In the past few weeks, we’ve explored the good, bad, and ugly movies based on video games.
We named and shamed the likes of Super Mario Bros. and Alone in the Dark. We celebrated the quality of Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie and Mortal Kombat. We had a blast.
So, where next?
Why, the video-game movies still waiting to be made, of course!
Let’s roll out our 10 picks …
This top-down blastathon’s perfect for a big-screen translation.
Smash TV’s plot has never been more timely: civilians take part in a horrifically-violent futuristic game show, laying waste to thousands of enemies to win prizes. With its cheesy presentation and host, this is akin to The Running Man movie (itself a lame adaptation of a great book).
In this age of reality television, Smash TV could work brilliantly. The Hunger Games franchise tackled broadcast bloodsports already, but Smash TV would be totally different. We’d love to see the full satirical potential achieved, with hardcore action scenes accompanied by jingles and dynamic on-screen scores. Not that this could appear in every scene, but a few snippets from the viewers’ perspective would be great.
Paul Veerhoven would have been the perfect director had Smash TV been adapted 20 years ago. We can but dream …
Post-apocalyptic movies might feel old hat now, but Mad Max: Fury Road showed just how fresh they can still be with the right vision.
A Fallout film has oodles of potential, if handled properly. Recently, Bethesda’s Todd Howard said an adaptation could happen someday, but no firm plans are in place.
A Fallout film would have to establish its own identity, with Mad Max such an obvious influence on the franchise. Visually, a big-screen adaptation might sit somewhere between Fury Road and The Road: wild, masked Raiders in one scene and bleak settlements in the next.
Of course, unlike Mad Max, Fallout has Deathclaws, Super Mutants, sentient AI, robots, and towns built around unexploded nukes. Tapping into these elements would help to make an adaptation feel unique.
Streets of Rage
Back in 2014, Sega announced that a Streets of Rage movie was in the works. Fans of this awesome 16-bit series rejoiced … but so far, nothing has been seen since.
Streets of Rage could be a terrific action movie. With Axel, Blaze, Adam, Skates, Max, and that old dude from the third game, writers have a decent line-up of protagonists to choose from. Mr. X, of course, with his army of bizarre thugs, would be our villain.
Martial arts, vicious battles, and gritty urban locations would all be must-haves. We’d also like to see neon-soaked streets and the obligatory lift-based showdown (ideally, a lift hidden in a baseball pitch).
While this might not be Shakespeare (to say the least), there’s real potential in a story about the dangers of a corrupt police force and the necessity of vigilantism.
Okay, this is the longest of long-shots. Still, Sega actually announced this in 2014 along with their Streets of Rage film, so who knows?
Imagine the possibilities. A straight-up, dark film about a Greek warrior resurrected by Zeus to rescue his daughter, Athena, granted the ability to transform into a range of powerful beasts.
Take the visuals of Troy. Take An American Werewolf in London’s transformations, with a dash of Cronenberg’s The Fly. Why not?
Another 16-bit beauty supposedly in development, Golden Axe has all the hallmarks of kick-ass big-screen fantasy.
A barbarian. An amazon. A dwarf. Not the most original heroes, but with names like Ax Battler, Tyris Flare, and Gilius Thunderhead, what’s not to love?
The plot, as we know, follows our adventurers as they take on the villainous Death Adder’s armies. Beast-riding, fire-breathing dragons, sword-wielding skeletons, and more all feature. And let’s not forget about the imp-kicking mini game!
Golden Axe could be a big, bloody fantasy in the vein of Arnie’s Conan the Barbarian. Fingers crossed it actually gets made.
Years ago, a TimeSplitters movie was supposedly in the works. Obviously, it never surfaced.
Given that the franchise is no more, the likelihood of getting an adaptation is a little smaller now. Still, there’s a big fan base to tap into, and the series is exploding with ideas.
TimeSplitters sees a race of mischievous aliens causing trouble throughout various periods in Earth’s past and future. This allowed the developers to include spies, space-soldiers, robots, cowboys, gangsters, and plenty of other heroes and villains.
A movie adaptation could link three different timelines together, as three separated heroes try to stop the aliens’ nefarious schemes. The games had lots of laughs and unique designs, so the film could mix action and humour, along with dashes of horror and sci-fi.
Like TimeSplitters, Body Harvest involves time travel and aliens. What more does a blockbuster need?
The story sees a hero sent to five periods to stop invaders appearing every 25 years. Why? The extraterrestrial scumbags are harvesting humans for their own needs, laying waste to entire towns around the world.
With aliens not a million miles from Starship Troopers’ monstrous bugs, and lots of impressive weaponry and vehicles, Body Harvest has real promise on the big screen.
It’ll never happen, sure, but we can fantasise, right?
Zombies Ate My Neighbours
We all love zombies, but there’s more to this game than the name implies. This 90s classic sees heroes Zeke and Julie fighting to save their neighbourhood from a massive horde of monsters seen in so many horror films before, after token mad-genius Dr. Tongue releases them from his castle.
The game was developed by LucasArts, a company related to a certain movie franchise you may have heard of, and an adaptation was said to be in development a few years back. Whether this actually makes it to cinemas or not, Zombies Ate My Neighbours could be a fun, tongue-in-cheek, violent adventure in the same vein of The Lost Boys, Gremlins, or The Monster Squad.
Sounds ridiculous? We’re on our way to an eight Fast and Furious movie, a series that started out about street racing, so why can’t we have at least one Road Rash movie?
As you’ll remember, Road Rash was a motorbike-racing game that allowed players to take part in illegal races, fight with rivals using numerous weapons, and dust cops. There’s real potential here, especially with a great action-focused director on-board.
Come on – you know this would rock.
Dystopian future. High-tech ninjas. Plasma swords. Crazy action. Big stunts. Weird technology.