10 Games That Should Be Movies
Last week, I treated you to my treatise why a few games should not be movies. Now, I feel bad about being negative all the time, and after the Crimson Tide managed to score 60 points* for the second time this year after having not reached that plateau since 1991, I wanted to be nice and encouraging for once. And so here is a list of games that really oughtta be adapted into something I can see at the theater.
Disclaimer: last week’s list looked at the worst-case scenario for why a game should not be adapted, and this week’s looks at the best case for a game should be adapted. But Metal Gear Solid should never be adapted regardless of scenario.
*Though Thursday night games are the worst thing ever invented by man. Having to be productive the morning after a game is a ridiculous notion, and I wish I were dead right now.
You’re staring incredulously at the screen right now, I know. But have you seen the Tetris: Le Film trailer? That should absolutely be a feature film, but it needs to stay in the hands of the French. Get Luc Besson to secure financing and Jean-Pierre Jeunet to direct, and you’ve got one of the great video game adaptations ever. No, really. This is such a great idea that you don’t even think it’s a good idea. Also, that you don’t think it’s a good idea means it’s definitely a great idea.
This one should be obvious to even the most douchey contrarians in my readership. I’ll give you a second to consider this one. Got it yet? Now? OK, so Turok should be adapted into a film because we need more dinosaur movies that don’t come on Syfy. We’ve been waiting far too long for a fourth Jurassic Park movie that doesn’t seem like it’s ever going to happen, and so I think Turok could fill the void nicely if they could put together at least a $50 million budget for it, which shouldn’t be too difficult because it has, like, dinosaurs, guys. I mean, really.
Half-Life is so old school that it has no story, really. It’s just disaster–>wander around a secret facility shooting things for 10 hours—>go to alien planet—>the end. It’s one of my favorite games ever*, but it could certainly use some trimming, and because it’s so barebones structurally, it could easily be effectively adapted into quite the sci-fi thriller. Imagine if Neill Blomkamp got his hands on this.
*I often think about getting a lambda tattoo on my right wrist, and if that thought ever pops up while I’m out drinking, you’d better watch out, tattoo parlor.
4. Ratchet and Clank
Ratchet and Clank games are fun, funny and good for the whole family. The franchise would make for a solid PG-rated animated film that would probably be nominated for an Oscar. And, more importantly, everyone would like it, assuming the filmmakers successfully translate the franchise’s fantastic sense of humor. Also, the RYNO V must make an appearance. Sheesh, I feel like Awesome-O 5000 right now. Somebody really ought to pay me for doing this.
Starship Troopers is one of my favorite movies ever, and that’s why I want to see a Halo movie. Sure, the subject matter between the two is not particularly similar (satire vs. military chest puffing) but Verhoeven’s masterpiece makes me want a Halo movie for one reason: like Starship Troopers, Halo would be a large-scale sci-fi war movie, and we hardly ever get large-scale sci-fi war movies. And I’ll be honest here; I once thought a Halo movie would look dumb as hell because of some of Bungie’s, eh, questionable design decisions, but then We Are ODST happened.
I’m not suggesting that any of the Fallout games be adapted; rather, I’m suggesting that film be set in the very rich word that has been established over the course of six games. This thought occurred to me when I went to see The Book of Eli earlier this year, as that film is not far removed from what you would expect a Fallout film to be like. The games have done so much to build a very dense mythology, and so it wouldn’t be the most difficult task ever to take any random thriller and add some ’50s future tech and heavy handed satire and set it in 2200. And if you don’t have much of a budget, you could always make a movie out of the story of Vault 11.
7. Alan Wake
I have no problems with games being adapted when the story of the game in question is not influenced by the player. As that is the case with Alan Wake, I have no problem suggesting that this epic psychological thriller video game be adapted as an epic psychological thriller film. And the story is so interesting and cool and complex that I’d love to see another artist’s take on the material. In this example, I would honestly consider a film version to be an interpretation of the source material rather than an adaptation, and the material is, without a doubt, way ripe for interpretation.
8. Angry Birds
You might be surprised to realize Angry Birds is probably more likely to get a film version made than any other game on this list. Why? Because the major studios already pump out a dozen random CG animated talking animal movies a year, and surely it’s occurred to someone higher up than me in the food chain that they could make one of those films be about birds vs. pigs and slap the Angry Birds name on it. There’s no telling if folks would respond favorably to that or just laugh at it, and while it’s doubtful that the name would actually help the film achieve financial success, everyone would at least be aware that it exists because of the name.
9. Dark Void
I’m one of the few who played andenjoyed Dark Void, but that has nothing to do with why I think Dark Void should get a movie adaptation. In reality, I want a sequel to The Rocketeer, but that isn’t going to happen (even though Tron somehow is getting one), and so it would be totally cool if somebody put together a spiritual sequel of sorts to The Rocketeer in the form of a Dark Void adaptation. Traveling to an alternate universe would be the natural next step for not-Cliff Secord, right? Right.
10. Duke Nukem
While Angry Birds might be the most likely to be adapted on this list, Duke Nukem is the one we need adapted the most. Having been born in 1987, I came into the world on the tail end of the era in which ridiculous and raunchy R-rated action movies were as common as any other type of movie, and while I have been able to enjoy many of the films borne of that time thanks to the miracle of home video, I feel like I missed out by not being able to see these flicks in a theater. Yeah, we do still get some R-rated action, but it’s usually something stupid and tame like Predators. A Duke Nukem movie, though, would absolutely blow the lid off the R rating, and it’d probably have to be submitted to the MPAA five or six times to secure that rating, but if Bruno can find its way into your mall multiplex, so can this. It would be epic-est of all epics, and it would be the best movie ever made.