Sunday, October 18, 2009

Video Games That Should Be Movies

I admit it, I'm a gamer; one of the highest rungs of nerd aside from being a Trekkie or a die-hard comic book geek (O.K., 2 out of 3 isn't that bad). While video game to film adaptations have never been, what's the right word, good, I think that's because filmmakers have never taken the right video game properties and tried to transform them into films. Today I'm going to talk about a few video game franchises that I think deserve the cinematic treatment.

First up is Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell. The game is a stealth action/thriller about a real-life secret agent. Were a Splinter Cell film made, it could be amazing, something along the lines of the Bourne films. And dare I say, George Clooney for Sam Fisher.

Another game that I think could successfully make the transition is Kingdom Hearts. This action/RPG blend of Final Fantasy with Disney actually worked quite well, and I think a stellar adventure film could be crafted from the franchise. Something like, Mickey is kidnapped by the Disney villains who wish to take over the Disney worlds via the Heartless. Sora becomes master of the keyblade and joins Donald and Goofy on a journey to save Mickey and free the various Disney worlds. If done right it could be a fantastic film. I see it being done with a mixture of live-action, motion capture, and CGI-animation. Come on Disney, your really letting a golden opportunity go to waste here.

Next is The Legend of Zelda. This is probably the least likely video game adaptation you are to ever see, but fanboys can dream. I really think that a Zelda movie is entirely possible if done as a three-hour epic like The Lord of the Rings. The story would be simple, Zelda tracks down Link, tells him he's the hero of time, and sends him six years into the future to battle Ganondorf and free Hyrule. Link might have to travel across Hyrule to reach Ganondorf's fortress, causing him to have to cross through dungeons and do battle with dangerous creatures along the way, as well as a blossoming romance with Shiek, a.k.a. Princess Zelda. Boy I got excited just spitballing ideas on this one.

Now the obvious one, Halo. Halo should be a movie because it already is a cinematic experience (in particular the first game). I mean seriously, a Halo film would be non-stop action from start to finish, and if they could tell an intriguing story in only two hours, I really think it's a possibility. They just need to let Peter Jackson and Neil Blomkamp make their Halo film that they were producing a while back.

My big out of left field choice is to make an animated Super Mario film. Now while they made the horrible live-action film in the '90s, I think it could be pulled off in a CG-animated film set in the storyline of Super Mario Galaxy. Mario jetting across planets, fighting bad guys alongside Toad and Luigi, all to save Princess Peach from Bowser. It's already got the mixings of a good adventure story, it just needs to be threaded together.

Finally, Shenmue. This game was already a movie, essentially. Light on action, heavy on story. A Shenmue film could be a fantastic martial arts film laced with intriguing mystery. Please, John Woo, do this one.

And that does it for my suggestions. Perhaps some studios will pick up on these ideas. I doubt it.

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