There’s no denying that video game to movie adaptations have... not done well in the past. Assassin’s Creed had all the perfect ingredients for a really good movie with Macbeth director Justin Kerzel at the helm while starring talents such as Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. But somehow a game about free-running assassins saving the world from an evil corporation managed to come out as incredibly boring. And then Aleksander Bach did the exact opposite in Hitman: Agent 47 by turning the ‘silent assassin’ into a lunatic who blows up helicopters and drives fancy sports cars. Real subtle Agent 47, real subtle. It’s the video game movie curse. But the surprising success of Pokémon Detective Pikachu brings hope. Is the curse broken? Despite a bumpy history, there are a ton of video game movie adaptations in the works. In the past, these have had a notorious habit of simply spiraling into production hell, but some actually look promising and may even see the light of day. Here are 10 video game to movie adaptations currently in the works.
The Angry Birds Movie 2
It was... about as good as you would expect from a mobile game film focused around flinging aggressive birds at green pigs. The app is nothing but some mindless fun to pass the time, which the film managed to capture as long as you weren’t expecting too much. And its sequel is due to arrive in August with the majority of its stellar cast returning.
The Angry Birds Movie 2 will be released in cinemas Aug. 14, 2019.
Sonic the Hedgehog
Oh boy, where to begin? Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you must have heard of the controversy known as the Sonic the Hedgehog movie. As more information about this movie was released via marketing, the memes grew. From Sonic’s creepy chicken legs to the announcement that “Gangsta’s Paradise” would be on the main soundtrack, it became harder and harder to take anything about the film seriously.
And then the trailer was released. From the moment Sonic opened his mouth and revealed his human teeth, the reactions went wild. With people in their bedrooms coming up with less disturbing Sonic designs, director Jeff Fowler announced they would be going back to the drawing board to redesign the iconic hedgehog, and the release date would be pushed back.
Sonic the Hedgehog is now due to be released on Feb. 14, 2020.
Paul W.S Anderson is no stranger to adapting Capcom games into movies. He was behind the Resident Evil films with his wife, Milla Jovovich, as the leading star. However, despite the franchise being successful business-wise, many old-time Resident Evil fans were disappointed with the action-centric route taken in comparison to the game’s intense horror setting. And the later films were just bad. Now the Resident Evil films are apparently going to be rebooted with a new director at the helm, whilst the director and wife team have moved onto adapting Monster Hunter to the big screen. Jovovich is playing Lt. Artemis, and will be joined by Tony Jaa and Ron Perlman.
So far we’ve had a few pictures of Jovovich and Jaa in full costume on set as well as a selfie on Jovovich’s Instagram.
The flick currently has a release date of September 2020.
Tom Holland has been rumored around this project for ages, though it was recently announced he will indeed be playing a young Nathan Drake in an Uncharted movie due to release next year. This is exciting stuff, as Sony has also recently expressed an interest in adapting more of its games into films after being inspired by the Marvel cinematic universe. Director Dan Trachtenberg has not only impressed with 10 Cloverfield Lane but is also no stranger to video game to movie adaptations, having made the enjoyable Portal short film, Portal: No Escape. Uncharted fans have eagerly waited years for adventurer Nathan Drake to come to the big screen, and now it finally seems likely.
Uncharted has a release date of Dec. 18, 2020.
Warner Bros. have been working on this since 2014 and seem confident as it already has a release date of 2022. It will tell the story of a teenage girl who must take on the Ender Dragon with her friends to save the world. Mojang has been working closely with Warner Bros. and have also taken on board Peter Sollett to direct. It’s had quite a few push backs so far, which makes it quite an uncertain project at this point.
Minecraft currently has a release date of March 4, 2022.
When the cinematic trailer for The Division appeared in 2014, many were impressed with the trailer's storytelling and emotion. Unfortunately, the actual game focused more on the multiplayer aspects.
Deadpool 2 director David Leitch is on board to direct this adaptation, and it shows promise. The Division always had an interesting premise though failed to really translate this into a game. Maybe a film will do better. Production is due to start this year after Leitch is done working on Hobbs & Shaw, and it will be eventually released onto Netflix.
Tomb Raider 2
The first Tomb Raider movie with Alicia Vikander received mixed reviews and unfortunately was thrown down onto the ‘almost made it’ pile for video game to movie adaptations. But MGM and Warner Bros have pressed on with a sequel and High-Rise’s Amy Jump recently leapt on board to write the script. Vikander has previously expressed an interest in reprising the role of Lara, so maybe this could avoid production hell. We can only keep our fingers crossed that a sequel will give us the scene we have all been waiting for: Lara locking her butler in the freezer.
We’ve been here before. In 1993, Super Mario Bros disgraced cinemas and felt less like an adaptation from the beloved games and more like the writers shoved together a random plot and stuck Luigi and Mario’s names onto the lead characters. Illumination Entertainment have braved for a round two after the success of their Despicable Me films, Sing and The Secret Life of Pets. Last year, the company’s founder, Chris Meledandri, told Variety that this new animated film was a ‘priority’ production and could see a likely release of 2022. This has potential, though I think images from the 1993 film will forever be burned onto my brain.
Sound familiar? In 1995 Kevin Droney’s Mortal Kombat was another video game movie to suffer the curse which returned again in 1997 with Mortal Kombat Annihilation. Like most video game to movie adaptations, it was cheesy, badly written and the poorly acted. But that hasn’t stopped Aquaman director James Wan from going ahead to produce a reboot with first-time director Simon McQuoid. Production is expected to begin this year, and the plan is to take advantage of Australia’s beautiful landscapes for filming. Let’s hope they’ll finish it before the projected 2021 release date.
Metal Gear Solid
The Metal Gear Solid movie has been nothing but a montage of rumors as far back as 2008. Now there is a slither of certainty around the project as Kong: Skull Island’s Jordan Vogt-Roberts has announced he is working on it. All we have right now it a series of posts from Vogt-Roberts’ Twitter account, including concept art. But Hideo Kojima’s world would make an amazing film if done right, so hopefully this project can avoid spiraling down production hell.
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GameLuster’s Tuesday 10 is a weekly column that highlights memorable, light-hearted facets of video games or the industry at large. The No. 1 is a hill no one should die on, but it’s a hill that should be admired from afar.