We mean now, Hollywood, not in 10 years.
Hollywood has strip-mined the comic book cupboard of any and all ideas. In a creative industry seemingly bereft of any and all creativity, the movie business is running desperately low on non-sequel scripts. So what better medium to pilfer from than video games? Games have a built-in audience, extreme fan boys, and – most importantly – they actually have some good stories ripe for horrible Hollywood-style mangling!
The Halo movie has had Peter Jackson, Guillermo Del Toro, and District 9 director Neil Blomkamp all attached at one time or another. And after some webisodes attached to Halo 4 saw some success, hope for an eventual full-length movie remains. But if we’re going to see Halo done right, we need Ridley Scott directing (nobody does Sci-Fi and action better), a screenwriter that isn’t afraid to disregard most of the expanded Halo universe and its silliness and focus on the core story from the first game, and a surprising star to play Master Chief…may we suggest The Rock? Actually, the last time he played a space marine from a video game, it didn’t work out so well…
Ready-made Peter Travers Quote: “Say ‘Halo’ to this year’s surprise smash!”
Grand Theft Auto
There’s nothing easier or more boilerplate in Hollywood than a crime drama. And almost every mission, let alone an entire game, in a single GTA title has enough content to drive an hour in a movie. The most obvious choice is an adaptation of the gritty, realistic Grand Theft Auto IV, featuring Niko Bellic. Get Martin Scorsese to direct, and you’ve got a criminal caper to rival Goodfellas (except with way more Eastern Europeans and bowling). Or producers could take the neon road to Vice City, the GTA universe’s wacky equivalent of Miami in the 1980s. Sounds awesome already, right? Tag Michael Mann to direct and redeem himself for the mediocre (yet visually stunning) Miami Vice, re-hire original voice actor Ray Liotta as Tommy Vercetti, cast Will Smith as best bud turned nemesis Lance Vance for a little Bad Boys nostalgia, and you’ve just created the greatest thing to ever take place in Florida (not an easy thing to do).
Ready-made Peter Travers Quote: “For crime buffs, seeing this film is a mandatory sentence!”
With Michael Fassbender rumored as the star of the in-production film, there’s not much more we could ask of an adaptation for one of the most ready-made video game-to-film titles out there. For anyone afraid that it won’t be enough to stop Sony from mangling the franchise, supposedly the contract with Ubisoft grants an unheard of level of control to the video game developer. Of course, that level of control means it’s highly likely the movie never gets made in the first place…
Ready-made Peter Travers Quote: “I feel the need for Creed!”
The greatest post-apocalyptic universe since the Flintstones isn’t Mad Max or Waterworld or the Post Man (Kevin Costner is really bad at this whole thing, isn’t he?)…it isn’t any movie at all. It’s Fallout. The rich and shockingly consistent history and fiction of the Fallout video game world would make great fodder for a film: in an alternative history of the United States, the transistor is never discovered post WWII. Instead of computer technology dominating the modern world, it’s fission power. And the hilarious Cold War propaganda culture of the 1950s persists until a civilization-ending nuclear exchange with China in the late 21st century. Newcomers to the series probably expect an adaptation of Fallout 3. After all, Liam Neeson already voices the main character’s father, what more do you need? Well, how about a story not about cleaning an irradiated water supply (zzzzzz)? What Fallout 3 added in graphical power and an open world, it lost in the series’ trademark wit and hilarity. An adaptation of the first game, which features an insane, mutated army of super humans led by “The Master,” a grotesque amalgam of flesh and machine, sounds a lot more fun…Liam Neeson should still totally play the dad, however. While we’re at it, can he just be everybody’s dad?
Ready-made Peter Travers Quote: “It’s the end of the world as we know it, and this movie feels fine!”
Jennifer Lawrence plays Samus Aaron, intergalactic bounty hunter. Congratulations, Hollywood, you just clogged the entire Internet with nerd sweat and ticket sales. You can thank us with money.
Ready-made Peter Travers Quote: “In space, no one can hear you dream of a better summer blockbuster!”
It’s basically Rocky except with even more comically racist stereotypes. A French guy who can’t fight, a drunk Russian, and Indian boxer with a turban who disappears, and a bald Turk (that’s probably racist for some reason, right?) are just a few of the offensive caricatures your character knocks out on his way to a boxing championship belt. This is the kind of game that could never be made today…but it could be a great movie with an ironic twist and wink to the audience! Get Scott Pilgrim vs. The World director Edgar Wright to make the movie like the video game. Crazy visual and sound effects, an honest tribute to the styling of the original characters, and a totally goofball script would sap the offensiveness as it’s all just so ridiculous. Although literally every special interest group in America will still protest it.
Ready-made Peter Travers Quote: “A knockout good time!”
Another game perfect for a movie adaptation (and one that has a production fraught with problems), Uncharted fans have tried steering the movie in their preferred direction for years. Reacting angrily to Mark Wahlberg’s casting as series’ protagonist Nathan Drake, they formerly petitioned anyone and everyone involved with the movie to cast Nathan Fillion…because he looks like Drake, we guess? Regardless of the final casting, an Indiana Jones-style adventure featuring devious traps, lost treasure, and fast women doesn’t need to stick to the Uncharted franchise’s storyline to be a hell of a lot of fun.
Ready-made Peter Travers Quote: “Chart a course for excitement!”
It’s been nine years since the last Half-Life video game, so what better choice to make the movie adaptation than Guillermo Del Toro? It only took him eight years to make his vampire movie Cronos.
Ready-made Peter Travers Quote: “Like Life of Pi but half the fun! I don’t want to live anymore.”
There hasn’t been a good Sword & Sorcery fantasy epic film since…well, ever. Okay, Conan the Barbarian was pretty good, but it’s not a genre that’s seen a lot of love lately. Diablo’s weird and violent universe filled with vengeful demons, brawny barbarians, and sultry sorceresses would make for a great movie series. Story, casting, director…who really cares as long as it’s got plenty of this?
Ready-made Peter Travers Quote: “A hell of a good time!”
Gears of War
It’s like Band of Brothers meets Aliens. A squad of tough-talking soldiers – some press-ganged into service, others career military, but all struggling for the survival of humanity – fight across (and under) land, sea, and air against the Locust Horde, an unstoppable race of subterranean monsters that ride EVEN BIGGER MONSTERS into battle. Oh, also, their guns have chainsaws. Every Hollywood producer in America should pop a money boner just reading that plot description. Cast an Expendables-style mega group of action stars (hopefully some that aren’t members of the AARP), recruit James Cameron, and get ready for the greatest Sci-Fi action movie ever. Did we mention the chainsaw guns?
Ready-made Peter Travers Quote: “This holiday season, prepare to get into Gear!”
E.T. The Extra Terrestrial
Widely considered one of the worst video games ever made, E.T. is due its own adaptation if only so that it can have an equally terrible movie to match. It’s really not fair that the Spielberg’s opus has this Atari 2600 title attached to it for eternity. Uwe Boll can direct, Adam Sandler can produce, and Nicholas Cage can star because, hey, why not?
Ready-made Peter Travers Quote: “This made me poop in my pants.”