The trailer for the upcoming Assassin’s Creed movie was recently released, and it didn’t look half bad. Starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard as two brand new characters to the Assassin’s Creed universe, the film looks to be part-historical epic, part-sci-fi thriller.
Beyond its visual strengths, the Assassin’s Creed movie shows that studios shouldn’t be afraid to get a little creative with established properties, a notion that’s probably gained a lot of traction since the superhero renaissance. Here’s a list of video games that definitely deserve creative film treatments if Assassin’s Creed is a big hit.
There was a time when an Uncharted movie was almost real. It had a director, David O. Russell (terrible), and a star, Mark Wahlberg (also terrible). Luckily that project was stalled, Russell went off to win a couple Academy Award nominations, and the Uncharted movie fell by the wayside. With Uncharted 4 having just released to critical and financial success however, it is the perfect time to move forward with a film that will do the game justice. Nathan Fillion has always been a fan favorite casting choice for Nate, and with the character much older in the fourth game, it might actually work out, especially since Fillion is no longer tied up by his show Castle.
We’ve already discussed the franchise potential of Overwatch, but the cinematic videos that Blizzard released leading up to the launch of the game is proof that Overwatch lends itself amazingly well to other mediums. Could you imagine a 2D-animated film produced by anime legends like Gainax or Sunrise? While I feel a live-action Overwatch is certainly doable, I’d probably prefer to see an animated feature, only to do the wonderful character designs justice. We wouldn’t want Overwatch’s cast hit with the Power Rangers treatment for their outfits.
Despite a sparse narrative, Dark Souls could be the basis for a really atmospheric, dark fantasy film series. Using the basic setting as a platform, a talented storyteller could direct a brutal, action-packed movie that combines intense sword and sorceries with a dark world. Imagine if horror/action maestro James Wan could get a chance to tackle Dark Souls, bringing his horror expertise and action choreography to the revered franchise.
Double Fine’s beloved cult classic, Psychonauts recently announced a long-awaited sequel. In lead up to the film, a quirky, dark sci-fi film could help bring Psyconauts to a wider audience. While someone like Tim Burton could be could be good for the gothic design of the video game, perhaps a director like Jeff Nichols could mine the heart from the humorously high concept sci-fi game.
BioShock is another game that was very close to having a film at one point. Like Uncharted the Gore Verbinski film failed to launch beyond the developmental phase. However BioShock’s dytopic, alternate reality, 1920s is just too beautiful a concept to not transform into a film. Bong Joon-Ho already demonstrated his keen eye for set design with Snowpiercer, perhaps he could bring a clean, industrial take on the roaring nightmare of Rapture.
Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
The sequel to Amenesia: The Dark Descent was always more interested in telling a story than its predecessor, and it showed. A Machine for Pigs wrapped its beating pig heart in a steampunk, Victorian shell and was all the better for it. A horror master with the patience to build slow, complex scares in beautiful detail could have a field day with the source material. Is The Witch’s Robert Eggers busy?
The Witcher is a popular, Polish fantasy series that became a critically beloved video game franchise. Similar to Dark Souls, The Witcher is a dark fantasy, though with an emphasis on its charismatic main characters. More story-heavy than Dark Souls, The Witcher could be a really fun fantasy series that is both action-heavy, and character-centric. J.J. Abrams could have a hand in launching a whole new franchise now that he’s done with his Star Wars film.
Ridley Scott produced a short film leading up to Halo 5 starring Mike Colter (Marvel’s Luke Cage). Imagine however if the man who recently rediscovered his sci-fi mojo with The Martian tried his hand at directing a proper Halo movie. We know that the man has the talent for alien design and large, crowd-pleasing set-pieces. Now imagine if he brought those qualities to the amazing universe of Halo.
We know Nintendo is looking to license their franchises out to movie producers and TV show developers. They recently signed a deal with Universal Studios Japan to have their characters appear in the theme park as attractions. However, let’s say the most powerful company in gaming teams up with the most powerful company in media to collaborate on an animated film based on Animal Crossing. I’m talking the Walt Disney Company. That’s right, if the Big N joined up with the House of Mouse there is no telling the cultural impact the two could have upon the world.
Famed Japanese video game auteur, Suda51, teamed up with a certain director/writer for his irreverent Zombie game, Lollipop Chainsaw. That writer went on to direct one of the biggest Marvel superhero movies of all-time. That’s right, it was James Gunn, and together with Suda51 they crafted a candy coated work of pop-art where a cheerleader killed punk rock zombies with a magical chainsaw, and the severed head of her boyfriend. Now imagine Gunn revisiting the game he helped write and turning it into a full on film. Now that Gunn is one of the biggest names in Hollywood, he should have no trouble convincing producers that his vision deserves a second life on the big screen.
If the Assassin’s Creed movie is successful it could open the door for a flood of film adaptations based on popular video games. I’m more confident these films could turn out great now that Hollywood has experience successfully adapting nerdy franchises. I doubt we’ll have a retread of the terrible Uwe Boll days anytime soon.