Hollywood sees hope for future video game movie adaptations

Video game movies have often ranged from disappointing to terrible, but a Comic-Con panel is optimistic that these adaptations are about to see a jump in quality.


Let's be frank. Movie adaptations of video games are, for the most part, absolutely terrible. Yet more than ever, filmmakers remain optimistic that movies based on video games are about to turn the corner and see a jump in quality.

The "Video Games to Movies: Is the Golden Age Upon Us?" panel at Comic-Con discussed a slew of upcoming video game-to-film adaptations currently in the works. Unsurprisingly, the people involved with these forthcoming projects are confident they won't suck as much as what came before.

Polygon, who attended the event, reports an overall sense of optimism from the panelists, including Adrian Askarieh (Hitman, Agent 47), Tim Miller (Blur Studios), Justin Marks (Dead Space), Patrick J O’Brien (VP of EA Entertainment, currently developing films based on Need for Speed, Dead Space, Mass Effect, and Dante’s Inferno), and C. Robert Cargill (Deus Ex).

Cargill notes that part of what makes an effective video game movie is distinguishing the differences between the two mediums. The main challenge is in telling the story of a character that's determined by player choice. "You have to decide which version of this character is going to grab the audience," he said. "You decide on the character that you want to watch."

Though translation will prove a tough task, Agent 47's Askarieh, nonetheless, projects a bright future for video game adaptations. "What happened with comic books in the past is going to happen with video games," he said. "People with influence and power are now fans of video games. Before it was just a license, but now they know the worlds and the mythology. That wasn't there before." Askarieh is also projecting that high-quality video game adaptations will flourish in the next five years.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

From The Chatty
  • reply
    July 20, 2013 12:15 PM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Hollywood sees hope for future video game movie adaptations.

    Video game movies have often ranged from disappointing to terrible, but a Comic-Con panel is optimistic that these adaptations are about to see a jump in quality.

    • reply
      July 20, 2013 1:37 PM

      There are times I would like to see a game made in to a movie then I remember how many of those types of movies bombed and I change my mind. Most of the studios doing these types of movies based on games care nothing about the source material and it shows. They only do enough to be similar on a superficial level and then insert standard Hollywood plot. May be we will get a better crop of movies when the game publishers and game studios take a more active role in maintaining the integrity of the IP.

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      July 20, 2013 7:10 PM

      There is hope. I've watched Wreck it Ralph recently and it's pretty damn good. Not a straight adaptation, it was video game inspired nonetheless. Hope to see more of it.

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        July 20, 2013 10:07 PM

        but that was video game inspired in that it was a movie about video games. whereas adaptions are about the worlds that exist within the video games. very different things.

        but i do agree, Wreck It Ralph was fantastic.

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        July 21, 2013 10:10 AM

        This is a point where the GAME was based on the MOVIE though.

        Wreck-It-Ralph is a Fantastic movie though. :)

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      July 20, 2013 9:19 PM

      I think they are over complicating it. You don't need to make a movie where people think it's determined by player choice. Just make a good movie.

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        July 20, 2013 10:01 PM

        That's crazy talk, why work on fundamentals when you can stuff it full of shitty gimmicks that detract from the piece but might put a few extra folks into seats?

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        July 21, 2013 8:05 AM

        Well, of course that's the truth. Hollywood sees a future not because the quality might have gotten better (why would it?) but because more people play games now and that means more money for Hollywood.

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        July 21, 2013 10:12 AM

        His point was around characters like in Hitman.

        If you play the game as Stealthy as possible, and are a die hard fan, but they make the movie based on the more aggressive way to play, you might not like the movie.

        That's all he was getting at.

        Think about something like Mass Effect. It's really hard to please everyone.

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