With the recent announcements that both Assassin’s Creed and Deus Ex are getting the silver screen treatment, I thought it’d be fun to list my top five video game licenses that (if handled correctly) could make some pretty spectacular movies. As will all opinion pieces, bear in mind that this list is solely of my opinion, feel free to agree or disagree accordingly (just keep it civil if you do).
With rumors of a Bioshock film floating around in the past and even a fan film or two surfacing on the internet, it’s pretty clear that a lot of fans out there really want to see the Big Daddy on the Big Screen. Rapture’s rise and fall was captured beautifully in John Shirley’s Bioshock: Rapture and both Bioshock 1 and 2 did an excellent job of letting players explore the ruined underwater city first-hand.
However there’s still a whole lot of untapped lore buried in Rapture’s depths; stories left untold, mysteries left unsolved, characters whose fate has no real conclusion. All this and more could be explored in a movie based of the Bioshock license and perhaps the movie could even help to tie in to the upcoming Bioshock: Infinite.
2. Red Dead Redemption
The age of cowboys, bandits, and the wild frontier was a mostly under-utilized setting in the video game world until Red Dead Redemption came along and completely redefined what “Wild West” meant to gamers. With a gripping, action-packed narrative, solid gameplay, and one of the most humanizing protagonists in video game history, it would only make sense that Red Dead Redemption could act as a base for a truly epic western.
The movie wouldn’t even necessarily have to follow the story of John Marsden (though I certainly wouldn’t object if it did), perhaps it could tell the story of one or several of the hundreds of different characters John meets along the way. After all, John’s tale was just one intersecting with many others and the potential is certainly there for a movie to come along and tell a whole new story in the Red Dead setting.
3. Dead Space
While the animated films Dead Space: Aftermath and Dead Space: Downfall helped to fill in some of the narrative gaps between the games, neither saw much positive reception amongst fans. Where an animated film fell short however, a full-blown live-action feature could do the trick of expanding on the already well-versed Dead Space lore and could even help segway the series’ narrative into the upcoming Dead Space 3.
Isaac Clarke’s exploits are just a small part of all that happens within the Dead Space universe. It wouldn’t be too hard to imagine a movie studio exploring another unknown part of the series, utilizing the classic survival-horror formula that seems to take rather well in both games and movies.
The vampire-craze that’s been sweeping pop culture as of late should be proof enough that the time is ripe for one of gaming’s oldest and most cherished series’ to make a jump to the silver screen. Castlevania has been engrossing gamers ever since the 80′s and with its most recent release Lords of Shadow, the series has proved that it can take cinematic gameplay to a whole new level.
Considering Lords of Shadow featured the voice talents of Hollywood vets Patrick Stewart and Robert Carlyle, a movie featuring the Castlevania name probably wouldn’t be such a far-fetched idea. While most Castlevania titles portrayed Dracula as the ultimate villain, perhaps a movie tie-in could expand upon Dracula’s rise to power and shed light onto an otherwise unexplored facet of the Castlevania lore.
5. The Elder Scrolls
Besides Peter Jackson’s Lord of The Rings trilogy and his upcoming The Hobbit film, the fantasy genre of movies has remained mostly stagnant. What better way to revitalize the genre than a film adaptation of one of gaming’s most beloved fantasy series? Bethesda has proved time and again with stunning open-world titles such as Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim that they know how to deliver an epic, action-packed, and immersive RPG experience and they’re already continuing the trend with their upcoming MMO The Elder Scrolls Online.
Imagine an epic film trilogy that brought the entire world of Tamriel to life. The nice thing about this movie idea is that there’s already so much lore to work with both within each race’s history and the history of Tamriel as a whole. Daedric princes, magic, entire kingdoms vying for power, a time-line that encompasses thousands of years worth of story-rich narrative, and a setting that would no-doubt appeal to general audiences just as much as it would gamers; if movie-makers are looking for the next best fantasy epic, perhaps The Elder Scrolls could be just what they’re looking for…