So, here's the deal, I have to admit that I was duped yesterday morning. At 4:00am after being awakened by my crying 4 month old son, I got him to fall back asleep against my chest and since there was nothing else to do, I started surfing my Facebook feed. In the feed I saw a friend post an article stating that a new Netflix series was in production, a Game of Thrones-esque series based on The Legend of Zelda. I was absolutely giddy and I began planning out how I would craft my write-up. And in the process of planning, I spread my enthusiasm to some friends at Moviepilot and they were equally as excited about the potential. At least, that is, until the Fun Police (I'm looking at you Eileen) rained on my parade and reminded me that the news I had discovered was from last year.
Yet, with my hopes crushed, and my dreams shattered, I picked myself back up and dusted off my shoulder with a determination to create something out of my pain. Then it hit me, I asked myself: "what other video games would be suited to have their own Netflix series?" - and this article is the fruition of that question. So with that, I offer you 5 video games that deserve a Netflix original series.
1. Legend of Zelda
I know that there were rumors and it was a fairly big story last year, but since then, nothing. Absolutely nothing. Yet even though the idea has probably been shelved, I truly think that Netflix would be able to craft a phenomenal series that coincides with the massive Zelda universe. There are so many different directions that a series could go in, and a family-oriented Game of Thrones style could go a long way to establishing a new collection of original content based in a fantastical universe.
For Link: Alex Esmail or Thomas Brodie-Sangster.
Alex is a lesser-known British actor who joined John Boyega in Attack the Block, and would bring a great balance of charisma and levity, but would add in an almost subversive edge to the character. Thomas Brodie-Sangster on the other hand is a much more widely known actor, having played characters in both Game of Thrones and Maze Runner. He would bring a rather large fanbase to the character as well as a substantial presence to the character.
For Zelda: Danielle Campbell of Sofia Black D'Elia.
Danielle Campbell is probably best known for her character Davina, on The Originals. She has a sort of bad girl vibe which would suit the Princess but also has a naturally sweet and approachable presence. On the other side, Sofia Black D'Elia has a bit more experience as she's played major characters in Skins, The Messengers and her announced role in the upcoming Ben-Hur. Sofia definitely has the acting range to pull off a character like Zelda.
2. Alan Wake
Alan Wake was the sleeper hit a few years ago, it was an almost brand new style of gameplay. The game itself took developer Remedy Entertainment (known for Max Payne) five years to produce, and it paid off. Alan Wake is a taut third-person psychological horror/thriller that follows the titular character, Alan Wake - a novelist as he searches for the truth about his wife disappearance while on vacation. The game itself definitely is laid out in an episodic format: 6 segments that unveil a deeper and far more reaching story with incredible twists. The game is full of drama, and a Netflix series, done correctly, would lay out like a Stephen King novel full of darkness and a brooding atmosphere. It could be portrayed as a intense drama full of flashbacks and twists at every episode.
For Alan: Ilkka Villi
Ultimately, I can't imagine a better actor to portray Alan Wake besides the actor who portrayed him in the prequel series: Bright Falls. The prequel followed a different character but introduced us to Alan and a much deeper, darker story. Ilkka is fairly unknown to mainstream American audiences, but has a history with Finnish theater, television and film. Ilkka was the model for the game and provided the original vocals in FInnish, but he also speaks Spanish and English.
3. Rainbow Six
Military shows have been almost hit-or-miss over the years. But the good ones are the shows that carry a similarity to what we experience in the Rainbow Six series of games. A show based on Rainbow Six would need to be done with the gritty intensity that we saw in shows like The Unit and Strike Back (both incredible shows that you should watch). A Rainbow Six episodic series would have an incredibly deep universe to draw from considering that there have been so many games over the years dating back to 1996 with games on the N64 and Playstation 1. The game follows a fictional multi-national counter-terrorist unit code named Rainbow as they face various situations that arise.
For the 3 primary characters: Joel Gretsch (John Clark), Michael Irby (Domingo Chavez) and Clive Standen (Alistair Stanley)
These 3 characters are where the bulk of the show would build off of, it would carry similarities to The Unit as there is the primary characters and all the others, but where it would differ is that I see it focusing less on the homefront drama and more on the actual covert operations side.
- Joel Gretsch has a background with military characters as well as non-military characters who take a leadership role in their respective shows. He has had major roles in the TV Mini-Series Taken as well as roles in The 4400, V, NCIS and has even had major roles in a few feature films: The Legend of Bagger Vance, Push & Minority Report. He would bring a great presence to the character John Clark.
- Michael Irby is the only name that I can think of when I think of Domingo Chavez. Michael has proven his ability to portray a strong willed lead character like Domingo through his various roles on The Unit, Almost Human and True Detective.
- Clive Standen is the perfect choice in my mind to portray SAS Officer, Alistair, with his collection of characters from Everest, Camelot, Hammer of the Gods, Vikings and the upcoming film Patient Zero. He has the on-screen presence that is needed for a character like Alistair.
4. Heavy Rain
Along the same vein as Alan Wake, Heavy Rain is another psychological thriller, yet it changes the mold because Heavy Rain focuses on the lives of 4 separate characters as they each have a role in trying to thwart a serial killer called the Origami Killer. The game is unique in the fact that there are multiple endings that are determined on how you play through the game. Your in-game actions truly dictate what happens in game.
For the 4 primary characters: Tim Guinee (Ethan), Ginnifer Goodwin (Madison), Brendan Gleeson (Scott), Kyle Chandler (Norman)
These four characters are how the story unfolds, and their performances would be what the show revolves around. The episodes could be split in a way that each episode may not feature all 4 characters, but could highlight the actions of only a couple.
- Tim Guinee is probably most well known for his characters in Homeland, Revolution, The Good Wife & Hell on Wheels. He could easily play the agoraphobic Ethan while incorporating a sense of intensity.
- Ginnifer Goodwin is a rising star lately with her performance in Once Upon a Time and would bring great depth to the character of Madison who suffers from chronic insomnia and nightmares which leads her into the Origami Killer case.
- Brendan Gleeson is one of those actors that you've seen in everything (Braveheart, Troy, Edge of Tomorrow, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and many more) but never really knew who he was, and that attribute would be perfect for Scott.
- Kyle Chandler is already establishing himself on the Netflix original show Bloodline, but has filled many fantastic roles through both film and television including: The Wolf of Wall Street, Friday Night Lights, Argo and Super 8. His acting range would be perfect to bring to the character of Norman.
5. Red Dead Redemption
A Red Dead Redemption Netflix series, as I see it, would probably work best as a mini-series I think. A six part collection of longer episodes would be able to do justice to the Red Dead Redemption story. The game follows the main character, John Marston, in an open-world western as he's taken by an agent of the Bureau of Investigation, Edgar Ross, from his family in order to track down his old gang of outlaws. The series would follow John as he hunts down various ex-partners ultimately in pursuit of the leader of a new band of outlaws, Bill Williamson. The series would culminate similarly to the game, with the potential of a sequel or sorts revolving around his son seeking vengeance for all that his family was put through.
For John Marston: Anson Mount or Norman Reedus
Both actors are known for their respective character's country flair as well as their tendency to be brooding and violent. Anson Mount is most widely known for his character Cullen Bohannan in Hell on Wheels. Norman Reedus is widely known for his stellar performance as Daryl Dixon in The Walking Dead. Both actors have captured the essence of John Marston and would be a killer casting for the role.
For the antagonists: Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Bill) & Ted Levine (Edgar)
As unlikely as I think the casting would be, I think Jeffrey Dean Morgan is the epitome of bad-ass adversary. He's got charm and charisma, but also in an instant can become a violent beast. That's the vibe that I get from a character like Bill. Then for Edgar, I imagine Ted Levine in the role. He's got that gravely voice that makes you question his intentions which is necessary for a character that starts off with seemingly valid intentions only to have it twisted and become the main villain of the series.
So there you have it, those are a few games that I truly think could be done justice by gaining a Netflix original series. The beauty of coming to Netflix is that they don't have to limit themselves to the direction of a network like they would were the shows to be picked up by the likes of The CW, CBS, Fox or NBC. The shows would be able to truly develop something incredible as we've seen on nearly every other Netflix original series.