ragtag team of people forced together by some kind of circumstance to achieve a near-impossible goal.
Plus you get to see a bunch of buildings get torn down and various people stomped on, which is always fun.
There’s a whole cast of stereotypes to choose from here. I see Jodie Foster as the stubborn scientist who refuses to lighten up, Liam Neeson as the grizzled badass who isn’t here by choice, Chris Pratt as the lovable moron who ended up involved by chance but loves every minute of it, and finally someone like Cillian Murphy – the self-interested turncoat who screws everyone over at the first opportunity in order to benefit himself.
Quake III Arena
Since this essentially has no real story to it, it seems like a bit of a dud for a movie. But there’s enough to work with here in terms of the arena, the tournaments, etc.
Imagine this as a dystopian future, where people are forced to fight to the death for some or other reason to do with the future being crappy. Maybe it’s overpopulation, maybe they’re all criminals and this is some kind of weird justice system. Take your pick; although I like the latter.
This is heavy action for sure, along the lines of Mad Max or Escape from New York. But I feel there’s room for a little plot here, with the tournament serving as an awesome part of a larger story – think Hunger Games or The Running Man.
Perhaps a totalitarian government needs overthrowing, or the ruling class needs to be taught a lesson – there’s always a convenient common enemy in these sorts of things. Still, with a good director and a sweet story, this could be pretty awesome.
The beauty of this is that you could have a real ensemble cast. The range of actors available is immense, and the director could decide which roles would be more prominent than others. Still, imagine how many celebrity cameos you could have – wouldn’t it be sweet to see Owen Wilson’s head taken off by a rocket one minute into the battle? I know I’d like that. Some obvious choices are the tough guy types like Jason Statham and The Rock – it could be awesome to add the old guard as well; Stallone, Arnie, even Lundgren and van Damme.
I think this one has a lot of potential for badassery.
It’s kind of unbelievable to me that this one hasn’t been done yet. Um, has nobody seen Starship Troopers?
This would also probably come with a kind of futuristic feel, but I think perhaps it would be most interesting to explore it from the beginning. The game kind of jumps in in the middle of the war between the three races; I think it would be cool to look at how it all started.
There’s a lot of scope to how this could be handled. You could do it like a fairly basic alien invasion flick with a twist, or you could shoot it from the perspective of a single protagonist and/or his/her family, or you could really play up the human element and see how society responds to this kind of threat.
Best possible would probably be a combination of all those things. Still, there’s room for an entire franchise here if it’s done properly.
Of course, you could also jump in right in the middle Starship Troopers-style, perhaps dealing with Kerrigan’s conversion to the Zerg Queen.
Assuming you’re keeping the same characters, Jim Raynor and Kerrigan would be the two primary roles. I’d want actors who can kick ass, but are also capable of actually displaying an emotion that isn’t anger or sullen glares. Perhaps Christian Bale and Kate Beckinsale would be good choices here.
I’d love to hear what you all think – what games are worthy of the movie treatment? Who would star? Which actors would you choose for these movies instead? Tell me your thoughts in the comments.