21 Videogames Begging to Be Made into Movies
The Story: A plane crashes in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and the lone survivor finds himself in the underwater libertarian techno-utopia known as Rapture — a once-great city descended into anarchy.
Our Cast: The mysterious main character of BioShock doesn't talk too much and seems variously innocent and sociopathic; we'd cast Jeremy Renner and let those blue eyes do the talking. The real key is casting the right actor to play mid-century science visionary Andrew Ryan, one of the greatest characters in videogame history. How about Gary Oldman?
Why It Might Not Suck: Set in a gorgeously designed retro-future world, BioShock is a visual wonder. And since since the society of Rapture is based on the philosophy of Ayn Rand — the always-topical, always-controversial writer of Atlas Shrugged — a BioShock movie could turn into a Nolanesque movie that combines big action with big ideas.
The Story: Dashing adventurer Nathan Drake goes on adventures, is also quite dashing.
Our Cast: When director David O. Russell tried filming Uncharted, he was planning to cast Mark Wahlberg. Meanwhile, the nation of geekdom regularly insists that Nathan Fillion is the man to play Drake. Both good options, but how about this for an outside-the-box option: Dominic West. As Jimmy McNulty on The Wire, the Brit actor proved he could be a charming, slightly obsessive, ultimately heroic douche-hunk with an American accent. Pair him up with Rachel McAdams as love interest Elena Fisher and Jeff Bridges as his silver-haired mentor Sully. Money please!
Why It Might Not Suck: The Uncharted games already feel like movies, with dynamic set-pieces and some of the best dialogue in videogame history. A movie might seem beside the point, but wouldn't it be fun to have an old-fashioned globe-trotting adventure tale, with romance, action, and vehicles that constantly seem to crash?
God of War (2005)
The Story: Homicidal warrior wages war on the Greek gods.
The Cast: Mads Mikkelsen played an unstoppable warrior in the Viking themed Valhalla Rising — cover him in white ash and he'd make a great Kratos. We'd also cast Ray Winstone as the merciless Ares and Cate Blanchett as Athena.
Why It Might Not Suck: Because this is Clash of the Titans with all the fat trimmed out. The gloriously bloody God of War series has a spirit of exciting, horrifying, cleansing violence that feels a little bit like a Sergio Leone western and a little bit like a John Woo movie, all with a fantastical backdrop. Also, there's those blades.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004)
The Story: C.J. Johnson starts out as a small-town gangster but slowly becomes a powerful crime lord in the California-ish state of San Andreas.
Why It Might Not Suck: San Andreas tends to get less respect than its GTA brethren, but the way it combines a Scarface-like rise to power, a panoramic early-90s vision, and a million goofy little touches (see: the jetpack) make it feel uniquely eccentric for a crime story.
Our Cast: Gaius Charles as C.J. and Samuel L. Jackson (reprising his voice role) as the malevolent Officer Frank Tenpenny.
The Story: A supersoldier battles an evil alien race, and even more terrible things, across the galaxy.
Our Cast: Since Master Chief never takes off his helmet, we can cast for voice, not physicality...and wouldn't Clint Eastwood be perfect? Make it happen, Microsoft!
Why It Might Not Suck: The first Halo game has a unique atmosphere of quiet dread often missing from the space-shoot-'em-up genre. That's one reason why a movie's been bumping around Hollywood for years, most recently with Peter Jackson producing and Neill Blomkamp directing.
The Story: Every fantasy creature you have ever heard of lives in the world of Azeroth and fights everyone else.
Why It Might Not Suck: The sheer scope of Warcraft is breathtaking, with a number of different races and factions. Think of this as a fantasy-world version of The Longest Day, where dozens of celebrities stop in for a few minutes to play a different warrior/wizard/paladin.
Gears of War (2006)
The Story: Incredibly buff soldiers battle invading creatures called Locust as they fight their way through gorgeously ruined cities.
Our Cast: Randy Couture as Marcus Fenix, Edgar Ramiriez as Dominic Santiago, and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Augustus ''Cole Train'' Coal.
Why It Might Not Suck: Gears of War usually gets good notices for its fascinating aesthetic — somewhere between Imperial Rome, steampunk, and Blade Runner, all covered in a layer of mud — but the brutally straightforward storytelling could make this thing The Hurt Locker with chainsaw-guns.
The Story: Insane space-mercenaries (Psychotic clown? Check. A giant dressed in a diaper and bunny slippers? Check.) escape from a prison planet and cross the galaxy trying to hunt down the even-more-insane space pirate who framed them.
Why It Might Not Suck: The main villain of this PS1 gem amputated his own legs and served them in a soup. Hooray for epically bad taste!
Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem (2002)
The Story: Alexandra Roivas wanders through her murdered grandfather's spooky mansion, reading curious books that tell horrifying tales of an eternal battle against an ancient evil.
Our Cast: Naomi Watts as Alexandra.
Why It Might Not Suck: The storytelling style of Eternal Darkness feels wholly unique: as Alexandra reads more, we're carried back to different time periods and different characters' struggles (a Cambodian slave girl, a Persian warrior, a doctor in colonial-era America). That cross-cutting story style would lend itself well to a movie... as would slow-building ''insanity'' meter, which occasionally causes the walls to bleed.
Golden Axe (1989)
The Story: Three warriors seeking vengeance battle an evil tyrant. Sounds like Conan the Barbarian crossed with Lord of the Rings? Well...what's wrong with that?
Our Cast: Sam Worthington as the monosyllabic barbarian, Brooklyn Decker as the graceful Amazon, and Peter Dinklage as the totally badass dwarf.
Why It Might Not Suck: Some of the visuals (like the village on the back of a giant turtle) are still eye-catching over two decades later. Also, the dwarf is really awesome.
Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (2000)
The Story: Boy warrior Link is thrust into a mysterious alternate world on the brink of destruction: a suicidal moon looms in the sky, and it will crash to the surface in just three days.
Our Cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee as Link.
Why It Might Not Suck: The thing that made Majora's Mask controversial in game form — the need to keep going back in time every 72 hours to avoid Armageddon — is exactly what would make the movie so compelling. It would also make a Zelda movie feel instantly distinct from all the other fantasy films in the last decade (Eragon, anyone?).
Mega Man (1987)
The Story: Plucky robot fights colorful villains, gains their powers.
Our Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Mega Man, Patton Oswalt (in Big Fan funny-scary mode) as Dr. Wylie.
Why It Might Not Suck: Eccentric baddies, bright neon colors, and a dollhouse-future world? This could be a Speed Racer that people actually enjoy. Wachowski Brothers: your redemption has arrived.
The Story: Yokosuka, Japan, 1986: 18-year-old Ryo witnesses his father's death, and in his search for vengeance, he becomes embroiled in the local mob.
Our Cast: Kazunari Ninomiya (Letters to Iwo Jima) as Ryo, and Ian Anthony Dale (The Event) as evil mobster Lan Di.
Why It Might Not Suck: Shenmue and its sequel were two of the best games released for the Sega Dreamcast, which is sort of like being the prettiest woman on Alderaan right before the Death Star arrived. But the game's period-perfect details and intriguing mystery would make for compelling cinema.
Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (1992)
The Story: The world-famous archaeologist goes on a globe-trotting hunt for the famous lost city of Atlantis. Can he get there before the Nazis?
Our Cast: Reboot time! Josh Holloway as Indy, alongside Amy Adams as Sophia Hapgood.
Why It Might Not Suck: This LucasArts video game classic is truly the Indiana Jones adventure fans have been waiting for: Exciting locations, a colorful set of villains, a truly fantastical vision of Atlantis, and no nuked refrigerators in sight.
Conker's Bad Fur Day (2001)
The Story: Conker the squirrel wakes up with a terrible hangover in a mysterious land, and he must defeat all manner of curious monsters: fascist teddy bears, weasel mobsters, and a gigantic opera-singing pile of excrement.
Why It Might Not Suck: A monument to gloriously bad taste, Conker's Bad Fur Day is an endlessly quotable, constantly compelling, defiantly R-Rated adventure. If the makers of Archer ever get the feature-film bug, an adaptation of Conker's (which turns wonderfully nihilistic in its closing levels) would be right up their alley.
Our Cast: Dominic Monaghan as the voice of Conker.
Mike Tyson's Punch Out (1987)
The Story: Plucky upstart Little Mac fights a series of eccentric boxers (King Hippo! That tiger guy!) on his way to a face-off with the greatest of them all: Mike Tyson.
Why It Might Not Suck: Boxing movies can't help but be at least a little bit good, and Tyson has shown considerable willingness to play an outlandish version of himself (see The Hangover).
Our Cast: Tyson as himself, Isiah Whitlock, Jr. as Coach Doc Louis, and the back of James Wolk's head as Little Mac.
Bad Dudes Vs. DragonNinja (1988)
The Story: The President has been kidnapped by ninjas, and only two street fighting dudes can save him.
Our Cast: Armie Hammer from The Social Network, again doing double duty as the identical dudes. Jim Carrey in the role of President Ronnie would help the movie bottle the utter ridiculousness of the game.
Why It Might Not Suck: See ''The Story.''
Star Fox (1993)
The Story: Adorable animals fly spaceships and save the galaxy.
Our Cast: With DreamWorks doing the animating, we hear Matt Damon voicing Fox McCloud, Robert Downey Jr. as the haughty Falco, Zac Efron as the utterly-annoying Slippy, and Keith David as the villainous scientist Andross.
Why It Might Not Suck: Because when cute creatures play out an epic space opera (a dead father, a vengeful son, and a genocidal madman), won't it at least be a little bit interesting?
Shufflepuck Café (1989)
The Story: Extremely shady characters (including a wealthy lizard alien, a telekinetic princess, and a robot waiter) hang out in a café in outer space. To get their jollies, they play the most dangerous game of all: air hockey.
Why It Might Not Suck: The sheer goofiness of the concept — it's like Balls of Fury set in the Mos Eisley Cantina — could make this a grand straight-faced space comedy.
Metroid Prime (2002)
The Story: The universe's #1 bounty hunter tracks Space Pirates across the galaxy, usually finding them in horrifying caverns.
Our Cast: Sarah Polley as Samus. Sure, she's a little bit small, but she proved in Dawn of the Dead that she could handle the rough stuff.
Why It Might Not Suck: Because Samus Aran could finally give Ripley some competition as the coolest sci-fi action heroine.
Metal Gear Solid (1998)
The Story: Legendary soldier Solid Snake must infiltrate an Alaskan nuclear facility that's being held hostage by a renegade Special Forces unit. Colorful battles — and some bizarre family drama — ensues.
Our Cast: Michael Fassbender as Solid Snake, Michael Fassbender in a blonde wig as Liquid Snake, Rooney Mara as Meryl Silverburgh, and Vin Diesel as Vulcan Raven.
Why It Might Not Suck: Praised for its cinematic storytelling when it first debuted, the real appeal of a Metal Gear movie is the central aspect of the gameplay. Snake doesn't run into places guns blazing. He sneaks. He crawls. When in doubt, he hides himself beneath a cardboard box. That could turn a Metal Gear movie into the most tense heist movie since Rififi. With, you know, clones.