I imagine it happening in a giant pristine mansion in Beverley Hills.
Enter a father. He’s worn down from pitching script ideas all day in the studios of Fox, Warner Brothers, Lionsgate, etc… None of which anyone liked. His shirt is ragged and sweated through. His hair has thinned from age and self-inflicted pulling due to stress. He’s hungry, but he wants to see where his damned kid is. So he goes into his room.
The kid is playing video games and his eyes are glued to the screen. The father asks how school went. No answer. He asks where Mom is. No answer. He’s pretty beat so he takes a seat on the bed where the kid is playing and asks about the game. The kid finally talks and gushes about how awesome the game is. A light-bulb dings in the father’s mind.
Cut to two years later where this game has now been adapted onto the silver screen. For better or worse.
Hollywood is constantly criticized for rehashing ideas, rebooting projects, and just plain dumpster diving for crap that somehow gets made.
Video game adaptations to the screen are a strange breed.
This month Ratchet and Clank, a Playstation game, is heading to theaters. It’s got a pretty good voice cast of John Goodman, Rosario Dawson, Paul Giamatti, and Sylvester Stallone. Will that translate to being good? I have no idea.
Video game adaptations have a pretty mixed history of success at the box office. Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat were straight up terrible movies. Did I watch them and re-watch them as a child and as an adult? Yup, and I loved them. But they’re terrible.
Tomb Raider, which is also in the works for a reboot, was also bad, bad, bad. Prince of Persia with the not Persian at all Jake Gyllenhaal? It was a nightmare.
Remember Mario Brothers? It’s best not too.
There are plenty of properties out there with a wealth of lore, developed characters, and amazing worlds which could be tapped and made into amazing movies.
And in fact one of those said properties, Warcraft, is coming out in June and is directed by Duncan Jones who has been a pretty great director so far with Moon and Source Code.
I really want Hollywood to take properties such as Mass Effect, Half-Life, Dragon Age, Zelda, Fallout, and others and develop them into movies. But I also want them to be good.
I guess I’ll just have to keep crossing my fingers and, in the meantime, getting my kicks from the games themselves.