What do Super Mario Bros, Tomb Raider, and Warcraft have in common? For better or worse, they’ve all been adapted into full-length features films. But despite all the video game movies we’ve already seen, Hollywood could be working on many more. Here are eight examples we’d love to see on the big screen.
Any favorite video games you think we missed? Share them in the comments!
Star Fox is all about epic space battles between empires of anthropomorphic animals. Visually, such a film would sit somewhere between Star Wars and Muppets, and I have to admit, that’s an appealing prospect. If Nintendo could license a studio specializing in state-of-the-art computer graphics and puppeteering, Star Fox might become a legitimate film classic.
We mostly know Mega Man for its cartoonish protagonists and brutal difficulty, but the Mega Man universe is surprisingly complex. Its full timeline charts the rise of sentient AI, a strained co-existence between humans and robots, building towards a post-apocalypse where synthetic humans are the dominant race. And in every era, you’ll always find at least one Mega Man fighting for justice. A Mega Man film is in the works already, so we’ll soon see if it lives up to this legend.
Imagine classic 80s action movies like Commando or Rambo, where muscle-bound soldiers defeat entire armies with guns and grit. Now imagine those movies with a surprise plot twist: The enemy is revealed to be a massive alien invasion force. That’s Contra in a nutshell, and a film version would be a wonderful spectacle to behold.
You might think of Kirby as a cute video game character, but his setting? It’s as wide and varied as any epic adventure series. Kirby lives in the land of dreams, and his enemies range from cartoon plants to terrifying nightmare creatures. And that’s not getting into bizarre steampunk elements from Meta Knight’s airship. A Kirby film could go in just about any direction, as long as a heroic ball of fluff can defeat increasingly challenging foes along the way.
Maniac Mansion was a beloved adventure game which parodied B-movie horror tropes. Now it’s almost thirty years old, and just obscure enough that a film adaptation could break new ground. As long as it emphasizes strong writing, horror parody characters, and a few clever nods to video game source material it could make for an entertaining comedy. At the very least, we could see entertaining Hollywood performances of Dr. Fred, Nurse Edna, or the tentacles on the big screen.
If Warcraft is a hit, Blizzard will probably start eyeballing its other franchises for film adaptations. Of these, StarCraft has the best chance for success, thanks to a strong cast of characters and huge interstellar conflict between three alien races. It’s also a great opportunity to refocus sci-fi battles from outer space to ground-level skirmishes – an arena which has been underutilized in modern action films.
The Legend of Zelda
The Hero, the Princess, and the Villain. These simple archetypes are at the core of almost every Legend of Zelda game, while still allowing for a huge variety of settings in each game. As long as a film version maintains these three elements, a Legend of Zelda movie could borrow elements from fan favorite games or create unique adventures that aren’t beholden to what came before. It could even be treated as canonical – it’s not like the official Zelda timeline isn’t complicated enough already.
The Elder Scrolls
The Elder Scrolls has long defined video games with massive scopes, thanks to its open world and a timeline which spans centuries. Whether we focus on Morrowind, Cyrodil, or the frozen mountains of Skyrim, Tamriel is a rich setting that could inspire any number of movies. At best, it would raise the bar for epic fantasy films. At worst, it could be a cheesy sword-and-sorcery flick where heroes defeat dragons by yelling at them. Whatever the case, the end result would be wonderful to watch.