There hasn’t been a good movie based on a video game since, well, ever. Doom, Resident Evil, Super Mario Bros., Max Payne, and The Hitman, just to name a few, are all atrocious. Even the best of the bunch, Mortal Kombat, is pretty crappy. The thing is, this doesn’t have to be the case. Putting these stories in the right hands and casting the roles out to decent actors could result in an actual good movie based on a video game.
Of course, I am pretty sure this will never happen, and we’ll be stuck with Paul W.S. Anderson and Uwe Boll abortions for the forseeable future, but it’s fun to think of what could be. Here are five video games that could be turned into pretty good movies with the right talent attached:
1. Mega Man
The Concept: Dr. Light, using nanotechnology, creates Mega Man to help him around the lab. Mega Man, whose intelligence and consciousness are at a human level, can mimic the use of any tool due to the technology Dr. Light has installed. Dr. Wily, Dr. Light’s jealous rival, steals Dr. Light’s work and applies it to the robots Dr. Wily has been building. It’s up to Mega Man to stop the enemy robots from destroying the city.
The Casting: Emile Hirsch as Mega Man. Besides the (somewhat) physical similarities, Hirsch can play a variety of roles, from a drug dealer to Chris McCandless. Plus, he’s got that kind of halfway-between-a-boy-and-a-man look, which is perfect for this role. Plus, he was the tits in The Girl Next Door.
The Director: James Cameron would be perfect for this movie. He’s no stranger to science fiction, and he’d be able to create a believeable world where artifical intelligence is prominent. If any director is capable of exploring the themes of what it means to be alive and where a robot with a conscience falls in the spectrum of life, it’s the guy who brought us Terminator and T2.
The Concept: Simon Belmont, in a traditon that has been carried out by the Belmont family for generations, must ascend Castlevania and destroy Count Dracula. Along the way, Simon meets and battles various creatures, none more haunting than the demons inside of Simon. Burdened with an unenviable task, Simon does what he can to remain sane while on his quest.
The Casting: Viggo Mortensen as Simon Belmont. Viggo is undeniably a terrific actor, he’ll look the part, and he’s shown that he can pull of fighting and action scenes with no problem. As a bonus, he has no problem showing his you know….
The Director: We at Unreality really love David Fincher, and I think he’d be great for a dark, psychologically disturbing movie like Castlevania. I’d love to see what he could do with Viggo, too. Fincher’s use of lighting is brilliant (see Zodiac and – especially – Panic Room for examples), and the details of Castlevania would be essential to making this movie work. The only downside is that he’d have to replace his trademark flashlights with torches.
3. The Legend of Zelda
The Concept: Everyone knows the story of The Legend of Zelda. Our protagonist, Link, must assemble the pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom and rescue Princess Zelda and the land of Hyrule from Ganon and his army. Instead of following Link from dungeon to dungeon as he collects the pieces of the Triforce, we focus on his rite of passage as he develops from a boy to a young man. Of course, there’d be epic battles, too, but they probably shouldn’t be the focus of the movie if they weren’t the focus of the game.
The Casting: James McAvoy as Link. McAvoy is as talented as any actor working today, as evidenced by his roles in The Last King of Scotland and Atonement. Good lord was Atonement a great film. Anyhow, McAvoy has looked just fine with pointy ears in the past, and an actor of his ability should be able to pull off the role of a kid who has the weight of Hyrule on his shoulders.
The Director: This is an easy choice. When you think magic, dungeons, dragons, and swordfights (no, not that kind, you sicko) on an epic scale, you have to think Peter Jackson.
The Concept: There’s a lot of backstory with Samus, the Galactic Federation, and Space Pirates, so there’s a lot of places this story could go. The only necessity would be Samus acquiring crazy weapons, destroying enemies and metroids, and ultimately pwning Mother Brain. For people who didn’t play the game, it should be a little while into the movie (perhaps after an opening action sequence) before Samus reveals her gender. It’d be a shame if that unexpected twist was lost in the adaptation.
The Casting: This was a tough one, as Samus is both attractive and deadly. I think Scarlett Johansson looks the part, but I couldn’t buy her firing off a wave beam. And there’s a corny joke to be made about the screw attack here, but I’ll refrain. The right actress for the role of Samus is Uma Thurman. She’s definitely good-looking enough, and has shown that she can kick tons of ass. If you don’t like the Kill Bill movies, seriously, go drink a cup of cyanide.
The Director: In a return to his sci-fi roots, Ridley Scott should be at the helm of this movie. Scott also has experience directing strong female leads (Alien and G.I. Jane, for example). Alien and Blade Runner are two of the best sci-fi movies ever ever ever ever, and Scott has the talent to create a dark, chaotic, believeable world full of alien landscapes and technology. In fact, if I am not mistaken, Samus’ nemesis Ridley was named after Ridley Scott. I was named after the mermaid in Splash. Good one, Dad.
5. Kid Icarus
The Concept: Medusa, after assembling an army of evil, imprisons the Goddess of Light and steals three treasures, which she distributes to her three greatest minions. The Goddess, using her last amount of strength, sends the young angel Pit a magic bow. It’s up to Pit, bow in hand, to defeat Medusa’s minions and acquire the three treasures before confronting Medusa herself. After the success of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, 300, and the sitcom Perfect Strangers, any movie or show set in the Mediterranean has got to be box office gold.
The Casting: Elijah Wood as Pit. Wood looks young, can handle action scenes, and has an aura of innocence about him. He could definitely pull off “angelic.” He can turn off the innocence if need be, too, as seen in his portrayal of Kevin in Sin City.
The Director: For Kid Icarus, we’d need a director capable of creating a world tied to Greek mythology while at the same time grounding the characters and events in such a way that modern audiences can relate to them. Several directors come to mind, but perhaps no one is as qualified as Steven Spielberg. He’s given us World War II battles in Saving Private Ryan, futuristic chases in Minority Report, and a look at the slave trade in Amistad. Spielberg could immerse his audience in a believable world while simultaneously capturing the intensity of the battle between good and evil.
I realize that every one of the aforementioned movie scenarios are total pipe dreams, but like I said earlier, it’s fun to think “what if” before the next unwatchable bastardization is released.