Films based on video games. For so long a great idea that’s produced relentlessly poor results. For every Silent Hill or Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children there’s an overwhelming deluge of ruined licenses like The Legend of Chun-Li, Dead or Alive, Prince of Persia or that steaming s**t pile that is Uwe Boll’s embarrassment of a CV.
There will undeniably be more, but there are some promising titles on the horizon. We’ve been through the lists and selected five of the confirmed titles that best represent an opportunity for a change in the quality of movies based on video game franchises. Four of them are deep into production and one of them really should be by now. So, in order of scheduled release…
Hitman: Agent 47
The last Hitman movie was surprisingly decent, given I was expecting zilch. The casting did an admirable job, but the best scene was the ridiculous moment where Olga Kurylenko tried to sex Agent 47. Ha, oh how he squirmed. But enough, what about the new film? There’s an explosive-packed trailer (ok, so stealth might not be a thing here), but as entertaining action flicks go, this could be fun. Why someone hasn’t shaved Rupert Friend’s head properly is anyone’s guess though. Hitman: Agent 47 is out August 27th in the UK.
Ratchet & Clank
Sony’s long-running platforming series has always had a Pixar-esque feel to the cutscenes and has always seemed like a natural fit for an animated adaptation. Sure, it’s going to be aimed at the little ones, but with the game’s original voice cast and an Insomniac writer on-board, loyal fans should find plenty to enjoy. The trailer above seems to be nailing the feel of the series too. Ratchet & Clank was originally on course for a release this year, but now has a new date of April 26th, 2016. We imagine the reboot game will be out around the same time.
Subscriber numbers may be down, but World of Warcraft is still doing huge numbers every month and fans are eagerly awaiting the new Legion Expansion. This one is well into the post-production stage now and set to land in cinemas in December next year. With an established Director, Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code), overseeing things and Industrial Light & Magic (Star Wars) producing the CGI, this could be something with even wider appeal. If not, it’ll at least look fantastic on the big-screen.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
Don’t quite pelt me with rotten tomatoes just yet for including this on the list. This will be the sixth entry in Paul W.S. Anderson’s series starring featuring Mila Jovovich. This movie series has been in sharp decline since the ‘not-bad’ original. We’ve seen a true lack of respect for anything resembling the games aside from a few token character appearances and I’ve no reason to suspect this will be any different. Despite the widespread panning, Anderson’s Resi has always turned a decent profit, usually from mugs who think his love for 3D is worth paying extra for (it really isn’t). Essentially though, with Alice’s story coming to a close, it gives someone else a chance to reboot the franchise and come up with something decent. It’s a tough task, especially with so much competition in the zombie genre, but Reside Evil surely deserves a shot at a decent movie. Resident Evil: The Final chapter’s release date is TBC but thought to be early 2017.
The Uncharted movie should be a no-brainer, but it’s been getting bundled by clueless execs for years as displayed by a series of leaked emails. Until recently, it was supposed to be out next June, but seeing as shooting hasn’t started, there’s no director and no cast, it was rather optimistically pushed back to June 2017. Fans have made calls for Nathan ‘Firefly’ Fillion to take up the role. Hell, even the game’s actor Nolan North would do a decent job given half a chance. Elsewhere, we’ve heard that Chris Pratt has passed on the role, but Mark Wahlberg may still be interested. At least the Horrible Bosses director is no longer involved. All the ingredients are there for the Uncharted movie if a studio can just sit down and distil what makes the games so great – fun characters, gobsmacking action setpieces, classic Indiana Jones-style adventuring and pilfering of ancient civilisations. The release of Uncharted 4 on PS4 may provide the boost Sony needs to get their act into gear. Of all the games on this list, surely Uncharted has the biggest potential to be the first true blockbuster movie based on a game.
Have at it folks, let us know if you’re excited for any of the movies on this list, or any others you think could be ace/awful. Others to think about include Assassin’s Creed, Splinter Cell, Minecraft, Rabbids (hey, they made a Minions movie), The Last of Us, Dead Island and Angry Birds.
Further reading: Top 5 Worst Movies Based on Video Games