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10 Video Games That Should Be Made Into Movies

VIdeo games that should be movies
Nintendo/Bioware/Irrational Games

Over the years, Hollywood has taught us one thing — it’s easy to churn out movies based on video games, but a whole lot more difficult to make them watchable. For every semi-decent ‘Resident Evil’ or ‘Tomb Raider’ flick, there’s a stinker like ‘Silent Hill,’ ‘Doom,’ ‘Bloodrayne,’ ‘Wing Commander’ and, perhaps worst of all, ‘Super Mario Bros.’

But these 10 awesome video games would make sure-fire hit movies. With their built-in cinematic appeal, how could they miss? Heck, the way we figure it, these titles are already halfway to the silver screen. So, get cracking, movie makers. Just be sure not give us another ‘Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,’ okay?

Halo

A movie based on Microsoft’s wildly popular video game franchise ‘Halo’ has been in the works for years, but it’s consistently failed to materialize. Problems began when the software giant made huge demands while shopping the movie around in 2005, which included $10 million against 15% of the box office gross, fast-tracked production, creative approval over the director and 60 first class plane tickets to the premiere. Needless to say, they succeeded in alienating most studios.

Despite Microsoft’s strong-arm approach, 20th Century Fox and Universal Studios eventually agreed to partner on the film and Peter Jackson and Neil Blomkamp (‘District 9′) signed on to produce and direct, respectively. But the film quickly became a money-losing proposition after Microsoft, Jackson and the studios all secured a piece of the pie. According to Blomkamp, ‘Halo’ simply became “not worth making.”

However, before the project collapsed under its own weight in 2007, Blomkamp created test footage called ‘Halo: Landfall,’ which was eventually used to promote the release of ‘Halo 3.’ But if anything, his amazing live-action short is just a sad reminder of how cool the movie could’ve been. Isn’t it about time Master Chief made the leap to the big screen? Until that happens, fans will have to content themselves with Blomkamp’s footage and the ‘Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn’ live-action web series.

The Legend of Zelda

Ocarina of Time
Nintendo

Given that ‘The Legend of Zelda’ franchise has sold more than 67 million copies since the release of the first game in 1986, it’s surprising that it has yet to become a movie. What’s more, the beloved series has been translated into almost every medium except for film, including TV, comics, books and soundtracks.

At least one critic thinks the problem with a ‘Zelda’ film may be with protagonist Link himself, since he’s generally depicted as a mute boy who’s dressed like a “camp version of Robin Hood.”

But the lack of a film could have more to do with Nintendo’s desire to tightly control the franchise. They did, after all, effectively kill ‘The Legend of Zelda: The Hero of Time,’ a full-length, live-action fan movie that premiered in 2009. As the makers of the film put it, Nintendo wanted to “keep their property unspoiled by fan’s interpretation.”

Nevertheless, we’re convinced that a ‘Zelda’ film, especially one based on the best game in the series — ‘Ocarina of Time’ — is just what long-time fans need. Get on that right away, Nintendo.

Half-Life

Like everyone else who played it, we were instantly gripped by the story in ‘Half-Life’ and have eagerly followed Dr. Gordon Freeman’s adventures ever since. It was one of the earliest games to give us highly cinematic and distinctly memorable set-pieces.

Unfortunately, it seems the only way a ‘Half-Life’ movie will be made is if the game’s maker, Valve, creates it themselves. In 2010, Gabe Newell, Valve’s CEO and co-founder, said he and his team had several meetings after the release of ‘Half-Life’ to explore the possibility of a movie, but nothing ever solidified.

“There was a whole bunch of meetings with people from Hollywood. Directors down there wanted to make a Half-Life movie and stuff, so they’d bring in a writer or some talent agency would bring in writers, and they would pitch us on their story. And their stories were just so bad,” he said. “That’s when we started saying ‘Wow, the best thing we could ever do is to just not do this as a movie, or we’d have to make it ourselves.’”

Sadly, there’s been no further mention of a movie since. There is, however, the terrific fan-made movie above, which was created on a shoestring budget of only $3,000. Keep an eye out for Freeman’s iconic crowbar and some nasty headcrab zombies.

Red Dead Redemption

Red Dead Redemption
Rockstar

‘Red Dead Redemption’ was arguably one of the best video games of 2010, largely because of its stellar voice acting, appealing characters, great story and snappy dialogue. Apparently, Brad Pitt thought so too, and was rumored two years ago to have signed on as the main character from Rockstar’s sandbox Western. Pitt was reportedly even given first refusal rights in the project.

Once the rumor about Pitt began to circulate, critics assembled dream casting choices and others cobbled together lists of demands lest Hollywood grace us with another Wild West abomination like ‘Jonah Hex.’

Unfortunately, there hasn’t been any new information on the project since, which is a crying shame. If any character deserves to be brought to life, it’s retired outlaw John Marston.

Mass Effect

Mass Effect
BioWare

Fortunately for fans, a movie adaptation of BioWare’s space opera ‘Mass Effect’ is already in the works. However, Legendary Pictures, who secured the movie rights to the game in 2008, is reportedly struggling with how to translate the popular sci-fi series into a compelling movie.

Initially, Mark Protosevich, who contributed to the screenplays for ‘I Am Legend’ and ‘Thor,’ was tapped as writer. But last month, Legendary parted ways with Protosevich and hired screenwriter Morgan Davis Foehl instead. Foehl is largely unknown in Hollywood, but currently has two scripts in development, one that’s an adaptation of the comic book ‘Crosshair’ and another that’s cryptically called ‘Alien Sleeper Cell.’

While Foehl doesn’t have a produced screenplay to his name yet, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. He’s apparently a huge fan of the ‘Mass Effect’ series, which leads us to believe he might be an ideal choice. Still, it remains to be seen how the game, which is shaped by choices made by the player, will translate into a coherent movie. We’ll have to wait and see.

Dead Space

Dead Space
EA

Few games have scared us like EA’s creepfest ‘Dead Space.’ And given that sci-fi horror movies lately have been good, but not great — think ‘Prometheus,’ for example — we think a big screen adaptation of Isaac’s Clarke’s battle against the Necromorphs is just what the genre needs.

In 2009, D.J. Caruso, the director behind ‘I Am Number Four,’ among others, signed on to direct a ‘Dead Space’ flick, but news has been scarce since then.

Still, Caruso did assure fans last year that a ‘Dead Space’ movie is still in production. At the time, the director said he and the producers of ‘Twilight’ were crafting a story. Hopefully, it won’t be much longer before the movie comes together. Although, if we’re being honest, we’re kind of worried the Necromorphs will sparkle.

Skyrim

Skyrim
Bethesda

Everything about ‘The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim,’ Bethesda’s hugely expansive action role-playing game, is awesome. It’s one of the few games that we’ve played through more than once and we still keep coming back for more. We’re not alone in our appreciation either. The game sold more than 3.5 million copies in the first 48 hours after release, and 7 million copies were shipped to retailers in the first week alone.

Given the rabid fanbase, it’s surprising then that a ‘Skyrim’ movie isn’t in the works. There are, of course, countless fan made movies and parodies, but no official big budget blockbuster is in the offing. At least not yet.

Since ‘Game of Thrones’ is so wildly popular and the first of Peter Jackson’s ‘Hobbit’ trilogy is right around the corner, it seems like the perfect time for a sword and sorcery epic featuring the Dragonborn. Here’s hoping.

Castlevania

Castlevania
Konami

If anything rivals the troubled history of the ‘Halo’ movie, it’s the big screen adaptation of ‘Castlevania,’ Konami’s classic monster-bashing platformer. Ever since Crystal Sky Pictures acquired the rights in 2005, the film has changed distributors, screenwriters, producers and directors more times than we can count. To say that it’s in development hell is putting it mildly.

Initially, Paul W. S. Anderson, who’s best known for the ‘Resident Evil’ films, was set to direct the flick. But he handed the reins to Sylvain White of ‘Stomp the Yard’ and ‘The Losers’ in 2007. He, in turn, was replaced by James Wan of ‘Saw’ fame in 2009, who took over as writer and director. Shortly thereafter, Anderson once again announced that he was attached to the project. Got all that?

If all this sounds confusing, that’s because it is. Still, a bit of clarity came in September of this year when Michael Dorn, who played Worf on ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation,’ announced that the movie was finally happening, and that he was filming a part where he plays a werewolf.

It’s not entirely clear, by the way, when the movie will be released or what part Anderson or Wan will play, but none of that matters now. Worf’s in it!

Bioshock

Bioshock
Irrational Games

With its visually stunning art deco look, amazing underwater city setting and cool creature design, ‘Bioshock’ seems like an easy choice for a movie. And, in fact, a movie based on the game was set to be released in 2010 and directed by Gore Verbinski of the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ series.

But Universal halted the movie after its budget swelled to a reported $160 million in 2009, causing Verbinski to relinquish his role as director and become producer instead. At that point, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo of ’28 Weeks Later’ signed on to direct.

In 2011, the project took another nosedive when Verbinski said its “hard R” rating made it difficult to find studios willing to back it. At this point, it’s anybody’s guess where the movie stands. Too bad! We’d love to see a real-life Big Daddy.

Portal

Without a doubt, the physics-bending ‘Portal’ games are among the most original ever created. And they tell a fantastic story of human vs. machine as a woman named Chell struggles against a murderous artificial intelligence known as GlaDOS. If that doesn’t sound like the makings of a fantastic movie, we don’t know what does.

But bear in mind that Valve, the company behind ‘Half-Life,’ also made ‘Portal.’ So, they’ll only allow a movie to be made if it lives up to the innovative spirit of the game, or if they make it themselves.

Thing is, if the terrific ‘Portal 2′ pre-order commercial above is any indication, Valve could easily create an awesome movie on their own. And look! Weta Workshop even made a working ‘Portal’ sentry turret, proving that a special effects company can translate the game’s futuristic tech into working props. All of these seem like pretty good reasons to bring GlaDOS to life, if we say so ourselves.

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