Whilst comic-book adaptations are living its Golden Age in theater, video games are still searching for their place on the silver screen, and the answer doesn't seem to be getting any closer, although we might have a few good surprises in the next few years...
One of those possible surprises is the adaptation of the already classic Horror game "Dead Space", by the hands of no one less than Master of Horror John Carpenter, a renowned fan of the franchise whose interest in being part of such film was revealed a few years ago. Carpenter hasn't been the same master he used to be in the late 70s and 80s, but he has enough capability to turn the game - which I consider to be the very best horror piece from the XXI, regardless of media - into a terrifying film in the style of 'The Thing'.
To make the adaptation a real success, it has to explore darkness, sound effects, practical gore effects and a lot of psychological horror, with the occasional Jump Scare, something like Alien meets The Thing. If by any reason John Carpenter could not be attached to the project, my first choice would be Neil Marshall, a choice based solely on his film The Descent, which holds every necessary element to make the perfect Dead Space film.
If I were to pick a core cast for the first film, being realistic of course, I would go with Jim Caviezel as the leading character Isaac Clark; Peter Mensah as Zach Hammond, which would be perfect since he gave the voice to the character; Leslie Bibb would be a perfect Nicole Brennan; and finally, but not least, Jessica Biel as Kendra Daniels. Not an Oscar winning cast, but as I've said, I rather be realistic in that matter than wish that Michael Fassbender and Jen Lawrence would be in that film. But I would like that too...
The biggest challenge for a Dead Space adaptation is the fact that the game isn't a mainstream hit and it will only work as a Rated R or NC17, due to its high amount of psychological and physical violence, including themes such as mass suicide, self-mutilation, blood rituals and a lot of "profane" imagery. Sadly, is not every one that is willing to spend money in a sci-fi/horror film with limited public.
Whereas most of the talking about a Dead Space game is conjectures and theories, there's another game with horror elements making his way to the big screen: 'The Last of Us'. Sony Pictures not only confirmed that there'll be a film based on the game as they already announced Sam Raimi (Evil Dead, Spider Man) as the producer, and recently, Neil Druckmann, writer of the game announced that the film will follow the exact same storyline from the game with some adaptations, which is probably because of the different medias.
No cast has been defined yet, but speculation is already taking form online. Following the same model of my Dead Space casting, my picks for this films would be: Joel Edgerton (Warrior) as Joel - the names are just a coincidence; Kacey Rohl (Abigail Hobbs from Hannibal) as Ellie - Ellen Page was the ideal choice, but I don't believe she would accept the role since she had a few problems with all the similarity between her and the character; Carrie Anne Moss (Matrix) as Tess; Nicole Beharie (Sleepy Hollow) as Marlene; Josh Holloway (Lost) as Joel's brother Tommy; Brighton Sharbino (The Walking Dead) as Joel's daughter Sarah; Jerome Flynn (Game of Thrones) as Robert; Brendan Gleeson (Gangs of New York) as Bill. In my opinion, this is an excellent cast and also a very plausible one. As the director I would pick Alfonso Cuarón, director of Children of Men, which is pretty much an alternative version of The Last of Us.
Unlike the Dead Space adaptation, a 'The Last of Us' film doesn't require such a high rating to be faithful to the original piece, and the game is an absolute success of public and critic, so the biggest difficult in that case will be create something to will please that huge fan base and make justice to the astonishing character-driven plot from the video game.
I've started this article by saying that adaptations of video games to film isn't as near to be a big deal today, but it's important to observe that video games are becoming closer and closer to cinema, being The Last of Us the most relevant in that matter. The introduction of facial expressions and movement capture allows the game to reach levels of immersion and reality never possible before; add to that the absurd power of computer generated image to create the most stunning environments possible, cinematography is starting to have a huge place within this new media.
Of course that being the most "cinematic" game to date is a considerable advantage to the producers of the live action version of 'The Last of Us', but now it's the time to wait for the upcoming news announcing who will be the director and the cast.
Maybe in a few years video game adaptations will be a big deal, but so far we can only hope for the best and do what we can do best: Play those games over and over again!