The film industry is choosing the wrong games to make into movies.
With the release of "Rampage" not too long ago, and with movies being on my mind this summer, I started thinking about video game movies. They have a reputation of being almost always terrible. I have many theories on why this is, but one of the main reason is that they pick the wrong movies. "Rampage," "Prince of Persia" and "Super Mario Bros." are all examples of games that do not transfer well to the screen, so I found a couple of games that I think could handle the transition.
1. "The Elder Scrolls."
"The Elder Scrolls" series is a rich fantasy game with a lot of lore to come with it. It has enough story to make a film franchise, although I would stay away from the stories of the games. The series is known for having extremely vague missions and stories for the player to follow. The game allows the player to pick and choose any story he or she wants to follow, and trying to put that into a linear movie would end in disaster. However, if you take a story from anywhere else in the world of Tamriel, you would have a great fantasy movie!
2. "Splinter Cell."
"Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell" is a wonderful spy game filled with stealth, action, conspiracy and espionage. That alone would be enough reason to turn it into a film, but it has one more strong advantage. Tom Clancy has a knack for making books that transfer pretty well into film. Technically, Tom Clancy did not write the "Splinter Cell" novels that followed the games, but his name alone puts a lot of faith into a film.
I am usually against the idea that any first-person-shooter should be turned into a movie, but I really believe that "Halo" has enormous potential as a film. Following the story of the Master Chief isn't a terrible idea, but, because the games focus on putting the player in the role of the Last Spartan, it may be tough to create a story around it that feels right. Again, I would not make any game based around Master Chief or any of the games, but it is one of those games that has enough lore behind it to make countless films about its enhanced universe. Also, I realize a tv series is on its way, but here is another reason to continue the narrative.
4. "Spec Ops: The Line."
"Spec Ops" is another game series that I would not normally recommend be made into a movie, but it is an extremely narrative-driven video game. It has so much story and focus that, if the gameplay were to be stripped away, there would already be a solid animated movie with the cutscenes alone. This is the reason that I think it could be translated to film so beautifully. Left in the hands of the right director, it could be the next big war film.
Maybe it is unfair to have two games from the same developer on this list, but Fallout is another series that has enormous potential to make a great flick. The stories in the main game are loose, vague, and really open to player discovery, but, like "Skyrim," it has so much lore in it that any number of movies could be made. Not to mention, there are not a lot of great post-apocalyptic movies on the market these days.
These are just a few of the games that I think could be made into films. I know there are dozens of games out there that might also make great films, and if Hollywood insists on making movies out of these games, it is time to start looking seriously at these games to find the really good stories.