Video games are a big business these days and the number of people that play them is at an all-time high. Consoles, computers and even cell phones it seems to have everyone getting in on the action. Whether its Candy Crush or Call of Duty, people can’t seem to resist the addictive world of gaming.
They provide an escape from our daily lives and are the best ways to waste time, but one thing video games are notoriously not good at doing is getting the movie treatment. There have been so many attempts to turn a hot video game franchise into the next big summer blockbuster which have all pretty much failed. While there are some minor exceptions the total overall has more marks in the loss column then wins when it comes to adapting games to the silver screen.
Hollywood rarely learns their lesson as they continue to do the same thing over and over again expecting different results. And in this current climate of reboots, remakes, and adaptations, they are showing no signs of slowing down, especially with video game titles. There are dozens of titles that are set to be hitting cinemas sometime in the near future. Out of all the potential failures in the making, these ten classic video game titles will most likely bomb when their film hits the box office.
1. Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog is one of the most iconic characters in all of video game history. The games have sold hundreds of millions of copies across all platforms through the years and show little signs of stopping anytime soon. That consistent trends of success have caught the attention of Paramount who are looking to bring this franchise to life on the big screen using a mix of CGI and live action. But as we have seen with countless other franchises like Super Mario Brothers or Warcraft, just because the titles sell so well doesn’t mean that will translate into box office glory.
But while Sonic was a big deal back in the day and still is a very recognizable character, the blue blur has not been putting up crazy numbers recently. The film Warcraft, as previously mentioned, barely broke even at the box office and it’s following is much larger then the blue speedsters is by a long shot. So it does seem foolhardy to think that the film will even come close to breaking even.
The film will star Westworld’s James Marsden, Ride Along’s Tia Sumpter, and Jim Carrey will play the villain, Dr Eggman. Sonic will be voiced by Park and Recreation’s Ben Schwartz. It seems the studio is attempting to throw as much star power as they can to make sure this project isn’t a bust. But because the industry has a dismal history of video game adaptations, this stellar cast may not be enough for Sonic to speed to a successful franchise.
2. Detective Pikachu
Pokemon is one of the most popular franchises in the history of Nintendo, and probably video games in general. There have been so many iterations of the beloved RPG adventure games and people everywhere have been attempting to catch them all since there first title released back in 1996. While the animated film versions have been somewhat successful, A live-action version has never been attempted, until now. Well, sort of.
Pikachu is quite possibly the most recognizable pocket monster and his cute demeanor has made him an ultimate fan favorite. So instead of doing an epic tale of trying to become the greatest Pokemon master of all time, Hollywood has decided to make a Detective Pikachu movie instead where Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds will voice the titular character. Yes, a character that is notoriously known for just adorably speaking his name and nothing else will be brought to life by the same actor known for his quick wit and sarcastic demeanor. And the film will presumably just be about the little yellow guy solving mysteries and may lack the poke battles the series is known for.
Detective Pikachu is quite a conundrum. It is so odd that some studio exec thinks this is the way to go for a successful franchise. Well, critics and fans alike are all arguing that this movie has disaster written all over it. Reynolds is no stranger to flops and it will be interesting to see if fans will accept him as the voice of Pikachu. While most Pokemon fans want to catch them all including Pikachu, this detective may be one they end up throwing back.
The popular puzzle-platform game from famed video game developers Valve is being made into a feature-length film. The picture is set to be helmed by J.J. Abrahms, the man behind Lost, Alias and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He has been said to be working closely with the developer on the title as well as being a big fan of the series himself. So all this means Portal is destined to lead to greatness and finally break the video game curse? Not so fast.
The problem here is not the people behind the film but the reasons why Portal is such a unique experience for gamers all over the world. To be honest most fans feel a movie adaptation is unnecessary. This could completely miss the spirit of what makes those games so memorable. The series is filled with humorous dialogue and memorable vocal performances that could translate into a decent narrative. But the fun and frustrating puzzles are at the core of what fans truly love about the series. Watching an actor perform in the film will most likely remove the viewer from the puzzle-solving process. This may end up resulting in a very generic sci-fi flick.
The character of Chell is something that is difficult to portray on screen. The protagonist is a cipher who allows players to feel like they themselves are the rats trapped in glade’s maze. If the actor can’t pull that off we essentially have a good-looking film with no substance. There will definitely be a disconnect in watching someone performing on screen rather than actually being someone trapped in Aperture. If this doesn’t pan out and we feel trapped in this film for two hours we may ask GLaDOS to flood the theater with a deadly neurotoxin before the credits roll.
4. Fruit Ninja
Fruit Ninja is notoriously known for being one of the best ways to waste time in the history of human beings, or so I’m told. Now it seems with the success of the Angry Birds film, the citrus mobile slicer will be turned into a feature-length film. Before you go leaping for joy to add another successful cell phone game animated adaptation to your collection, think again. That’s right, this film will not only be a live-action version of Fruit Ninja, it will also be a family comedy.
So far the picture is still in early development and a script is being written by J.P. Alvin and Chad Damiani. If you are wondering why you have never heard of the duo is because they are very green and their most notable credit is writing an Emmy broadcast in 2007. This all does not sound very promising. But what exactly will the story be that the unknown figures tell? Problem is the hit mobile game doesn’t have a story. Despite being the second highest selling iOS game of all time, all it really entails is the merciless destruction of lemons, oranges and other assorted fruits.
No one asked for this but if one ridiculous smart phone swiper can bring in big bucks for a studio then why not do it with another popular one. Fruit Ninja is a fun game but never once while filleting oranges did I think this would be a humorous heart felt film. Just like my many failed attempts to become a Fruit Ninja Master, I fail to see how this will be something audiences flock to see.
Tetris has become a recognizable symbol in the world of retro gaming. This legendary franchise of tile matching and puzzle solving has been delighting gamers since the 1980’s and is one of the latest pieces of nostalgia to get swept up in this reboot phase the industry is currently going through. Threshold Entertainment, whose CEO believes brands are the new stars of Hollywood will be bringing the classic title to the big screen.
If this isn’t a clear indication that Hollywood has run out of ideas, I don’t know what is. Threshold Ceo Theodore Kassakoff is known for producing another video game adaptation that failed to meet expectation, Mortal Kombat. Now he believes that he can turn the game consisting of blocks and lines into an epic sci-fi film. Thats like saying someone could turn the game of Battleship into a successful action film. Well, they did turn it into an action film, that is for sure. Kassakoff may have bit off more then he can chew.
This could have long-lasting effects on a beloved franchise that never tried to be more than it was. It new it as a simple time waster with no epic story, no hidden origin, and know untold destiny. It’s destiny was to be Tetris, a puzzle game that even the most casual gamer could pick up and enjoy. Nothing about this franchise seems right for a movie adaptation and those behind the film may have their pieces overflowing to the top of the screen resulting in a game over when Tetris inevitably releases in theaters.
Minecraft is a game about placing blocks and going on adventures. So, of course, this epic 3D building machine absolutely deserves a shot at becoming a franchise to the likes of Lord of the Rings and Transformers. Right? While the game does have a massive following and it has inspired a ton of creativity from its players, there doesn’t seem to be enough substance in this one to fill up the two hours of epic visuals needed to justify the price of a ticket.
The film originally had a release date of May 2019 which has since been pushed. The project has also seen the person sitting in the director’s chairs change three times. Not recently writer-director Rob McElhenny, who fans will know from his work on the series Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia, was poised to bring the film to life before ultimately leaving the project. Before that McElhenny’s predecessor left over creative differences. Now the film is being helmed by Ada and Allan Nee with the IMDB page stating that Steve Carell is rumored to be starring in the project.
The Minecraft film is hoping for the third time being the charm in terms of director and that a solid actor like Steve Carell will hopefully be in the mix. And here is hoping that this IMDb storyline for the film is not accurate. Because when you realize that the storyline for the film revolves around a guy who doesn’t fit in named Steve who is also a miner who meets an iron golem named Klunk and they go on wacky adventures. Despite getting things in order with personnel, a lack of release date entangled with this lackluster concept spells trouble for the studio trying to craft this film into a successful franchise.
7. Raving Rabbids
While the Raving Rabbids started out as something from the hit video game Rayman, they have resulted in a successful spinoff series including platform, fighting, and party video games. They have made appearances in numerous other franchises including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Assassin’s Creed, Splinter Cell, and Watch Dogs. Their next big showcase looks to require a red carpet premiere and a large popcorn as a movie version of the Rabbids is currently in the world.
Ubisoft has recently been making the jump into moviemaking with its Ubisoft Motion Studios partnering with Sony to bring the bad guys from Ubisoft’s Rayman to life. These characters have spawned comic books, TV series, and even an amusement park ride. While Sony feels these lovable looking critters are naturally a perfect fit for what they want to achieve with their idea for a feature-length adaptation.
The Rabbids do have a solid following and they have achieved success on the small screen. Not every successful show is suited for a big screen version and that goes triple for video games. This could either work out as a huge franchise or a solid dud that should have quit while they were ahead. Hopefully, Sony and company find a way to get the Rabbids on screen with critics raving about the film instead of quickly pressing the power button on the whole thing.
Most people would look back at their days playing Atari games placing them in the category of the least movie inspiring experiences of your life. Well, you would be wrong as Centipede is getting the big movie treatment. The vertically oriented fixed shooter arcade game originally released in 1981 is in the early development stages and will soon become a full-fledged feature adaptation.
Players will get to see all the centipedes, spiders scorpions, and fleas they enjoyed shooting into oblivion so much be brought to life on screen in what promises to be a blunder of magnificent proportions if marketed to the wrong crowd. This game is well remembered by the people alive when it was a best seller. Most younger people now think of it a relic from a forgotten age. If they target the wrong audience they could easily get swamped with bad reviews and poor returns.
While the game’s premise seems like its primed for the action/sci-fi genre, that doesn’t always necessarily mean its destined for success. The great thing about the game is that any human on the planet can play it well enough to enjoy it. But it is hard enough that seasoned gamers can still find it challenging. The studio making the project will hope that the film will be something any human wants to go see and seasoned gamers still find it interesting.
9. Missile Command
Missile Command is mostly the game everyone remembers passing over at arcades for literally anything else. Some have said that the change machines got more action than the 1980’s arcade classic. The Ataris 2600 versions sold 2.5 million copies becoming the third most popular cartridge of all time. Pretty impressive for a title that contains a simple plot of six cities being barraged with missiles and the one regional commander who defends against them with an array of heavy artillery. Regardless of where this title sits on your list of greatest hits, it is on the list to become the next big Hollywood franchise.
The premise of the film seems like it’d be great for Jason Statham, Mark Wahlberg, or even The Rock to helm and attempt to become the biggest action flick of the summer. Fox is hoping to break the gaming curse and turn missile Command into a nostalgic big screen hit. This plotless arcade franchise already plays out like a generic action flick that no one wants to watch. The games simplicity and lack of innovation over the years may be difficult to resonate with fans that grew up with Call of Duty than the ones that grew up with Missile Command thirty plus years ago.
This title is considered to be one of the greatest classic video games form the golden age of arcade games. And while Wreck it Ralph had some luck channeling that 80’s nostalgia into serious cash, Missile Command will have a harrowing task attempting to recreate that success. At best we can hope for is a decent Cold War action flick where, in the end, all is lost and there is no winner.
10. Duke Nukem
To further prove the notion that the entertainment industries creative juices have stopped flowing is that a Duke Nukem movie will one day be gracing the silver screen. The video game featuring the titular character, a muscle-bound bro who kills aliens with one-liners and badass weapons will become Hollywood’s next big budgeted nostalgic-fest of a film. Not only will audiences everywhere get to see Duke on the screen for the first time, but actor John Cena is also in talks to get his Nukem on.
Paramount is forging ahead with this film based on the franchise started in 1991. The franchise hasn’t had much success with its more recent iterations and many gamers feel the time of Nukem is passed. The premise is pretty easily imagined as a film with alien invasions and big level action sequences being abundant in this series. But besides all that crap, gamers learn little to nothing about the game’s character. Most of his lines are already taken from movies. Not only is the plot an overdrawn trope of the genre, but the dialogue would just be an endless line of callbacks that today’s audiences might not remember or resonate well with.
Nukem fans were never into the game for its story. The action, crazy weapons, violence, and one-liners were the series’ bread and butter. The character is also very misogynistic and may not work in today’s climate. This character may have spent their last lives years ago and the game over screen may be in its future once the credits roll on the inevitable feature film. While Duke Nukem being made into a film is not the worst idea for a video game live-action adaptation, it is very, very close.