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Published on March 29th, 2013 | by gareth

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Video Games That Could Make Great Film Franchises

I decided to look ahead at what I would like to see from Hollywood, as the current trends of sacrificing story, character development, and originality for bigger and more abundant special effects seems to have no end. Much maligned director Uwe Boll explained to me that the problem of getting a video game to the screen isa real exercise in patience. Boll stated that many times game studios will license the name, but will restrict the way a film can look as well as the storyline. For “Far Cry” he told me that while they were free to use the names, they could not be in a tropical setting and the mutants had to have a look and name different from the game as the developers did not want to infringe on any possible game sequels.

Boll was not alone in this regard as game based movies such as “DOOM”, Wing Commander”, and “Super Mario Bros.” varied greatly from their source materials.

If films are to reach expectations both financially and critically then balance must be made to ensure continuity with the games that inspired the film as well as the changes that are necessary to compress several hours of gameplay into a 2hr or less film.

With this in mind, The following suggestions are for films that I think would do well, (providing they have a solid script, cast, and director), and could become franchises that will ensure lucrative sequels for years to come.

X-Com: Before the successfull relaunch of the title by 2K Games, X-Com was one of the 90’s most popular computer games. It spawned several sequels and was awarded many awards in the gaming industry. The game is a turned based strategy game that cast players in the role of the supreme commander of X-Com, a unit designed to fight an invading alien menace on Earth. Players had to design their bases, research equipment, and invade and defend various locations while they dealt with financial and political pressures.

The game would make an interesting film as the alien invasion is a good backdrop, but what would make the film different from say “Starship Troopers” is an open ended storyline that can show many facets to the conflict from the political, financial, and of course combat point of views. The film would also be a great franchise launching point as the games have established many scenarios for sequels to be based upon.

Crusader: No Remorse

While there had been a few rumors on this title, nothing solid has ever come of it. The popular computer game series from Origin tells of an enhanced killing machine called a “Silencer” who turns against his evil company and joins up with the resistance.

The game was non-stop action, and the cut scenes were gripping and original as the drove the story. The futuristic game was so gripping, that as soon as I finished both games, I wanted even more. The game featured a wide range of bad guys including some morphing robots and a dazzling range of weapons. The movie version of the game if done right, could become as big as the Terminator series, as it contains all the elements needed for success.

Hunters of the Red Moon: A classic tale from Marion Zimmer Bradley that tells of a man who is sailing around the world, who is abducted by a UFO. Before he knows what is happening, he is caged with aliens from a number of worlds, and learns that they are to be sold into slavery.

Not content to become a slave, members of the group stage a revolt and soon find themselves captives again, yet separated from the prisoners who would not fight in the revolt. The group soon learns that they are to be the honored hunted, and if they survive the hunt on the Red Moon, they will be set free and granted riches beyond their wildest dreams. There is only one problem, few if any can recall anyone surviving the hunt, and the hunters have never been seen before, so how does one distinguish hunter from hunted?

A good story that spawned a good sequel called ¬The Survivors. The story is tailor made for the screen and would be a good action feature in the right hands. This was a hit book long before “Predator” came around and has the potential to be a massive hit.

Half Life

The most popular computer game of all time sets players as Gordon Freeman as he attempts to escape the Black Mesa Research Facilty after a disaster. The game plays out as an interactive movie with plenty of tension, danger, and action to please even the most jaded gamer. This could be a huge film as the following for the game is enormous.

Yes we have waited forever for Episode 3 and many believe the next outing for Dr. Freeman will bypass Epsiode 3 in favor of a new game. Regardless of where the game series go, I belie a movie can be a huge hit.

Duke Nukem

With the long in development Duke Nukem Forever finally releaing to mixed reviews, rumors of a new game in the series have started to circulate slowly. Would it not be great to see Duke make it to the big screen and bring his mission of eliminating the alien menace while maintaining his cool style to a local multiplex? What a jump it could be for the series and would possibly launch a new action series fans could embrace for the next decade.

Dead Space

Animated movies aside, this one is rife for the undertaking. Imagine the dark horror of “Alien” blended with a mix of “The Walking Dead” as Isaac must face off hordes of CGI rendered Necromorphs in 3D. The character is dark, complex, and a man of action who is at his best when things are darkest.

Bioshock

There were rumors before of a film that never came to pass. However with the success of Bioshock: Infite, the momentum on the series has never been greater. The new game also shows that the setting does not need to be Rapture, but can be a bizzare, Steampunk locale that has never been seen before.


What games would you like to see turned into movies? Comment below or drop me a line at [email protected]


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