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Edited 2 months, 27 days ago

Poll: Video Game Movies (Is it Just a Matter of Time?) (94 votes)

Just a matter of time 80%
It will never happen 20%

When looking at comic book movies it seems that it just took a while for people to get them right but after a few attempts we eventually ended up with The Dark Knight and Avengers etc. Part of me thinks this is the eventual future of video game movies. I don't know all the movies in the works at the moment but I've heard that studios are working on some adaptations such as Mass Effect, Assassins Creed and The Last of Us. Those 3 games could make for some very interesting movies if done right, but who knows what will happen.

So what do you guys think? Is it just a matter of time or will it never happen?

#1 Edited by TruthTellah (8535 posts) -

Sure. It's just a matter of time.

All it takes is a decent director with a good writer which focus more on a solid, encapsulated story inspired by a game. They don't overreach or just go for a skin-deep appreciation of what makes a game compelling. Obviously, a movie will always be missing some of what makes games special, but the same can be said of comics in some ways. A movie based on a videogame, though, has a decent chance at eventually being good, if not even great.

#2 Posted by Danteveli (1160 posts) -

The difference is that comic book characters are more recognizable so they invest way more money in the movies. Games are still more niche than mainstream (with few exceptions). Also there are only few games with interesting characters and story that would transfer well to the big screen.

#3 Posted by TruthTellah (8535 posts) -

Someone should really make a creepy, tense movie based on The Swapper.

#4 Posted by believer258 (11635 posts) -

They would have to find someone that does more than read a plot summary of the game first. That Prince of Persia movie was all right - same basic idea, used some identifiable things from the game (both in terms of what the actor was doing and the plot details), mixed them up into something that works for two hours, and made it not cringe-worthy. You might have cringed if you were expecting everyone to turn into sand in the beginning of the game, but what did you expect?. It's not a great movie, though.

I don't think that Mass Effect would actually work that well as a movie. I don't think a movie could properly capture what I like about that series. It would all have to be too condensed, there wouldn't be any time to really enjoy different aspects of the universe. A Mass Effect TV show like Game of Thrones, on the other hand, could be very entertaining.

#5 Posted by Wampa1 (626 posts) -

@believer258: Give me my Mass Effect: Citadel P.I. TV show! Case of the week structure means we can get different Aliens with season long character arcs that can connect it to the trilogy plot if they want, hell even a show about the first contact war could be great. You're right though under no circumstances do you want a 2 hour condensed version of even the first game, no room for all the characters or minutia that make that universe entertaining.

#6 Posted by JuggertrainUK (200 posts) -

@wampa1: TV shows is a possible route for all this stuff. I've always thought that Mass Effect could be great as weekly series but I also think that the CG effects of TV shows are way less spectacular than movies if anything big happened it might look kinda average. I also think you could make a good TV series out of the Assassins creed series, you could have a new assassin every season.

#7 Posted by TheAcidSkull (233 posts) -

Sure, it could happen, but I'd say video game movies are more difficult to make than comic book movies.

#8 Posted by RonGalaxy (2872 posts) -

Anything is possible. If sony goes all the way with the last of us movie and gets a proper director, and gives neil druckmann some creative control (I think he's writing it, so put a check mark on that), I could see it coming out fantastic. Also, my dream director for that movie would be the coen brothers. That won't ever happen, but I do think they'd be perfect for the source material.

#9 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (5235 posts) -

Just like comic books, games have plenty of great source material. It just depends whether or not someone is able to get their shit together long enough for a production to be seen through. I mean there's been plenty of video game movies in the pipeline before, but they never see the light of day. Why? No idea. For some reason it's just harder to get a video game based movie off the ground. Maybe all the variables just haven't come together in the right way yet. In the end, there's plenty of money to be made, so I could see it happening some day.

#10 Posted by Tom_omb (337 posts) -

I have high hopes for Duncan Jones' Warcraft movie. He's a fan that seems to know what makes the source material great and a talented director in his own right.

#11 Edited by believer258 (11635 posts) -

@wampa1 said:

@believer258: Give me my Mass Effect: Citadel P.I. TV show! Case of the week structure means we can get different Aliens with season long character arcs that can connect it to the trilogy plot if they want, hell even a show about the first contact war could be great. You're right though under no circumstances do you want a 2 hour condensed version of even the first game, no room for all the characters or minutia that make that universe entertaining.

I actually think that the story of a detective on, say, Ilium could be great. Not Law and Order IN SPACE!, more like a slightly noir-ish thing. Or, hell, an information broker could be pretty great too.

Someone get on this shit.

#12 Posted by bemusedchunk (668 posts) -

Wow. Could you imagine if they made a Super Mario Bros. movie?!

#13 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5339 posts) -

Comic books are a pretty cohesive universe with fairly consistent plot points from one character to another; hence why it can work overall. Video Games... no. I mean there will be a few good movies out there and something like the Last of Us could win Best Picture if done well enough. However, barring some amazing shift to most games being at least somewhat inherently comparable to each other this is always going to be a ridiculous clusterfuck to sort out.

#14 Edited by Vahleticar (107 posts) -

I would like to see a Mass Effect or The Last of Us movie done well, but what drives these studios? You can probably say that at least half of people who bought Mass Effect are likely to pay for those movie tickets, is it a viable business? Or just lazy producers who can't create their own projects? Some films were good, but now i'm struggling to think of any? TANG anyone?

#15 Posted by SgtSphynx (1269 posts) -

I think the trick is to not try to adapt a video game story to be a movie, but to take the world created by the video game and then base a script in that world. Something like the Citadel P.I. show or the Ilium noir-esque show are right in line with this, they would probably be somewhat similar to Babylon 5 or Star Trek Deep Space Nine. Here you have this "world" (galaxy in this case) that is already established, where you could tell any number of stories in. I feel that you would only need to periodically reference the story from the game, either through it being part of the history or having characters make cameos. However, the most important part would be that it would need well written characters, because the movie or tv show would live and die based on them.

So I do feel that eventually there will be a good to great movie based on a video game, but it will be an original story with original characters set in the game world.

Online
#16 Edited by GunstarRed (5027 posts) -

It's only a matter of time. There's some movies that are based on games that get a lot of stuff right. Silent Hill has an incredible opening, it totally nails the atmosphere and looks the part, but just turns into an overblown CGI splatterfest by the end.

The best way would be like Prince of Persia which just kinda did its own thing, taking a handful of elements from the game, unfortunately it's just not a very good movie where the leads share no chemistry. Just look at that Halo mini series that came about around the time of Halo 4, it wasn't going to win any awards, but it was enjoyable, well made and respectful of the source material, although you could say Resident Evil is respectful too with the clusterfuck of nonsense going on in those games.

It'll happen . It probably wont be a movie based on a well loved game, but it'll definitely happen.

#17 Posted by CorruptedEvil (1738 posts) -

They've been trying for years to make a Metal Gear movie, I think David Hayter himself wrote a script or two.

#18 Posted by Video_Game_King (36012 posts) -

Wait, I thought we already had good video game movies. Nobody's ever heard of Metal Gear Solid 4?

#19 Posted by Skyfire543 (658 posts) -

The Mass Effect P.I. shows that have been suggested in this thread would be great. That universe has a lot of potential in terms of weird side stories. Hell, I'd love a Star Trek style show in the Mass Effect universe set before the realization of the Reaper threat. Very little action, a lot of dialogue with cool aliens and learning even more about them than we did in the games. It would be so awesome. Or maybe something set when humanity first discovers the Mass Relays, and that gives a detailed account of how much the discovery of Prothean technology effected humans.

#20 Posted by TheHT (10886 posts) -
#21 Posted by SgtSphynx (1269 posts) -

The Mass Effect P.I. shows that have been suggested in this thread would be great. That universe has a lot of potential in terms of weird side stories. Hell, I'd love a Star Trek style show in the Mass Effect universe set before the realization of the Reaper threat. Very little action, a lot of dialogue with cool aliens and learning even more about them than we did in the games. It would be so awesome. Or maybe something set when humanity first discovers the Mass Relays, and that gives a detailed account of how much the discovery of Prothean technology effected humans.

You just gave me an idea of how to tie all of that in:

It would have to be multiple seasons to any sort of justice to the source material. The first season starts just before the discovery of the Prothean artifacts on Mars, then shows how humanity dealt with this knowledge, the end of the first season could be the discovery of the Mass Relay. The second season starts with humans figuring out how to use it, and then starting to explore the relay system ending that season with the First Contact War with the Turians. The third season mainly consists of humanity dealing with the war and you'd see some battles but also some of the intrigue with the higher ups in the military coming up with strategies and butting heads with each other. You'd see a couple of cameos of Anderson and maybe Shepard (but they'd first have to decide on a canon gender for him/her) and this would also be the season(s) to start introducing the other races more in depth. This could go on for one or two seasons but ultimately end with the end of the war and humans getting an ambassadorship on the Citadel. At this point you go all ST:DS9 and have a bunch of different types of episodes. You could have your political intrigue episodes and your action episodes alongside your noir-esque private eye episodes.

Now I really just want that series to be made.

Online
#22 Posted by csl316 (8111 posts) -

Mortal Kombat just set the bar so high, man. Makes all other game movies a disappointment because we've seen the mountaintop.

And I'm not being remotely sarcastic.

#23 Edited by AdequatelyPrepared (320 posts) -

Apparently the Bioshock movie project is being quietly resurrected. Done correctly, that could be awesome. It doesn't even have to follow Jack in Bioshock 1, there is more than enough 'lore' in Bioshock that you could take some characters or timeframe, see what the game suggested happened, and fill in the blanks yourself. Start of the Rapture Civil War or something like that could be cool. Besides, I don't really see Jack's story through Rapture really working in a film, he was kind of just a blank slate, and most of the game was just exploration through the ruins of something that already happened.

#24 Posted by awesomeusername (4154 posts) -

I think we're going to get good video game movies soon. Prince of Persia was alright and ultimately a step in the right direction. I mean the animated Ratchet & Clank and Sly Cooper movies can't possibly go wrong. The Last of Us writer is writing the movie script and a bunch of people from ND are working with the studio also to get it right. Ubisoft is apparently very hands-on with the Assassin's Creed movie which is why it's been taking forever to make but it's slowly coming together. I don't know any other movie that's gotten as far as these four but if they succeed, I bet the video game movie revolution will begin!

#25 Edited by EveretteScott (1449 posts) -

@csl316 said:

Mortal Kombat just set the bar so high, man. Makes all other game movies a disappointment because we've seen the mountaintop.

And I'm not being remotely sarcastic.

I was scrolling through to see if anyone mentioned it first before I did.

#26 Edited by Hunter5024 (5542 posts) -

I think comic books adapt better to the big screen than video games do. Comic books are a much shorter format, and they leave a lot more information up to the reader's imagination than video games or movies. That makes it easier to interpret, it allows them to increase the scope, and show the scenes in a completely different way, with acting, full motion, music. Video games usually have those things anyways, there's really no difference between a cutscene and a scene from a cg movie. The biggest difference between their format is the player has a much more active role than the movie watcher, and that games are nearly always much longer. So not only are you gaining almost nothing format wise from the transition, you're actually losing a whole lot. The only game stories I feel like I'd enjoy the adaptation for are older games, from before they had voice acting and nice graphics. Like a Final Fantasy 6 show. That'd be cool. Even then, I think I'd rather just have the same game with better graphics and voice acting though.

I suppose the settings from games could be worth exploring with new characters and stories, but if I had a choice between a Mass Effect movie series and a similar sci fi series created from the ground up for film, I think I'd just as likely enjoy the latter as the former.

#27 Edited by crithon (3081 posts) -

so really what happen to Halo? Like originally ridley scott was the first director tapped, then it was Neil Blomkamp, and now they are back. What really happen there, that was an announcement in 2004, and then it went all tits up, and then things leaked here and there like Guillermo Del Toro is open about his redesigns of the Chief costume.

What I'm getting is, they sign away movie rights fast, productions companies don't have a clue what to do with them, and then time runs out and we get films about 3 to 4 years after the game came out. And these are the films that DO come out. Like at one point Richard Donner was going to do Crazy Taxi and John Woo was going to do Metroid Prime. But like Halo is such an odd duck, was it creative control on the contract? World of Warcraft is finally going to take shape in one form or another, and that's sounding weird, even if it's not Avatar level of CG. Mario is gonna be in the next Wreck it Ralph film. Slowly it's changing, just not sure if it's really getting better.

Personally I like it when video games come out smaller scale like animation or a comic book instead. Something like SF2 anime movie or the Cameron Stewart Assassin Creed comic. It is what it is, and it's not trying to pretend something it's not and it's rather entertaining experience.

You know what I find funny, Barbie is getting a movie, not because of Toy Story 2 and 3 performances. But because of the Lego Movie..... isn't that funny.

#28 Posted by Trusty_Spoon (77 posts) -

I would say it's just a matter of time. In the past when a movie based on a game is introduced to the world it's been so shallow. Mostly because most of the games story is told to you through a paragraph in the manual. Or the story is so ridiculous or bad that it just doesn't work as a film. But now we are slowly moving to an era of well told stories in games. Where millions get spent on the wtiting of these things. This is bound to rub off on the film makers of the world looking to make a good film based on a game franchise.

#29 Posted by Giantstalker (1532 posts) -

@csl316 said:

Mortal Kombat just set the bar so high, man. Makes all other game movies a disappointment because we've seen the mountaintop.

And I'm not being remotely sarcastic.

That movie and its sequel are like the alpha and omega of video game films. The very best and the very worst possible outcomes of their kind. Everything from now on will be expressed along a scale of Mortal Kombat... or Annihilation.

#30 Posted by burgavo (189 posts) -

Are we talking mass market appeal or Succes with the gaming crowd?

If we are talking boxoffice succes I feel that there are only a few games popular enough or at least well known enough with the mainstream movie going audiences to garner any kind of brand name recognition, which is at least in my opinion the nr1 reason Hollywood took an interest in these IP's in the first place. Hollywood like the larger publishers in the gaming industry likes a sure bet and everyone has heard of Superman, Batman or Spiderman. Once these propperties were acepted enough by movie going audiences that made it possible for stuff like Ironman etc. to be made but this took the better part of 30 years and a lot of comic book movies that failed to meet expectations (by either the studio's or the public's expectations). Most of the game series with enough mass market appeal in my opinion wouldn't make for the greatest movies or at least movies I would like to see, how much character do you really need when you are playing a gunsight.

I would like to see a good TV series or movie set in the "mass effect" universe or world of "last of us" (and to a lesser extent somthing set in Tamriel ,but I know anything made in the TES universe would probably be corny as hell) , but I fear these names are as of yet not recognizable by most of the public to warrent a multi million budget and the kind of writing, directing, and effects tallent that we would all like to see put into these projects.

Maybe I'm being to pessimistic but I'm a glass half empty sort of guy, I would like these things to happen but I'm realistic enough to know they probably wont for some time.

any way my apologies for the rambling and the crappy spelling and grammar.

#31 Posted by StarvingGamer (7999 posts) -

Comic books are a pretty cohesive universe with fairly consistent plot points from one character to another; hence why it can work overall.

Yeah, now, but the first Iron Man movie wasn't good because it had coherent links to a universe of characters. It was good because it was a good movie about a dude named Iron Man.

#32 Posted by Fattony12000 (7049 posts) -

The phrase "Is it Just a Matter of Time" is used four times before the second post appears in this thread.

Is it Just a Matter of Time? is a great name for a video game.

#33 Posted by hollitz (1419 posts) -

I'm really not sure. I mean, it seems possible given how creatively bankrupt Hollywood is. But I think comic books might be a little easier to adapt given that they tend to be really pulpy, overdramatic power fanta...sies...Yeah I guess it will happen.

#34 Posted by Dimi3je (298 posts) -

Movies based on videogame IPs I can see. Film set in Gears of War universe, why not? But movies based on games (Mass Effect movie with Shepard as the main protagonist for example) sound like a bad idea. The thing that makes different from other mediums is the interactivity. Telling a videogame story without the interactivity in it doesn't make any sense for me.

#35 Edited by JuggertrainUK (200 posts) -

I just can't help but think back to about 10 years ago when 90% of the population had no idea who any of the Avengers were except for the Hulk. Nowadays Iron-Man, Captain America and Thor are all well known established names. Everyone from your girlfriend to your grandparents knows the stories of these characters now.

But you just need one hit, you just need one X-men or Spider-man and suddenly all the movie studios start buying up the rights to every comic book on the planet.

I think video games just need their one big hit and eventually you'll see 2 or 3 video game movies each summer once it takes off. There are so many stories and universes to build a movie with, but until one of them sells big, none of the major studios are going to look into all this stuff.

#36 Posted by Tajasaurus (793 posts) -

I'm still waiting on the Shadow Man movie starring Samuel L Jackson that I was promised in like 1999

#37 Edited by EXTomar (4499 posts) -

Uh, there have been plenty of movies made from video games (Super Mario Bros and Mortal Kombat and Resident Evil off the top of my head). Frankly I thought Silent Hill was a stellar version of the Silent Hill video game setup. A World of Warcraft movie is being made right now...

The problem I always see with "movies made from video games" is that it is kind of weird to justify the movie when the game already exists. If the game is any good, then the movie is a distraction from putting more time into the game. I suspect that for this to work "well", there has to be a convergence where the game can't be too good and the movie has to be stellar.

#38 Edited by Veektarius (4597 posts) -

The issue with game movies so far is that, with the possible exception of Silent Hill, it's the most popular franchises that get movies, and yet, the franchises with the best stories are rarely the most popular. Also, I don't think Final Fantasy the Spirits Within was bad at all.

@extomar: That's really not how it works at all with books. The most successful adaptations are simply those that appeal to an audience that would not have consumed the original product.

#39 Edited by LackingSaint (1771 posts) -

@fattony12000 said:

The phrase "Is it Just a Matter of Time" is used four times before the second post appears in this thread.

Is it Just a Matter of Time? is a great name for a video game.

I'm envisioning a Portal-style puzzle game about time and space manipulation. Sort of like Singularity... if it was like Portal.

Yeah, all you need is a good director, a good writer, a decent cast and a collective reverence for the source material between them. I think a big part of why Superhero movies are only starting to really work now is there are experienced, influential people in the movie industry who grew up reading and respecting modern comics. Between people like Neill Blomkamp, Duncan Jones and Edgar Wright, we're starting to get the same thing with video-games; people that aren't just sort of phoning in their enthusiasm for the medium.

The Silent Hill movie is evidence that at least a decent video-game movie can happen if talented people come together and actually give a fuck.

#40 Posted by thebipsnbeeps (545 posts) -

Complicated question imo, needs walls of text:

Firstly, I dunno if I'm interested in seeing any of those potential movies you listed OP. Not because I don't enjoy them as video games, but the fact that the games already have such a movie-like grounding to them that I don't see what references could strafe the property to be anything that you haven't already seen before. Kind of like how I hear Need for Speed not being so much a video game movie as a Fast and Furious movie with a video game license, y'know? Only Assassin's Creed could be sort of original in that its time-traveling genetics of a story is a crazy mechanic that the potential movie could have a bunch of fun with.

However, while there's plenty of duds, movies about games have certainly been praised before: Mortal Kombat's already been mentioned, and I hear pretty good things about the Phoenix Wright movie a couple of years back (I sure as heck want to see it at some point in the near future). Such iterations are based on pretty deep fiction, and can so easily be seen as being more from a game than anything else. Not to mention Scott Pilgrim and Wreck-It-Ralph, which, while not being straight-up video game adaptations, owed a lot of their respective successes to portraying the video game theming that was surrounding them. I guess I should just say "it's a matter of time," but I think it's really important for filmmakers to adapt properties in a way that gives it a distinct "video game" quality.

#41 Posted by hermes (1376 posts) -

I think the point is that we need good movies inspired by the world and characters of the games. We should not aspire to movies that are close to the source material and good movies at the same time, because most games stories are not suitable to be adapted and, those that are, are interlined with hours of gameplay to help the pace.

Trying to make an accurate adaptation of a game would end up in something closer to Watchmen, a movie with too much content cramped into a short format it barely had room to breath...

#42 Posted by EXTomar (4499 posts) -

@extomar: That's really not how it works at all with books. The most successful adaptations are simply those that appeal to an audience that would not have consumed the original product.

Take for instance World of Warcraft game and up coming movie. For a fan, a movie would be an interesting distraction but how valuable is that entertainment since I could create my own adventure, multiple times in multiply different ways, into that very same setting? For a non-fan, they would need to strip out all of that stuff and focus on the characters to make it appealing to them and overcome the doubly questionable stuff that make it a "video game movie" and a "hack fantasy" movie which makes it barely recognizable as World of Warcraft.

#43 Posted by LordAndrew (14424 posts) -

I bet they could make a pretty good movie out of the Lego games.

#44 Posted by spiceninja (3055 posts) -

@csl316 said:

Mortal Kombat just set the bar so high, man. Makes all other game movies a disappointment because we've seen the mountaintop.

And I'm not being remotely sarcastic.

#45 Edited by Glottery (1109 posts) -

Someone should really make a creepy, tense movie based on The Swapper.

Well, it's not creepy, but I'd like to think Moon as a good alternative 'till that happens.

#46 Posted by csl316 (8111 posts) -

@csl316 said:

Mortal Kombat just set the bar so high, man. Makes all other game movies a disappointment because we've seen the mountaintop.

And I'm not being remotely sarcastic.

That movie and its sequel are like the alpha and omega of video game films. The very best and the very worst possible outcomes of their kind. Everything from now on will be expressed along a scale of Mortal Kombat... or Annihilation.

You're not wrong, we probably could've just stopped right then and there.

#47 Posted by Evilsbane (4538 posts) -

@crithon said:

You know what I find funny, Barbie is getting a movie, not because of Toy Story 2 and 3 performances. But because of the Lego Movie..... isn't that funny.

Is it bad that I think if they just pulled the Barbie directly from Toy Story 2/3, I mean voice actress movements and attitude, that it could actually be a fun movie? I thought all the Barbie stuff in Toy Story was really clever.

#48 Edited by TruthTellah (8535 posts) -

@glottery said:

@truthtellah said:

Someone should really make a creepy, tense movie based on The Swapper.

Well, it's not creepy, but I'd like to think Moon as a good alternative 'till that happens.

Yeah, I was actually thinking of Moon when I considered the idea. Not necessarily super creepy, but there is an odd tension in it.

#49 Edited by Yummylee (21254 posts) -

I think comic books adapt better to the big screen than video games do. Comic books are a much shorter format, and they leave a lot more information up to the reader's imagination than video games or movies. That makes it easier to interpret, it allows them to increase the scope, and show the scenes in a completely different way, with acting, full motion, music. Video games usually have those things anyways, there's really no difference between a cutscene and a scene from a cg movie. The biggest difference between their format is the player has a much more active role than the movie watcher, and that games are nearly always much longer. So not only are you gaining almost nothing format wise from the transition, you're actually losing a whole lot. The only game stories I feel like I'd enjoy the adaptation for are older games, from before they had voice acting and nice graphics. Like a Final Fantasy 6 show. That'd be cool. Even then, I think I'd rather just have the same game with better graphics and voice acting though.

I suppose the settings from games could be worth exploring with new characters and stories, but if I had a choice between a Mass Effect movie series and a similar sci fi series created from the ground up for film, I think I'd just as likely enjoy the latter as the former.

Yeeeeeeeeeup, this all the way.

#50 Edited by crithon (3081 posts) -

@evilsbane said:

@crithon said:

You know what I find funny, Barbie is getting a movie, not because of Toy Story 2 and 3 performances. But because of the Lego Movie..... isn't that funny.

Is it bad that I think if they just pulled the Barbie directly from Toy Story 2/3, I mean voice actress movements and attitude, that it could actually be a fun movie? I thought all the Barbie stuff in Toy Story was really clever.

no, that's not bad, because Pixar put a lot of effort in putting Barbie into Toy Story they originally wanted her in part 1. They made a character that was fun and not insulting it's audience. And again that's top Tier Pixar artists and writers handling that character, I can only imagine the movie is Smurf level of quality.