Comic Book Movies Show Potential Of Video Game Movies

Comic Book Movies Show Potential Of Video Game Movies

David Hayter isn’t just the English language voice of Metal Gear’s Snake, he also wrote the first X-Men movie. So he probably has a good handle on why it’s so hard to make a good video game movie.

“The history has been less than stellar in the same way that comic book adaptations were less than stellar before we really did X-Men,” says Hayter. He does, however, call Tim Burton’s Batman movies “fine” and Richard Donner’s Superman movies “amazing”. “I think the reason the other comic book movies prior to 2000 were horrible was because the studios didn’t take the storytelling seriously.”

“When we were… adapting X-Men, the first X-Men, [the studio]kept saying, ‘Why is it so serious? Why are these people so serious?’ It’s like, ‘Well… it’s life and death, and the world hates them and [everyone is]trying to kill them, so you’d be serious too. So I think there is a huge element of studio executives seeing the value and the numbers that the video games sell in but [they]don’t really appreciate how elevated that medium has become, and how far beyond studio movies video games have become.”

“If you don’t take the source material seriously, then you’re never going to adapt it well. And you’re certainly never going to adapt it to the standards of video game fans, who are pretty exacting and have come to expect a pretty serious product when they put down their money.”

According to Hayter, it will take a few X-Men or Iron Man quality blockbuster films. “And suddenly you will be getting better quality in terms of the writing and the directors that come on board these things. I just think there’s still a subtle prejudice with them that has to be gotten around.”

DAVID HAYTER GUEST BLOG: ‘Prince Of Persia’ And The Unique Challenges Of The Video Game Adaptation [MTV][Pic]


  • I always thought that the biggest problem with game to movie adaptations is that if a game has a story, it is normally heavily influenced by movies. So by then turning the game into a movie it loses a lot of its perceived originality.

    Take the original Metal Gear Solid, on the PS at the time it was ground breaking; but if you turn it into a movie? How many action heroes in film are there already that are like Snake? Hell, Snake was based on Snake Pliskin out of the movie “Escape from New York”. The whole good/bad twin thing was done in the movie “Twins” and the nerdy sidekick Otacon? That’s pretty cliché.

    I think for a game to movie conversion to really stand out it needs to be from something with a story or premise truly unique to the gaming world.

    • Ummm, that’s kind of the point.

      The whole point of the MGS series is more or less to fuck around with the action film cliches and show how completely screwed up everyone would be if that kind of thing happenned in real life.

      Originality is overrated. “Watchmen” has nothing original at all in it. All it did was transplant the comic book cliches into a realistic world (and show how sucky it would be if Superheroes existed).

      You could argue the original Iron Man film did the same thing; it took the comic book story and placed it in what was then a ripped-from-the-headlines situation (War on Terror, taking foreign hostages etc).

      I agree with Hayter. Hollywood often does not take video games seriously as source material (ditto for comic books). It assumes the stories cannot be deep or intelligent and that all the material is for 14-year-old boys. Basically, they assume all video games are Gears Of War.

      Naturally Hollywood would do this; Video Games are a competing medium, so it is in their interests to shut the medium out from the category of “high art” which they so loftily inhabit (do you hear me, Roger Ebert!).

      But Movies faced the same prejudice from the Literature establishment, initially. Its only a matter of time before video games are considered equally potentially-intelligent material.

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