Video games have often been cursed with bad movie adaptations. But now that games are only getting more popular, Hollywood has been scrambling to bring more gaming franchises to the big screen.
Recently, it was revealed that Sony has at least 10 film and TV projects in development based on PlayStation games. And while not all these PlayStation projects have been announced yet, (please join me in praying for a God of War adaptation), they add to an ever-growing list of video games being developed for the screen.
To keep track of which of your favourite games are getting the big-screen treatment, we’ve compiled a list of all the video game projects currently in active development for film and TV.
This article has been updated since its original publication.
It seems we just can’t stop returning to Raccoon City. The Resident Evil franchise is getting yet another movie and this time it’s a total reboot. Also, don’t confuse this movie with the live-action TV series and CGI series that are also in development based on the Resident Evil series.
The Resident Evil reboot stars Kaya Scodelario as Claire Redfield with Robbie Amell and Hannah John-Kamenn also in the cast. The film will be released on Netflix and recently wrapped shooting in time for its September 2021 premiere.
That’s a wrap in Raccoon City. ????
diREcted by Johannes Roberts pic.twitter.com/q5mmQxjFQo
— Sony Pictures (@SonyPictures) December 28, 2020
The Witcher’s first season on Netflix debuted to much success last Christmas with Henry Cavill in the role of Geralt. The cast and crew have been hard at work filming the second season amidst the pandemic this year, which is set to arrive sometime in 2021.
A second project, The Witcher: Blood Origin, is a prequel series also in the works at Netflix and will explore the origins of the first Witcher.
The Last of Us
In development at HBO, The Last of Us TV adaptation already has a solid foundation to do the Naughty Dog game justice. Creative director Neil Druckmann is developing the project with Chernobyl writer Craig Mazin and the duo have promised the adaptation will be faithful to the original game.
The Last of Us already has many cinematic qualities that should make for a great screen adaption. But diehard fans are very attached to the game, so expectations are already sky-high.
After a less than stellar film adaptation, Assassin’s Creed is getting another shot at the live-action treatment. This time Netflix is behind the wheel with plans to adapt the historical franchise into a slew of live-action, animated and anime stories. The first of these projects is a live-action ‘genre-bending’ tv series currently in early development.
Amazon has teamed up with Bethesda to bring us a live-action Fallout TV series, coming from Jonathon Nolan and Lisa Joy – the creative minds behind HBO’s Westworld. The TV show already has a full-season order and will aim to emulate the ‘harsh tone’ of the game while still including its ironic humour.
The Borderlands movie has been picking up steam this year, with Eli Roth attached to direct and Cate Blanchett leading the cast as Lilith. It will apparently follow four vault hunters who travel to the distant planet of Pandora to open a mysterious vault before a corporation beats them to it. So far, so very Borderlands. The script is coming from Craig Mazin, who is also working on The Last of Us adaptation.
The Uncharted movie recently wrapped filming with Tom Holland in the lead as Nathan Drake and Mark Wahlberg as his partner in crime Sully. Early set-photos have the actors looking very much the part of their video game counterparts, so fingers crossed this one falls into the ‘good video game movie’ pile. The movie is set to release in July 2021.
Tomb Raider has seen its fair share of adaptations. Angelina Jolie starred as Lara Croft in two movie adaptations before Alicia Vikander stepped into the role in 2018. The latter movie was a closer adaptation of the rebooted Tomb Raider game from 2015. A sequel is in production with Vikander in the lead, but whether it will follow the storyline of Shadow of the Tomb Raider is undetermined.
Shooting on the sequel was set to begin this year but was delayed thanks to COVID-19.
Five Nights at Freddy’s
Another game that’s spent many years in development hell on its way to big-screen stardom is Five Nights at Freddy’s. Producers confirmed earlier this year that a script has been written and will be produced by indie horror studio Blumhouse, with filming starting in 2021 – which all sounds promising.
While not a strict adaptation, Cyberpunk 2077 is getting a screen story inspired by the world of the game. Cyberpunk Edgerunners will be released on Netflix in 2022 and is a standalone anime series set in Night City.
Metal Gear Solid
The Metal Gear Solid movie regained its place in the collective conscience this year after it was announced Oscar Isaac would be playing Solid Snake. Jordan Vogt-Roberts (Kong Skull Island) is directing although the film still doesn’t have a release date. While the casting is a promising sign there are still no guarantees that the Metal Gear Solid movie won’t slip into stasis again.
Sonic The Hedgehog 2
Similar to Halo Infinite, fans have been waiting what seems like forever for the inevitable Halo screen adaptation. Originally planned as a movie, the producers have switched tact and are now developing Halo into a TV series for Showtime. Pablo Schreiber is in the lead role and filming has commenced – but was subsequently paused thanks to coronavirus.
The Halo TV series is set to release 2021 and is said to be coming exclusively to Stan here in Australia. But who knows when it will actually release after the events of this year.
Another Ubisoft game property in the works for live-action is The Division. The movie gained traction earlier this year after Netflix picked it up for distribution. The cast includes Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Chastain.
The new Mortal Kombat movie was filmed right here in Australia with Ludi Lin, Joe Taslim, Jessica McNamee, Mehcad Brooks and Josh Lawson in the cast. The Mortal Kombat movie was one of the films hit by the HBO Max streaming plan, with a planned premiere date of April 16, 2021. Although similar to Wonder Woman 1984, we’ll likely have to catch the movie in cinemas here.
Yes, even Minecraft is getting a movie. It’s currently in development at Warner Bros. and originally had a release date of March 2022, which is now unknown thanks to the pandemic.
Yakuza has come guns blazing into 2020 with Yakuza: Like a Dragon and now Sega wants to take this popularity further with a film adaptation. The video game adaptation is in very early, early stages of development with 1212 Entertainment and Wild Sheep Content.
The Elder Scrolls
This is just a rumour at the moment but news has been circulating that Netflix is planning to adapt Bethesda’s The Elder Scrolls franchise. Bethesda is also working with Amazon on a Fallout series, so it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see the company making plans for its big IPs. Netflix has established a decent track-record with The Witcher so far, so there’s hope that The Elder Scrolls will be done justice.
Video games are notoriously difficult to adapt, as well all have witnessed from past results. But with so many great games in development for film and TV here’s hoping some of them turn out to be worthy reboots. While this list is a long one there are still countless games that are yet to receive the movie treatment, for better or worse.
Some other video game adaptations in various stages of development (including development hell) are:
- Detective Pikachu 2
- Silent Hill
- Duke Nukem
- Metro 2033
- Final Fantasy
- Super Mario
- Gears of War
- Mass Effect
- Call of Duty
- Just Cause
- Splinter Cell
Is your favourite game in the works for film or TV? Or do you have a game you’re dying to see adapted for the big screen? Let us know in the comments!