Movie/Game the new Model/Actress?

"More intensity, Alec, or the stunt double gets your love scene."

THQ has announced a new “trans-media” strategy for turning their biggest games into blockbuster movie titles. First on the list, it seems, is the open world sci-fi epic Red Faction.
But hold on for just a second. Don’t video games make terrible, terrible movies? Oh yes.
The complete list is long, but let’s revisit just some of the most notable flops and failures in the movie-game bracket:
Super Mario Bros.
Double Dragon
Street Fighter
Max Payne
Dead or Alive
Wing Commander

Boy, did these movies blow chunks.
As far as the successes go, you would probably put the first Resident Evil in there, and there’s no doubting the commercial success of Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider. Supposedly, Silent Hill was quite the enjoyable fright fest on celluloid. Mortal Kombat? Good fight flick, let’s leave it at that.
The paucity of winners, and the overwhelming number of losers in this market is surprising. Games make a lot of money. Far more than the music industry, to give you some idea. It stands to reason that developers could be making a little more by expanding their franchises into film. How come then, that Halo was never filmed, as planned, by Neill Blomkamp and Peter Jackson? Why has Gears of War, one of the most popular franchises of the “next-gen” console era, had its budget slashed and lost its director?
A reminder: we are still climbing out of a recession. People with money are very careful about parting with it nowadays, especially when approaching business proposals which have failed miserably in the past (see Super Mario Bros.). But our enquiry doesn’t end there. Movies are still being made in Hollywood, some of them based on video games. Many of them will fail.
Turn this into a movie. I dare ya.

Is there, perhaps, something fundamentally challenging about turning an interactive media experience into a passive one? If Marcus Fenix is getting his ass kicked by the Locust in a movie, the most we can do is toss popcorn at the screen in frustration. In a game, however, we would whip out the chainsaw, pronto. Having the freedom of the latter replaced by a neverending cutscene is limiting, no matter how entertaining. Not to mention: difficult to write. The Hollywood script monkeys responsible for video game adaptations have an extremely difficult job on their hands. Staying true to a story which millions of people have experienced in vastly different ways has to be harder than finishing God of War on God difficulty. Woe betide the poor bastard who has to storyboard – wait for it – the long awaited Sims movie.
Ah, Kratos. He, as always, makes the impossible seem possible. Many players of the God of War trilogy have observed that it plays “like a movie”. Indeed, the history of linear, tightly scripted games is a long one, but it is only recently that video games have begun to match the visual spectacle of blockbuster movies.
Nathan's got the look.

The action sequences (and below the belt banter) in Uncharted 2 are as good as any middle-of-the-road action flick. Crucially, the experience as a whole is more fun. With a rigidly linear plot and a likeable cast of attractive, witty characters like Nathan Drake, Uncharted is practically begging to be made into a film. But riddle me this: if steering Nathan through countless dangers with an analogue stick is more satisfactory, feels more complete than watching Channing Tatum do the same on screen, why would you want to?
by Niel Bekker

  1. LOL! I would LOVE to see if they can make a The Sims movie….but i think it will still suck cos we would not be able to understand a single word they are saying…lol
    But a movie that will be awesome from a video game would be from a world known MMORPG(Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game)….”Perfect World”…NOW THAT WOULD MAKE A GLOBAL BLOCKBUSTER!

  2. What about Heavy Rain? I thoroughly enjoyed the movie/game combination and the story was gripping and rather unpredictable. The complex characterisation and the intriguing narrative renders this new genre into a “best of both worlds” combination.

  3. Didn’t they already turn sims into a series? Whats Desperate Housewives then? Moving on, I just know I’ll be disappointed in the Prince of Persia Movie. It will be impossible to recreate that sense of exploration and discovery.

  4. You forgetting the converse. Movies make terrible games. Any game released for a movie release will be the biggets pile of crap.
    Hopefully both industries will leave each other alone.

  5. Games usually follow a single concept. GoW is just a shoot-em-up. You mean you actually play it for the story line? I don’t think so…People just play it because they get a kick out of shooting headshots, fragging and living in alternate realities…. And then they try and make a story out of it and then expect a a world class script? its like saying I watch porn for the acting.

  6. MAX PAYNE wasn’t THAT bad! Come on! There are hordes of games, with the right crew and budget to pull off a winner. Like Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, Warcraft, Starcraft, Diablo…all multi, multi million unit titles. Hell, Dragon Age would have been awesome. A proper DnD game…My pipe dreams, right there. Ok and how about Metal Gear Solid and Half Life (as cheesy as it would be)

  7. For all the games that was made into movies the best would be Resident Evil. Doom wasnt that bad either! The movie makers should keep to the game script and not take to much out and not add things in that wasnt part of the game! and they should choose the correct games aswell. Not all can be made into movies. If they want to make a game movie, take something like “gears of war” . My opinion is that, that would make a great movie if they keep to the game.

  8. Make Assassin Creed 1 or 2 into a movie, great game and I think will make an awesome movie.

  9. It’s Marcus Fenix, not Marcus Phoenix. And I disagree with the author, I think a GoW movie would be awesome if done right… for one, Fenix *does not* get his ass kicked by Locust, he’s the one who kicks their asses.
    Homeworld (by Relic Entertainment, now published by THQ) would also make for an epic film – it’s a game where story is just as, or even more important than, the gameplay.
    At the end of the day it comes down to the writer(s) who create the script – some videogame scriptwriters are arguably better at their job than their Hollywood counterparts, and I don’t see why the guys who are most familiar with the source material shouldn’t be the ones who adapt it to the big screen.

  10. What about constantine? it was based from the comic to the movie to the game…i loved it..on all formats..

  11. Has everyone forgot about Tomb Raider?? The only game that made my DVD shelf…. All of them!

  12. Just keep Uwe Boll out of the picture, and games to movies wont suck that much anymore. The fact that that man is still allowed to make movies from games is beyond me. Every project he touches turns to crap.

  13. I think the only movies that were reasonably good and left out of this article are Final Fantasy: Spirits Within, and Final Fantasy: Advent Children.
    But to be fair, in reading , there really have not been all THAT many game to movie titles released. Though the vast majority have been shoddy, there aren’t enough to definitely say that there will not be great game to film titles coming out soon. I think that it is a generational thing, todays directors were playing really old games back in their day and have little to no childhood immersion with more story driven games. So i say give it about 10 years and you will start seeing some really decent titles come to light 🙂

  14. @Clint, but I DO watch porn for the acting. It’s not reality but an alternate world full of fantasy, which is why we watch it. Sort of like playing Leisure Suit Larry. Now wouldn’t that make a good porn movie?!? Sure would make my movie collection!

  15. @Neil Bekker.
    Tbh Max Payne was not a bad movie, and you have to hand it to those guys for not taking it as the exact story line from the game because that would have ruined it.
    GOW is bound to be epic, with rumors having it that Vin Diesel will be Kratos it will be interesting to see how that plays out. The same can be said for Uncharted it will be amazing to see how well it turns out, I can’t quite remember who they rumored the actor to be but it’s bound to be good.
    I also wanted to know which Street Fighter are you referring to because you have to remember that back in the 90’s some of us being kids back then enjoyed the ass kicking action from Jean Claude Van Damme in the original street fighter and what about mention of Mortal Kombat I mean that was an epic movie back then taking it from console and giving it a story line was a jaw dropper for most.
    I am just waiting for that day when Mortal Kombat crosses Street Fighter (Modern Day street fighter).

  16. Far Cry was made into a SHOCKING movie and let’s not forget that Tekken is on its way to screens soon too.
    I’ve, personally, been itching to see Blizzard make a Warcraft or Starcraft movie ever since I jizzed in my pants over the life-like cutscenes in the games.
    With the right writer and director, War/Starcraft could be awesome. I see on IMDB that a Warcarft movie is due in 2011 – maybe there’s hope.

  17. @Michael, you’ll see that I did mention MK. Maybe Street Fighter wasn’t all that bad back in the day, but it would take a lot of beer to make it fun to watch in 2010.

  18. @Nic, I hope you mean by SHOCKING that the movie was utter nonsense. Boll has the ability to make good actors look really bad. Just take BloodRayne as an example.

  19. personaly cant wait for prince of persia to come out in the movies. Big fan and been playing it threw the years, going back to when it was a 2D game 🙂

  20. As long as they keep Uwe Boll out of the Game to Movie business i think they will have a much better track record.
    He must be one of the worst movie makers ever, though people keep giving him money to f*up franchises.
    I remeber once that was word that he will be making the MGS movie. When Hideo Kojima was asked about it he only answerd “f*k no!!!” maybe with less cursing,LOL.

  21. Max payne was an okay movie in it’s right, without comparing it to it’s video game counterpart.
    And the moviemakers of GOW have big shoes to fill.

  22. Though games make bad movies… Movies make Even worse games. But when games are set like a movie
    (like Modern Warfare 1 and 2) … it is Epic.

  23. I also heard rumours about the warcraft/WOW game coming soon. Now that would be epic!!! My favourite game-based movie would be Hitman and RE. I also think the Mass Effect series would make great movies.

  24. * Warcraft movie
    P.S. I am epecting very little from the POP movie, but we can only hope…….

  25. @Nic – Would LOVE to see a Warcraft Movie where Alliance and Horde have to band together to fight some common foe. I’ll audition as the intelligent and sensitive Mage *hahaha*

  26. The problem isn’t that the game concept can’t be carried over to movies. The movies writer/director/producer takes an already established concept and storyline keep the title and then rapes it by chucking out the rest (ex Wing Commander, WTF?) Also a game-based movie seems to be better “translated” when kept in the CGI realm. A good example is Resident Evil Degeneration. Absolutely brilliant and I’m not even a big fan of the game series.

  27. What about NFS SHift?? just imagine a movie where okes are racing bugatti’s etc
    And I know there’ve been a lot of Batman movies in the past but I think Batman Arkhym Assylum would make a kick arse movie.

  28. Age of Empires, now that would make a nice documentary collection spanning the Stone Age, Bronze and Iron Ages among the various civilisations that make up the game to the Rise of Rome and onward to the Age of Kings… Should have the soundtrack too!
    Another cool game movie would be Star Craft The Brood Wars, now that is the shyit!

  29. Some of my favourite games that I’d love to see in the movies:
    Golden Axe
    Captain Commando
    Dragon Ninja
    Kung Fu Master
    Yi Ar Kung Fu
    I’m a bit older so these are some of the games I grew up playing in arcades and game shops.

  30. They should make a film based on the popular warcraft map: DotA: Defense of the Ancients! awe! :D:D:D

  31. I think you got it backwards, its not games that make aweful movies but movies that make terrible games.
    They couldn’t even turn Beowulf into a decent game but many good movies came from games.
    But whatever, yawn…

  32. Prince of Persia is on its way and it promises to be rather good. Here the point, they have the financial backing to make it good, just as the Tomb Raider movies and Resident Evil 1 and 2 (not mentioning the Mad Max clone).
    The biggest problem today with game to movie concepts is:
    Uwe Boll
    He kind of want to make movies of games but is useless at it.

  33. POP would make a good movie…but they should stick to what makes the game great and carry/adept it to the screen. I had high hopes for POP but it feels like it focuses too much on the Prince and his relationship instead of what he does best in the game.
    Then again I only saw trailers so far…

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  35. As said, I believe that converting a video game into a Hollywood flick is indeed a daunting task. Moreover, talking about some of the games made into movies, Resident Evil remains my all-time favourite.

  36. Ah, Kratos. He, as always, makes the impossible seem possible. Many players of the God of War trilogy have observed that it plays “like a movie”. Indeed, the history of linear, tightly scripted games is a long one, but it is only recently that video games have begun to match the visual spectacle of blockbuster movies.

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  38. As said, I believe that converting a video game into a Hollywood flick is indeed a daunting task. Moreover, talking about some of the games made into movies, Resident Evil remains my all-time favourite.

  39. Given that the limitation of video technology, I don’t think the characters are real enough to do all things by real man. So I believe that it can’t not be replaced very soon.

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