What do Assassin’s Creed, Splinter Cell and World of Warcraft have in common? Apart from being popular video games, they are also being transferred onto the silver screen in the near future. While the Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell scripts are being kept under wraps, Michael Fassbender will be acting in an unknown role and producing Assassin’s Creed while Tom Hardy will be playing superspy Sam Fisher. Metal Gear Solid, Mass Effect and The Last of Us among others are rumoured to being made into films within the next couple of years. Even Ratchet and Clank are getting their own film.
Despite being popular franchises in the gaming world, can they work as a critical and/or commercial success? From past experience, the future doesn’t look bright. Prince of Persia, the Mario brothers and Street Fighter among many others have failed to impress critics and fans alike. Even Need for Speed which is also a film based on a popular video game has thus far received negative reviews despite featuring Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul as the protagonist. The reasons are due to poor writing, wooden acting and actions that to drag on and/or aren’t as exciting as playing in them. Below is the trailer for Street Fighter for you to see and possibly judge.
One of the biggest offenders to cause this disappointing trend is director Uwe Boll who ruined fans dreams of seeing a live action version of various games from Bloodrayne and the House of the Dead Alone in the Dark and Far Cry. Like the zombies in The House of The Dead, he keeps coming back as he is promising sequels to Bloodrayne and Postal. Below is a picture of the man who is despised by so many diehard gaming and film fans, there was a petition pending Boll’s retirement and the director has challenged his haters to boxing matches in an event referred to as Raging Boll.
That isn’t to say that video game related movies and shows have redeeming qualities. Every film in Resident Evil series still make over $100,000,000 despite being awful and Tomb Raider was one of the first films that made people notice Angelina Jolie whose titillating depiction of Lara Croft became more popular than the . And who can forget that episode of South Park “Make Love, Not Warcraft” where Stan, Cartman, Kyle and Kenny face off against a WOW player that kills every player in the game. Not only is it considered one of the best South Park episodes but it won the creators an Emmy for combining cartoon animation with gaming graphics introduced by WOW creators Blizzard as well as a great and funny story. Below is a clip from that episode.
As well as that, recently the superhero franchise has been embraced by Hollywood officially in recent years. Now taking fandoms seriously, the bright movie lights may shine on reinventing a better brand of video game movies. If directed written and cast right, Sam Fisher could be the next James Bond or the Assassin’s Creed movie could end developing a trilogy similar to Batman. It’s sounds impossible but that what’s great about video games. They create a sense of awe and the oddest of scenarios. Hopefully a smart cast and crew can someday show that sense of wonder on the silver screen with some version of the virtual characters we know and love. Some games have treated their franchise like that such as Metal Gear Solid whose 3rd game treated Snake like James Bond with even similar opening credits as seen below.
Can the above films making video games and films work together in harmony or is it this matter a case of flogging a dead horse? Here are some of the comments said by people on the topic.
Now it’s your turn to express your opinion. Feel free to comment below about the subject, how should directors approach filming video game stories or simply what game, if any would you like to see made into a movie.