Tell Us Dammit: Video Game Movies Like Comic Book Movies

Alright, here's the thing. This Guardians of the Galaxy movie: by all accounts it's an amazing movie. Like really good. But it's hardly based off one of Marvel's super (for want of a better term) AAA properties. If a series like that has managed to get one the cinematic treatment, and have it done incredibly well — why not video games?

Here's what I'm trying to say: so Batman gets a movie, Spiderman gets a movie, Superman gets a movie. Big budget movies. I get that. These are the Mario, Halo and Uncharteds of the comic book world. But Guardians of the Galaxy? That's more like... the Borderlands of the comic book world. Popular with enthusiasts, sure. But worthy of mainstream attention? Not really.

So if we're able to get a bloody excellent movie based on a relatively obscure comic book, why can't we get a half decent movie, with a great Director, behind a video game movie? Seriously, it's about time someone did a good job with this stuff.


    I could've sworn you said on Twitter yesterday that you weren't interested in The Guardians Of The Galaxy, now you're saying it's really good, I'm confused =S

    Sometimes things come out that I'm supposed to be excited by and I'm like 'what the hell is this? I've never heard of this and I don't care.

    Last edited 31/07/14 11:26 am

      Desperate times call for desperate articles.

      I'm guessing he's just seen it. Or is trusting the gizmodo review?

      Thanks for pointing that out, but you should of started it off with the following: "OBJECTION, I seem to have found a contradiction in your statement", then present your evidence

    We DO get a whole bunch of half assed video game movies based on more obscure franchises, mostly from the infamous Uwe Boll, though I know that's not what you're getting at. Hitman, Far Cry, Postal, Dead or Alive, Prince of Persia, Bloodrayne, Doom, the list goes on.

    I would LOVE a well made Bayonetta flick that is very true to the game.

    Last edited 31/07/14 11:26 am

      There's a Bayonetta movie coming out that people are generally getting excited for. Just depends on whether you like anime (as a loose term for animation from the East and all the cultural influences that entails) or not.

      Last edited 31/07/14 12:12 pm

      Prince of Persia was pretty good. It wasn't great, but I think it's definitely the best video game movie we've seen so far and it wasn't any worse than the rest of the Disney/Brukheimer blockbusters.

    I thought the Prince of Persia movie was decent, and about as faithful to the source material as you would probably expect.

    Now if they just got the guys that did that Mortal Kombat Legacy web series to do an actual movie...

      I did too. There were some big names involved, the story was about right and overall it was a pretty fun movie. I personally thought whilst it wasn't perfect, it was a step in the right direction.

      He was signed on to direct a feature film, until last year:

    They should make more movies out of fighting games! Dead or Alive! Street Fighter! Cinematic masterpieces!

      Why do we get so many (disproportionate anyway) movies based on fighting games? Story wise it's surely the hardest to adapt and almost every single other movie has just one protagonist.

    The best thing about an obscure comic book movie like Guardians of the Galaxy is most people don't know the story so you can tell it from the beginning. How often with a Batman/Superman Movie do just wish they did a 5 minute summary of Bruces/Clarks pre-hero life and had him as the Hero by minute 6?

    As for Video Games I guess the problem is they pick awful treatments of games with little story or tell you the story you've already played.

    I'm trying to think of a Video Game that would actually make a good movie, I'm having a lot of difficulty. The only one I can really think of that might work is doing a prequel to the Gears of War games.

    Uncharted has all the potential to be great, but I don't think they're going to get it right. The guy currently set to direct just isn't the right guy for the job. I think David O Russell probably would have nailed it though.

      Yeah I reckon he wouldve done a good film, but I still doubt it wouldve been anything relative to what Uncharted is like. I think for a good Uncharted film they could literally take all the cinematic scenes from the game almost exactly as they are, and just fill in the gaps with the same style of writing. So I guess in other words, have the people responsible for writing those scenes write the script.

    I think video games movies will be the next big thing.

    Back in the day, there were only a small amount of good comic book movies, most were awful. Then once executives realized they could legitimately be good, interesting movies (that make a shitload of money) - around the time that The Dark Knight and Iron Man came out - they started taking them more seriously and they haven't stopped coming out since.

    And as much as I love a good comic book movie, the trend will die out eventually. And if there's one thing that studios love, it's an in-built fan base. Video games have these in spades.

    I think that Assassin's Creed will be the first in a wave of solid video game adaptations (that makes a shitload of money) and then there will be a big rush to bring out a movie of every video game franchise under the sun in the same way studios are rushing to turn every comic book into a movie now.

    TLDR: Comic book movies popularity will die out, and video games will be the next big thing to adapt into films.

    Probs cause theyve been able to translate comics into something that resembles what they initially did on paper, there's an understanding that's developed there. The understanding of the video game universe is too far away from people who dont get games, in and outside of the film world. It will take a small miracle of someone who is a) a good director, b) gets what games are and can translate that well, and c) has enough people to back him/her on it. In other words, probably not happening any time soon.

    edit: Actually with that being said, the Ace Attorney movie was quite good. Not great, but it was faithful and fun.

    Last edited 31/07/14 12:59 pm

    Video games haven't traditionally made good movies because they haven't (traditionally) had good stories. Comics are heavily story-focused; and despite there being many fantastic games made to date, not a lot of them have had fantastic stories.
    Super Mario Bros, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Tomb Raider, Doom..... all great, great games, but their stories could be written on the back of a napkin.

    I believe games can make good movies, but it's going to take the right games, with the right stories. Interesting developments, characters you actually care about, character growth/development, etc. Mass Effect could be a great movie. Deus Ex could work too.

    But then again, i could be completely wrong. After all, the Lego movie was pretty bloody good, and it's based on a collection of inanimate bricks.

      On the rare occasions that a game actually has a plot to work with (Max Payne, for example, though the first MP game's plot wasn't great) the film just ignores everything about the game and invents something immeasurably worse.

      I think that comic book movies only started becoming good once we got to the point that the talented directors working in the film industry had actually grown up immersed in and loving quality comics. They finally understood and had respect for the original works.

      We'll get there eventually, but video games are still new enough that we haven't had movies made by people who actually love and respect the original stories.

    *hangs head in shame*
    Did you forget that there are already video game films out there, I mean you got god awful films like the following: STREET FIGHTER, DOOM, DEAD OR ALIVE MORTAL KOMBAT, then you get video game films cinematically shown in japan then shoved to straight to dvd ie the pokemon film series, phoenix wright to name just a few, then you got video game films in development hell again to name just a few: metal gear solid & METROID, then you get some few films that break the mold ie tomb raider & the crossover film wreck it ralph, then you get some series that demand a tv series then a movie ie smash bros, there is even a list on wikipedia of films based on video games what I am saying is that with this culture in Hollywood now of trying to save up on money & invest on profitable series, 1 of them being successful video game series, is that some of these will go to development hell or get a rotten rating on the tomatometer & then you have to stick to everything the game is about, so yeah video games in the film industry is very complicated

      You seem to be missing the point. He's not saying that we don't get VG movies. He's saying that we don't get GOOD ones. The big-name comic books have had high-quality movies, but the big-name games had average or garbage movies. And now we're seeing an obscure comic book get a movie that everyone is commending as being nothing short of excellent. So why can't a video game movie do the same, be it based on a huge gaming franchise or something a little more niche?

    I would really like to see a movie based on 'Hotline Miami'. It would have to be some R-rated, gore-fest with an awesome soundtrack. Maybe get Quentin Tarantino, Takashi Miike or the dude who did Drive to direct.

      Isn't Hotline Miami super obviously inspired by Drive already though?

        Yeh it definitely is hey. but I really find the storyline in Hotline Miami could translate well to film, in a mind-fuck sort of way.

        Last edited 31/07/14 2:25 pm

    I think it helps that Marvel got sick of shitty comic book adaptations so started up their own movie production arm to get involved directly themselves. When you have people who actually care about and have some stake in the property being adapted, you have a better chance of a decent adaptation.

    This is what MS attempted with the Halo movie - they wanted to keep at least one hand on the wheel to make sure it didn't get screwed up. When they couldn't find a studio willing to deal with them on that basis then they canned the whole thing, and good on them for it.

    What I've heard of previous attempts the Uncharted movie doesn't fill me with confidence that anybody who really cares about the IP is involved in making the movie, so I doubt it'll be much good.

    The Last Of Us movie at least has Neil Druckmann on board to write the screenplay (at this point, anyway), which suggests that there may be somebody, somewhere who has a bit of respect for what they're adapting, so that may stand a better chance.

    I think it's just a matter of time before someone cracks the video game movie formula, and one of the lesser known franchises could well be the way to do it. Remember, while X-Men was the film that showed the mainstream that comic books movies could be good, Blade was the film that got the ball rolling.

    EDIT: All that said, I think the Warcraft film is our best chance yet. You got Duncan Jones directing, who already has two really good movies under his belt and is a fan of the game. You got Legendary films backing it, and they are generally good at handling adaptations. You got Blizzard having an active hand in the production, and from the few glimpses we've had of the film so far it looks damn promising.

    Last edited 31/07/14 2:30 pm

    Have you guys seen the new deadpool leaked footage yet?

    Comic books are about story. Video games are about experiences.

    When games have good stories, they figure people know it and then try and write something new. They however tend to not treat the material with any respect and story almost takes second place.

    It's also hard because games are heavily influenced by films. Film versions then try and move away from that and they get dull.

    Look at Doom. They threw out the basic premise of the film. The best bit was the POV bit. The film however did not justify the name Doom.

    Max Payne, the game had a good story and focused a lot on bullet time. For the film, they removed any representation of the defining experience of playing the game and then changed the story and messed it up. Leaving a boring mess which was a film that would never have been made on the script alone.

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