In truth, the worlds of video games and film haven't been able to get along very often. At best, the world has been given dull or unoriginal films that most will forget within two days of watching (such as 2010's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time or 2001's Lara Croft: Tomb Raider). At worst we have been given works of complete and utter garbage that are typically referred to as some of the absolute worst films of all time that have little or nothing to do with the original source material (such as 1990's The Super Mario Bros. or 1994's Street Fighter).
One major issue presented in the choices of these video games Hollywood chooses to turn into motion pictures is the fact that they are choosing the wrong franchises to adapt. Hollywood isn't looking at the possibilities of creating a halfway decent stories as much as they're searching for what will produce the most money. This is why they tried to adapt games such as The Super Mario Bros. franchise or The Street Fighter series which have little to no story.
However, there is plenty of potential in the stories presented through many games that are ignored. Many of the games listed are considered very rich and original with ideas, imagery, and stories we don't see very often in theaters. This article is specifically limited to stories and characters that originated in a video game. So apologies for fans of games such as the Batman: Arkham series or The Walking Dead as such franchises will not be included in this list. Also, this is in no particular order.
1) Mike Tyson's Punch Out!!
Yes, I do realize I was previously giving Hollywood a hard time about choosing video games without much of a plot to adapt for the big screen, however, this would be one of the few games that would work without very much of a plot. Mike Tyson's Punch Out!! could easily work as a very simple boxing film. The premise of the game is simple: you play as a boxer known as Little Mac, go through the boxing tournament and beat up a lot of fighters, and you fight until you defeat Mike Tyson, the final boss.
The best way to describe how this game can translate onto the big screen is to imagine a mixture of Rocky and Bloodsport and you get what could be a fantastic Punch Out!! film. This could easily work out very well as a great film that could easily gain a lot of money due to the popularity of boxing films over the years.
The only major issue would be the blatant racism found throughout the game that made many of the characters so memorable. This wouldn't necessary fly in today's world. One way to deal with this is to deal with this issue the way 2009's Punch Out!! for the Nintendo Wii dealt with it. For the Wii, while they could be considered somewhat offensive at first, one realizes they are treating these characters with respect rather than create racist stereotypes. One major example is Piston Hondo. Hondo in the original game went from literally saying incredible stereotypical phrases such as "Sushi, Kamikaze, Fujiyama, Nipponichi..." to becoming a much more respectable character.
In truth, this film wouldn't be best as a grim, dark story of a man down on his luck, but a more light hearted film about an underdog ready to rise to the challenge. Therefore the best director for such a film, as easy as it was to place him into, was definitely Sylvester Stallone. This could easily work due to the fact that Stallone directed, starred in, and wrote the Rocky films. It is quite obvious that Mac was based off a Rocky Balboa, so why not let Rocky himself direct?
For the casting of the film, the most important parts of the cast are Doc Louis and Little Mac himself.
For the casting of Little Mac, I chose to cast Josh Hutcherson.
Known for such films as The Hunger Games series, Hutcherson is a very popular and well known actor who has a penchant for playing teenagers very well. He definitely has the acting chops to play a character such as Mac who shouldn't be the deepest of characters as much as he's meant to be a more relatable character. He's kind of like how Luke Skywalker was in the original Star Wars film. Hutcherson is a fine actor who would easily be able to pull off such a role. Not to mention, he actually looks somewhat similar to Mac.
The casting for Doc Louis was honestly not a very tough choice. Louis just had to be played by Forest Witaker.
Whitaker is a very well rounded actor known for many rolls such as Cecil Gaines in Lee Daniels' The Butler and Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland and is at a great age to portray Doc Louis. In all actuality, the role that best represent what makes him best qualified to play Doc Louis is his recent role in Southpaw as tough as nails boxing coach Tick Wills. He has shown to be a convincing ex boxer in that film and while Tick is a more aggressive character than Louis, they both have a similar background and motivations in each story. While Whitaker and Louis may not look very similar to Louis, Whitaker definitely has the ability to pull off the role.
2)God of War
The God of War franchise is one of Sony's biggest franchises and is well known throughout the gaming world as one of the most violent hack and slash games of all time. In the first game, God of War, you play as Kratos, once a great war general for Sparta, would win battle after battle. Right before being struck down, Kratos calls for Ares, the god of war, and gives him his servitude for his victory against his enemies. Kratos later is tricked by Ares into commiting a terrible act caused in a massive bloodrage and therefore leaves Ares' side thirsting for vengeance. Many years later, the Spartan is given this opportunity when The Gods send him off too kill the god of war.
There are many things movie goers love, and two of them are Greek mythology, and vengeance. The God of War franchise blends both. God of War is a fantastic choice for the big screen with a dark, imperfect antihero leading the story, an excellent villain, and a massive world of great scale around them. Also, the first game in the franchise has the most focused story making for a either a great standalone film or more realistically, an amazing start of an epic series.
As mentioned before, The God of War franchise is dark, violent, and massive in scale. In truth, the one director I can think of who would be absolutely perfect would be Peter Jackson. Peter Jackson is the director best known for The Lord of the Rings, which is dark, brooding, massive, and absolutely epic. Jackson has the talent and ability to bring such a massive series as God of War to life. Not to mention, Jackson does have a keen eye for gore. This is best shown in the 1992 film Dead Alive, which is an extremely violent and disturbing film. While it would seem impossible to bring such a large scale project to life, many said the same about The Lord of the Ring, which Jackson did an excellent job with.
The most important characters to be included in this project are Kratos and Ares.
By far the most difficult piece of this project is Kratos. Kratos is meant to be not only a huge, monsterous killing machine, but he is also supposed to be a deep, tragic character. This is why I chose Tom Hardy to portray Kratos.
Tom Hardy is best known for playing the characters of Bane in The Dark Knight Rises and Max Rockatansky in Mad Max: Fury Road, and is an incredible method actor. Hardy has been known to do whatever he needs to do to pull off a character, and would most likely be perfect for a role such as Kratos. We have seen him bulk up into a beast of a man for Dark Knight Rises. While he has pulled off fantastic performances in films such as Warrior, It's his performance as Max that puts him on this list. As Max, he is shown to be brooding, violent, and dangerous while still being very deep, emotional, and somewhat tragic with very little dialogue. If he can do that with Max, imagine what he can do with Kratos.
While Ares isn't exactly the deepest villain in the world, he still is very interesting. He is the ultimate Spartan and the ultimate Warrior, and Ares enjoys every damn minute of what he does. For Ares I chose to cast Gerard Butler.
To be honest, this is by far some of the easiest casting I could think of. Gerard Butler is best known for his role as King Leonidas in 300. That role alone had me sold for him being Ares. He practically already plays the role in 300 except more noble and as a decent person. Butler would make a fantastic Ares. We have seen him bulk up previously and wouldn't need to bulk up very much. Gerard Butler is easily the perfect actor to play The God of War.
BioShock is by far one of the greatest games of all time and has a fantastic story to it. You play as Jack, and Jack is just awoken to the fact that he is the sole survivor of a massive plane crash in the middle of the ocean. Jack swims to a light house, goes in, and boards a Bathysphere into the middle of the ocean in which lies a massive underwater city called Rapture. This city was created to be an underwater utopia by the inventor and businessman Andrew Ryan but was transformed into a mutant ridden hellhole ravaged by the effects of civil war and anarchy.
BioShock could easily be an incredible successful film if it's even half as deep and atmospheric as the original source material. The biggest issue about Bioshock being turned into a film is that the protagonist, Jack, is completely silent and you never see his face, but this could easily be changed. The other biggest issue is that most of the communication with the other characters is through radio, but this could also work rather well.
For a film as intense and artistic as Bioshock, the perfect director would probably be Christopher Nolan. Nolan is best known for well written films with incredible visuals such as Intersteller, Inception, and The Dark Knight series. He has been shown to create films with a lot of class, but a lot of tension also.
While Jack is the main character, he is also the character with the most flexibility in terms of what you can do with him, so he isn't very important to cast. The most important characters to cast are Andrew Ryan and Atlas, however, these castings will have spoilers for the story.
The interesting part about Andrew Ryan is when you first here about him he sounds like a terrible guy, when he isn't all that bad when you meet him. You expect him to be this truly terrible human being when he's actually not when you finally meet him. Over the radio he sounds kind of dark and villainous when he honestly isn't that bad. That's why I'd choose Gary Oldman as Andrew Ryan.
Ryan is by far one of the most interesting villains in gaming and yet you only actually meet him face to face once in BioShock. In truth, he realistically not much of a villain in general. You meet him and he has this certain eloquence to him and seemed disappointed in what has happened to Rapture. Gary Oldman can play a character like this very well. Some of his best known films he's been in include The Fifth Element and the Harry Potter series. In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, we first believe Oldman, who is playing Sirius Black, as a total monster, when in truth he's been framed. This is somewhat similar to Andrew Ryan who isn't the true villain of the story.
Now we get to the true monster of the story. When you first meet him he seems like a good person and is incredibly likable, but later in the story his true colors are revealed to be one of the biggest bastards out there. This is why I'd choose Leonardo DeCaprio as Atlas.
One of the biggest points Atlas and DiCaprio have in common is that they can both be extremely likable when they need to and they be extremely cruel and evil when they want to be. Leonardo DiCaprio is best known for his roles in films such as Titanic and The Wolf of Wallstreet and is a very versatile actor with an incredibly wide acting range. His performance in Django Unchained is the role that made me cast him as Atlas in the first place. While he has been shown to be very likable in many roles DiCaprio was able to show just how despicable he can really be.
4) Shovel Knight
Shovel Knight is a truly magnificent world set in midieval times with all sorts of people, beasts, warriors, and many more. In the game you play as the great and noble Shovel Knight, who is, of course, a knight who wields a shovel into battle. When you start out you are told that Shovel Knight and his love Shield Knight are both great adventurers and knights. They go into The Tower of Fate, and they reached this cursed amulet and Shield Knight then goes missing. Shovel Knight then goes into solitude out of grief when the Order of No Quarter has taken over with the help of The Enchantress. Now Shovel Knight must defeat The Order and find out the fate of his beloved Shield Knight.
The biggest issue would be the question of what to do with all of the villains. There are so many villains, it gets kind of crazy with so many people in the order. What should happen is there should be only four antagonists other than The Enchantress. Three would be able to make the Order of No Quarter and one would be The Black Knight, who is more or less Shovel Knight's rival. The rest could be used for future sequels, spin offs, or could just be ignored completely.
In truth, Shovel Knight would make for the perfect Pixar film. It would be epic, fun, emotional, and all around brilliant. It already has an excellent plot with amazing characters, and by far one of the most emotional endings I've ever played in a video game. Shovel Knight could also easily have one of the most visually interesting and creative environments seen in film. That's why I chose John Lasseter as the director. John Lasseter is best known as the creative head at Pixar and directed the Toy Story films. John Lasseter could easily pull off a Shovel Knight film.
The most important characters to cast are most likely Shovel Knight and Shield Knight as there relationship drives the emotional backbone of the story.
While Shovel Knight is a very comedic game at times, that doesn't mean Shovel Knight himself is a very comedic character. Shovel Knight is very bold, daring, and noble. In truth, he is the perfect knight. He is the type of character that when you think of hero, you think of Shovel Knight. That's Why I chose Viggo Mortensen.
Viggo Mortensen is an incredibly skilled actor who is best know for his role in The Lord of the Rings as the great Aragorn. Through this performance alone, Mortensen has shown he has great talent and can play a fantastic hero. Due to the fact that this would hypothetically be a Pixar film, he wouldn't need any combat experience but he has shown before that he can wield a sword. Mortensen hasn't been in many major roles lately, but if he picks up the shovel, he might be back in the big leagues.
This part will contain spoilers.
Turns out, in the end, the cursed amulet possessed Shield Knight and turned her into The Enchantress, who is a pretty intense villain. So in all actuality Shield Knight would need an actress who can play a convincing hero with great nobility and a megalomaniac of a villain. That's why I would choose Charlize Theron as Shield Knight and the Enchantress.
Charlize Theron is best known for films such as Hancock and Mad Max: Fury Road and has been shown to be able to delivery a great and diverse range of characters and emotions throughout her career. She's recently been shown to be able to pull of the role of the badass heroin in Mad Max: Fury Road in which she played the character of Furiosa. She was able to play the role of the villain in the film Monster in which she portrayed the infamous serial killer Aileen Wuornos. She would most definitely be able to pull off the character of both Shield Knight and The Enchantress incredibly well.
So what do you think?