video game movies

Remember the days when movies based on video games were virtually unheard of? Well, those days are gone … some say forever. Video games are now such big business in the entertainment industry that they have eclipsed other forms of media, and are gaining an increasingly large share at box offices across the country. In this mutually satisfying relationship, studios rely on the popularity of video games to attract movie-goers for increased ticket sales. Gaming companies embrace the entertainment infomercials (movies) that promote their products. It’s a commercial win-win.

As games begin to become an interactive part of our mainstream culture with releases like Pokémon GO, it’s no surprise that studios have taken notice of the potential that the market presents. Movies about games are on par with the movies based on Marvel Comics. Blockbuster hits like the Spiderman franchise have made big bucks for the studios. At the same time, Marvel came back from the brink of bankruptcy through the arrangement. Game developers and publishers alike are jumping on board and designing their games with properties that will help propel them into successful silver-screen productions.

Video games have been morphed into movies since the late 1990s, which has not filmnecessarily been a good thing. They developed a reputation over that time as half-hearted, low-budget productions. Lower expectations drove limited cult-following ticket sales. By catching the profit-seeking eye of the big studios in recent years, the appeal has taken an about face, and the future of games successfully leaping onto the big screen is bright. Curious to see what is being developed for release? Have a look at what’s up and coming in the games-to-movies world.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

resident evil

Release date: January 27, 2017

Previously titled Resident Evil 6, this movie was renamed to The Final Chapter because supposedly the franchise decided that six films based on a video game was indeed enough. Set to release before 2017, due to Milla Jovovich’s pregnancy, the release date was pushed back a year. This next installment of the series will focus on Alice, Jill, Claire, Chris, Leon, Ada, and Wesker, who are on a mission to reach The Hive and destroy The Red Queen, who is plotting total annihilation of the human race.

Uncharted

uncharted

Release date: June 30, 2017

After several switches of direction, Uncharted is set to be released in 2017. The path to the creation of this film was about as challenging as the game itself. However, once again, resolve and confidence have continued to propel this project forward. Recently it has been announced that Seth Gordon, who directed King Kong, will be directing Uncharted with a script by David Guggenheim (Safe House writer). It remains to be seen whether Sony’s determination will pay off with the release of this film.

Minecraft

minecraft

Release date: TBA

After the unexpected success of The Lego Movie with adults and children alike, it seems only natural that Warner Bros. Pictures would be looking for the next wildly popular game about square-shaped action figures with autonomous lives to make a movie out of. Recently they found their answer with Mojang’s Minecraft. Confirmed last February by Notch, Warner Bros. has pulled out all the stops for the production of this film. They’ve even hired on the producer of The Lego Movie, Roy Lee, and its production company Vertigo Entertainment. Although there is no firm release date, with all the support it has, Minecraft is slated to be a box office hit.

The Last of Us

the last of us

Release date: TBA

Although not much yet is known about the film, we know it will be worth the suspense.  This film adaptation has fans waiting with bated breath because it is being written by Neil Druckmann, the writer and creative director of the original game. There’s still no definitive word on what the storyline of the movie is, as it is still very early in the development process, but with the mastermind behind the game doing the writing, there is a good chance that the story arc will follow the general plot of the game.

What is the plot? The Last of Us is a post-apocalyptic game set 20 years after a mutated spore turns much of the human population into creepy creatures. To save America, a battered, unequipped man must transport to safety a young girl who holds the key to the future.

Tomb Raider

tomb raider

Release date: 2018

The classic Tomb Raider that was originally released in 2001 as a film directed by Simon West and starring Angelina Jolie is getting a reboot come 2018. GK Films acquired the rights to the franchise in 2011 and has since partnered with MGM to reimagine the Lara Croft series. Development has already begun, and it has been announced that Buffy the Vampire Slayer alum Marti Noxon will be collaborating on the script. Other than that, not much is known about the newest of Lara Croft’s motion picture exploits.

Mass Effect

mass effect

Release date: TBA

A popular game for years, Mass Effect was slated to become a film as early as 2010. You likely wouldn’t have known that, though, due to the deafening silence that’s been heard in regard to this production. The only thing that is known for certain is that several superstars, like former Marvel CEO Avi Arad and Thor screenwriter Mark Protosevich, are on board. So, when this movie is finally released, it should be something to behold.

The Witcher

the witcher

Release date: 2017

It could be argued that a film based on The Witcher has already been released, but, due to a lack of support both in the gaming and filming world, it went underground. Now, though, with the recent success of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, evildoers, magic wielders, and roughly hewn heroes are back in style. With a release date of 2017, we don’t have long to wait to see what producer Sean Daniel (the Mummy series) conjures up.

Dante’s Inferno

dantes inferno

Release date: TBA

A game that was released several years ago with moderate success, Dante’s Inferno is nevertheless slated to become a Universal film. Back in 2010, when the game Dante’s Inferno came out, they released a teaser for a full-length movie to accompany the game. However, it has taken six years and several rotations of producers and directors to get this film back in the works. As of now, with Evil Dead director, Fede Alvarez at the helm, and Eric Newman slated to produce, there is a good chance that this average game could shape up to be a fair film.

Splinter Cell

splinter cell

Release date: TBA

One of the first films to be announced by the newly formed film division of the French gaming publisher Ubisoft, Splinter Cell is a live-action film based on Tom Clancy’s game franchise. What is going to make this movie so interesting? First, Ubisoft is retaining complete control over the creative interpretation of its game, which will likely keep the film truer to its origins. Second, Ubisoft has managed to partner with the British star Tom Hardy, who will play the film’s protagonist, Sam Fisher. This film is still in scripting stages with screenwriter Eric Singer of The International heading its creation. There is yet to be a release date set.

Ghost Recon

ghost recon

Release date: TBA

Based on another Ubisoft game, this film is set to be an exciting adaptation. The French video games company has reached out to Michael Bay (who also did Transformers and The Rock) to supervise the project. It is even rumored that he may end up getting behind the camera. Although there are no Michael Bay-esque explosions yet, the studio is meeting with potential writers and working to get the film underway.

Kane and Lynch

kane and lynch

Release date: TBA

Originally planned for a 2011 release starring big-guns like Bruce Willis and Jamie Foxx, the film was pushed back due to the departure of director Patrick Alessandrin (District 12: Ultimatum), and since then the script has been rewritten. Along with a revised script, it seems that Gerard Butler and Vin Diesel have stepped in to star in the film. Unfortunately, after the delay, there is currently no new date in sight.

God of War

God of War

Release date: TBA

Although this film has been in the works since 2005 and has yet to set a release date, it is nevertheless still in the plan. As of now there are no directors, no producers, no actors, no nada. However, the studio does have Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton revising the script that is based off the first game, where Kratos faces Ares to become the new God of War. Despite the trials it must face, this movie may just use its Herculean strength to push through and become the blockbuster it is destined to be.

Mortal Kombat

mortal kombat

Release date: TBA

If you grew up in the 90s, you are probably excited to see Mortal Kombat become a feature film. Well, so were New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. In fact, they gave the project to Kevin Tancharoen of the successful web series Mortal Kombat: Rebirth. Unfortunately the production ran into trouble a while back when Warner Bros. reduced the budget down to $40 million from the original $100 million. While the project has not been canceled, Tancharoen has returned to his web series while details of the movie are being sorted out.

Metal Gear Solid
metal gearRelease date: TBA
Another project under Avi Arad’s Marvel umbrella, Metal Gear Solid has been primed to become a feature film since 2006. Based on an immensely successful game franchise, game creator Hideo Kojima has taken on the task of directing this film in conjunction with Man of Steel writer David Goyer. You are probably wondering what is taking so long to get this film into production. The short answer is: The impossibly convoluted and multi-faceted story that makes up the world in which this game plays out. Hopefully, when this film is finished, it will be as groundbreaking as the gaming series itself is.
Heavy Rain

heacy rain

Release date: TBA

Released as a murder mystery game in 2010 by Quantic Dream, the rights to make Heavy Rain into a film were snatched up almost immediately after it hit the market. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much of a peep about the movie since then.  All we know is that the film has been being written by NYPD Blue and Deadwood writer David Milch for nearly three years, but has reportedly recently been fast-tracked.

Asteroids

asteroids

Release date: TBA

Yes, it is true. Back in 2009, Universal Pictures really did acquire the rights to produce a movie based on the old black and white Atari arcade game. There has been little movement on the project, but it recently received a new breath of life when Man of Steel screenwriter, David Goyer, took on a rewrite the project. Since then, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura has stepped into the project, but the search for a director continues. Despite all this, because Asteroids itself doesn’t have much plot, there have been rumors that the movie will be more of a space opera than a disaster film.

Mario

mario

Release date: TBA

It looks like despite the bizarre disaster that was 1993’s Super Mario Bros. movie, Sony Pictures Entertainment has decided to try again by venturing to make Mario, an animated adventure film. This information has not been officially confirmed, though. It was instead leaked when Sony’s company email was hacked. According to these emails, this Italian plumber duo is coming back to quest through the Mushroom Kingdom one again. If it will be better than the Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo interpretation, we will just have to wait and see.

Devil May Cry

devil may cry

Release date: TBA

Another film by Screen Gems, Devil May Cry boasts a script by Machete Kills screenwriter Kyle Ward. At least it did back when it was announced in 2011. Since then, not much has been heard. It is not even known if this movie will ever come to pass. Fingers crossed. You will just have to keep an eye out for movement on this one.

Five Nights at Freddy’s

5 nights

Release date: TBA

When this indie game came out, it took the world by force. Now it remains to be seen if the film will do the same. Based on a similar story line as the game, Five Nights at Freddy’s is set in a buffet-and-play style restaurant where what appear to be innocent machines by day become animatronic murderers by night. Those who work there are tasked with surviving their shifts; how they do that is left up to their ingenious imaginations. Not much has been announced regarding the film other than that Gil Kenan (Monster House) will be directing it, and that he has already sent his feelers out for inspiration on possible animatronic interpretations.

controller

There is a colorful history associated with video games becoming feature films. However, regardless of when these movies actually grace the silver screen, there is no time like the present to get hyped. Even blockbusters like Tomb Raider and Doom can’t compare to the complex and carefully crafted worlds that inspired them.

Show your love for these games even before they become feature films. That way you’ll be able to say you were the cool kid who knew all about the game before it was even a thing to be paying attention to. What’s the simplest and greatest way to show your love? Spread the word when you wear a t-shirt. That way, you can connect with all the other inner geeks who live, breathe, and love the world of games. And the films themselves? Even if it takes them forever to get released, you’ll be there, and you’ll be ready.

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