Video GAMES that are PERFECTLY suited for ADAPTATION into a FILM or SERIES
Obviously, a lot of good things have been happening recently in the world of film adaptations of video games. Last year, Uncharted and the second installment of Sonic’s adventures brought decent financial results from the box office. The Super Mario Bros. Movie and The Last of Us were a huge success. Work is also underway on “Fallout” and “Borderlands”. It’s worth considering what the next move could be in the realm of game-to-film adaptations. The possibilities are endless; the world of games has numerous interesting scenarios that are ripe for cinematic or serial adaptations. Here are a few of my suggestions.
"God of War"
A lot of water had to pass under the bridge before a film with Kratos became a reality. For now, we only have dry announcements, a TV series is in production, but honestly, I still don’t quite believe it. Too many such announcements have ended in failure. Yet, we’re dealing here with the potential for a grand cinematic spectacle. The protagonist of this game series, which has been ongoing since 2005, is a Spartan warrior seeking vengeance for the death of his loved ones. As we know, revenge is a compelling motif for a film script. Kratos’ muscles and skills demand formidable mythological adversaries. Something engaging would have to emerge from this clash; the question is how players’ awareness would respond to the fact that they wouldn’t have control over their character in this version.
"Batman: Arkham Asylum"
I dream that this revolution in DC will someday lead us to Arkham Asylum. After completing the first game from the Rocksteady Studios series, none of the subsequent ones impressed me as much. While City and Knight have their charm due to their scale, what’s best about this story is the prospect of Batman falling into a trap, confronting his demons in a place full of lunatics. He locked them up, but now he seems to depend on their mercy, trying to navigate the web of riddles and secrets laid out by the Joker and his associates. It’s a fantastic premise that would work well on screen; a blend of style, realism intertwined with kitsch, horror elements, and expressionistic darkness. At one point, Ben Affleck mentioned that his Batman was meant to be imprisoned there, but we know how that turned out.
If I’m a fan of something, it’s definitely this particular game from Blizzard. I played the first part as a teenager on Windows 98. The style of the game, its simple yet engaging mechanics, and elements of occult horror captivated me. The incredible atmosphere of dark fantasy reminiscent of Robert E. Howard’s novels. There’s no need for unnecessary introductions – you take a sword, a bow, a spear, or a spell scroll and try to survive at all costs, progressing through the hellish circles, aiming for the heart of evil lurking in the town of Tristram. If there were finally the prospect of creating a series based on this game, which I think would be the best format for Diablo, I would be very interested. This year, in June, after years of waiting, Diablo 4 is finally coming. There were plans for an animated series (this information hasn’t been denied yet), but perhaps now is the time for more serious declarations in this regard?
A mysterious protagonist hiding in the shadows. Intrigue, politics, and the filth of a medieval city. I would love to see a series based on the hit Thief game series. The main character is a professional thief who is interested in particularly valuable trinkets. The story of Garrett has the potential for several seasons of good fun, something like a steampunk, medieval heist movie. I’m convinced that the extraordinary atmosphere of this cult game could be captured and transformed into a serial form. A somewhat similar stylistically game, Dishonored, operates on a similar principle. This title is also worth considering for a potential film adaptation.
Watching Amazon’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” series last year truly captivated me. While everyone criticized it as a blow to Tolkien’s heart, I thought that I was witnessing a triumph of fantasy, as the creators played with motifs in an interesting way, turning them into something different, unconventional, yet in line with at least one tradition – the tradition of heroic fantasy. I started to imagine that maybe now, with the current technological capabilities, it’s the right time to revive the iconic RPG I played in my younger years. Baldur’s Gate is also making a big comeback this year, similar to Diablo, so perhaps if the game’s financial success is achieved, someone might consider acquiring the license for a series? Regardless, television fantasy is thriving today.
Gordon Freeman – scientist, bespectacled, the guy who fought extraterrestrial beings with a crowbar, occasionally using a gravity gun. I finally want to see him on the big screen. Maybe this would somewhat satisfy my longing for the mythical Half-Life 3, which is supposedly in the works, or not. Nevertheless, the story in this game is so rich and suitable for hard science fiction cinema that it would be a shame not to turn the camera’s lens toward it. With a focus on realism and mystery, capturing its unique, dystopian atmosphere. I even have a candidate in mind for the lead role – Michael Fassbender.
"A Plague Tale"
From a gameplay perspective, this title could go in the same direction as “The Last of Us” adaptation. We have an older and a younger protagonist. The former takes care of the latter while traversing a world full of filth and death. There’s significant potential for a historical television story immersed in the broad historical context – the Middle Ages, plagues, and other themes that would blend perfectly with magical elements. I’d opt for realism, while strongly emphasizing the dramatic fate of the siblings.
There were attempts, announcements, even a screenwriter (Wentworth Miller), but nothing came of it. Yet, this is probably one of the most cinematic games in history; the potential within it is enormous, and it’s also connected to an interesting style. This steampunk world captivates with its atmosphere; it’s original and unlike anything we’ve seen on the big screen. Steampunk may not be an unsolved mystery in anime, comics, or games, but it’s still a niche genre for film. Secondly, the plot of Bioshock is fantastic because it’s immersive, full of tension, highly mysterious, difficult to predict, and filled with surprises. Film screenwriters would have a tough challenge, but their work would certainly pay off. A series would also be a fitting format for this title.
BONUS: "Final Fantasy"
There was already an animated film, but it happened a hundred years ago, and everyone seems to have forgotten about it. In my opinion, that film didn’t fully exploit the potential of the long, soap opera-like story, which begs for a multi-threaded, multi-layered, multi-genre live-action series adaptation. Not necessarily with such oversized swords, not necessarily with as literal Japanese kitsch, but certainly with no less grandeur. Netflix, are you up for the challenge?