With the idea that there can’t ever be a great movie adaptation of a video game being a running joke for close to 30 years at this point, it could very well be that studios have just been picking up the wrong franchises. Between making the mistake of adapting the wrong property and hiring the wrong director to get the job done, the road to finally getting a great video game movie has been a process of trial and error.
There are so many great video game IPs that would translate to the big screen incredibly well. But, with the medium of gaming, it’s essential that each project is paired with a filmmaker who would understand the source material better than anybody else, as well as having a style that naturally matches the tone of the game.
10 Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure (Ryan Coogler)
Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure follows Trane, an amateur graffiti artist who works his way up through the ranks all whilst trying to deal with the corrupt urban dystopia.
Ryan Coogler would do great with the material, not just because he directed the best Rocky movie, according to Metacritic, but because his movies often have something to say about society and politics while still being enormously entertaining. As he regularly works with Michael B. Jordan, he could be cast as Trane, a role he’s perfect for.
9 Shadow Of The Colossus (Gareth Edwards)
As Shadow of the Colossus follows a young man named Wander who travels to a forbidden land and is forced to slay 16 giant beasts, there’s no better director than Gareth Edwards to helm the adaptation. Edwards directed Godzilla, and, though there are a lot of issues with that movie, Godzilla’s design and the feeling of awe is one of the things the 2014 movie got right, which is what the Colossus movie should focus on.
8 Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (Martin Scorsese)
There is no video game franchise more indebted to movies than Grand Theft Auto, as the video game series is full of references to films and TV shows old and new, from Breaking Bad to Back to the Future. But, somewhere along the series’ timeline, it has arguably managed to surpass the quality of movies when it comes to storytelling and characters.
Vice City, which is set in the 80s, would be the most exciting of all the GTA games to be adapted, and it’d be even better if it was directed by Martin Scorsese. Scorsese is the best director of gangster movies in the history of cinema, so it only makes sense that he’d direct the best video game about gangsters ever made.
7 God Of War (Zack Snyder)
As Zack Snyder is hard at work on the Snyder cut of Justice League, he remains the most polarising filmmaker of the century. The dark tone of his movies is divisive, especially when he applies it to people’s beloved superhero characters, but his style of visuals is perfect for God of War. The video game follows Kratos, who takes on other mythical gods throughout the series, and the suitably dark source material feels more than fitting for the director.
6 Bully (Todd Phillips)
Todd Phillips’ best movies have proven so many things; they’ve proven that he can direct drama and that he can direct slapstick comedy, but they mostly prove that he has a huge range, as his filmography includes Joker, The Hangover, and everything in between. Rockstar’s cult favorite Bully is an odd coming of age piece, as protagonist Jimmy is sent to boarding school and has to blend in with every type of high schooler—greasers, preps, nerds—and it’s both dramatic and hilarious.
5 Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater (Catherine Hardwicke)
It’d be great to see a movie like this, as there hasn’t been a fun sports movie since the 2000s. Pro Skater doesn’t exactly have a linear narrative, but there are so many games in the Tony Hawk series, not just Pro Skater, and a more narrative-driven entry in the series, such as Underground, could even be adapted just as well.
Catherine Hardwicke is the director for the job, as , having directed Lords of Dogtown, she knows how to shoot skateboarding, and the shots in Dogtown look stylish as hell!
4 Crash Bandicoot (Lord And Miller)
After the huge success of Sonic The Hedgehog, studios have gone into a frenzy trying to get their hands on any video game mascot they can. Well, Crash Bandicoot would be the best of the lot, as he’s the most animated and he has a whole array of interesting enemies and partners in crime, and it’d be great to see a live-action version of Cortex, just as Jim Carrey played Dr. Robotnik.
Being the animated visionaries that they are with the success of The LEGO Movie and all of their productions, Lord and Miller could turn Wumpa Island into an incredible cinematic world.
3 Splinter Cell (Kathryn Bigalowe)
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell is a video game series that now spans several generations of consoles, and, as it’s full of espionage, stealth, action, and gadgets, it could make for one of the best action dramas of the century—in the right pair of hands, that is.
With her work on action movies like Strange Days, which is one of the action movie masterpieces from the 90s you’ve probably never seen, and continuing her astonishing career in the 2000s and 2010s with political thrillers like Hurt Locker and Detroit, Kathryn Bigalow could turn Splitter Cell into an incredible espionage thriller.
2 Half-Life (Christopher Nolan)
There have been rumblings of Half-Life being turned into a movie for quite some time now, and, at one point, J.J. Abrams was even attached to it. But, as Half-Life is an insanely clever sci-fi game with a time-warping narrative that includes such weapons as a gravity gun, who else could make something out of this other than Christopher Nolan?
Being the genius behind the mind-bending Inception and the time-traveling Tenet, one of the best action movies of 2020, the project is perfect for Nolan. As the game contains elements of horror, it’d be great to see Nolan tackle this, as horror is something we’ve yet to see the director try out.
1 Destroy All Humans (James Gunn)
Destroy All Humans is one of the more unique games to have been released on the PS2, as it was somewhat niche, albeit still very popular. Having James Gunn direct Destroy All Humans is a typical choice, as there’s nothing more on-brand for Gunn than this video game.
But, sometimes, the typical choice is the best choice, and, if there’s anybody who can create the visual of an alien blowing up a cow with its mind in 1950s middle America, it’s James Gunn.
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