Top 8 Upcoming Games to Films

Thor's Top 8 Upcoming Games to FilmsFor all of you familiar with my former TOP 5 list, you’re aware that my opinion on video game to film adaptations, like most of you, is fairly luke-warm.  My feeling isn’t that they lack potential but need a strong and passionate director behind the scenes to execute it successfully.  After a recent IGN article refreshed my memory on the upcoming slate game to film adaptations and their various states of development, I was quite happy to see a few had exciting potential to be pretty kick a#$.  Hence this list; I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of these hopefuls and analyze their chance for success.  Keep in mind though, I‘ve only chosen projects that are in script stage and have a director attached (eliminating projects like Mass Effect, Call of Duty and Uncharted).  Hope you enjoy and feel free to disagree in the comments below…

 Thor's Top 8 Upcoming Games to Films - Bioshock


Director: Juan Carlos Fresnadilio



Anyone who’s had the fortune of playing 2007’s “Bioshock” will tell you it’s ripe for the cinema screen.  Set in the 1940’s in an undersea former utopia; Rapture, the streets are filled with lunatics, ghosts and sorcerers. The game stands as one of the most unique and beautiful games of all time.



In 2008 word got out that the game scored a film deal with Director Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean Trilogy) and A-list screenwriter John Logan (Gladiator) developing the project.  This news had many fan boys getting giddy, especially since Verbinski had an amazing visual style that could do Rapture justice on the big screen.

Then a story broke that Verbinski had to step back to producing duties due to scheduling conflicts.  The capable skills of Juan Carlos Fresnadilio are now attached as Director.



I personally loved both of Fresnadilio former films (Intacto and 28 Weeks Later), but am slightly sore Verbinski won’t be the man calling the shots.  He made for a perfect match with the material.

Regardless, Fresnadilio is no slouch as a director; Intacto proved he could take a bizarre premise and make it fun and involving, 28 Weeks showed he could change up his pallet and deliver a worthy companion piece to Boyle’s original.  Here’s hoping he can step up his visual game and capture Rapture in all its glory, I think he will.


 Thor's Top 8 Upcoming Games to Films - Castlevania


Director: James Wan



I was never too familiar with the series as a kid asides from “Super Castlevania.”  The premise had always intrigued me though; our hero Simon Belmont armed solely with his trademark whip and a healthy dose of muscles hunts down Dracula in his castles filled with traps and other creatures of the night.



For what seemed like ages, Paul Anderson (Resident Evil) had been attached as a writer/director to this adaptation.  A script was leaked online and made several fans scream sacrilege due to liberties taken in plot; the major one being Belmont wielding a sword instead of a whip.

Anderson then stepped back to producing duties courting Sylvan White (Stomp the Yard) to direct.  Thankfully he resigned and Dracula was able to resist the urge to pull some fly moves out in his yard.

Recently news broke at the last E3 that James Wan had signed on as writer/director to the project.



I for one am extremely excited about Wan’s attachment even though I’ve never enjoyed the Saw series he’s responsible for unleashing on the world.  In my eyes, he redeemed himself in 2007 when he released a duo of films that kicked my ass; Death Sentence and Dead Silence.  Both of those flicks displayed he had matured as a director, tossing out the headache-inducing editing and fast motion and replacing it with a slick handle on style, drama and suspense.  I think he’d be perfect for the project, displaying in Silence he could do Gothic Horror and of course watching Saw the man knows his booby traps.  Oh yeah, and word on the grapevine is that the latest draft has Belmont wielding his whip, good to know!


 Thor's Top 8 Upcoming Games to Films - Dead Space


Director: DJ Caruso



Surprisingly I still haven’t played last year’s “Dead Space” yet, even though I’m a major horror gamer and it’s been received as the best one since “Resident Evil 4” (no small feat).  While the story borders on cliché (you are a lone survivor forced to survive on a spaceship infested with disgusting aliens), the game supposedly built on its worn out plot and delivered a tense and involving experience with some of the most disturbing aliens since…well, Aliens.



The game received a massive public boost with a tie-in comic, animé film and recent prequel game, yet unfortunately it only made a small splash on consoles.

Luckily the critics loved it and the good word of mouth convinced producer’s to snatch up the film rights with director DJ Caruso stepping into the director’s chair.



Caruso has had a varied career, he made an impression with his debut; the underrated Film Noir The Salton Sea, then he dwindled away on hack projects until the sleeper success of Disturbia followed by the big budget Eagle Eye

Although I was hardly crazy about either of those films, there’s no denying he has a firm handle on tension and big action pieces.  He will have to prove though that he can take it to the next level with Sci-Fi Horror.

I think it has a solid chance to succeed just as long as he doesn’t cast Shia LaBeouf as the lead!


 Thor's Top 8 Upcoming Games to Films - Gears of War


Director: Len Wiseman



Epic’s “Gears of War” blew s**t up and helped bring the XBOX 360 much exclusive success prior to ‘Halo 3’.  The plot followed a group of hard-as-nail soldiers in a future war fought against an ugly alien threat.  Not the freshest plot but no doubt cinematic, the game was a hoot with a memorable, insanely buffed cast of characters and an innovating game play system.



Soon after its success, producers snatched ‘Gears’ up with top-notch screenwriter Stuart Beattie (30 Days of Night) developing a draft in close collaboration with Epic.

Once director Len Wiseman was brought in, the script was scraped and Chris Morgan (Wanted) is currently adapting the latest with a greater emphasis on the epic nature of the story.



Len Wiseman has gained a small group of haters for being married to Kate Beckinsale (bastard!), but we’re not judging his merit due to his personal life. 

He had decent success with his two Underworld films (the first I hated, the second I enjoyed) and then landed the job of Live Free or Die Hard or as any reasonable person would call it; Die Hard 4.

I’m not a gigantic fan of his, but do think he’s a solid choice to bring ‘Gears’ to the screen; he’s got experience making action flicks with fantasy elements and has a firm grip with over the top action set-pieces, something that felt out of place in the Die Hard film but would be at home in the Gears universe. Give the man a solid screenplay and I’ll keep my fingers crossed.


 Thor's Top 8 Upcoming Games to Films - God of War


Director: Brett Ratner



‘God’ is an epic, gory and enthralling retelling of Greek mythology.

Our anti-hero; Kratos is one of baddest mofo’s around, former Spartan now Champion of the Gods, hell bent on seeking revenge on Ares, the God of War and the being responsible for the death of his family.

The first two games feature some of the best story telling I’ve experienced in gaming, so there’s little doubt this could make for cinematic gold nuggets.



As said before, ‘Gods’ has one of the best storylines around so it’s of little surprise that producers smelled potential for something special.  They hired respected scribe David Self (Road to Perdition) to pen the script and it’s been reported that it’s a solid and faithful adaptation.  The next for the developers was to seek out a director with the chops to deliver, settling on…Brett Ratner?



Wow.  I bet a lot of you fan boys are scratching your heads:

Brett Ratner? Gods of War? NOOOOOOOOO!

Ratner, without a doubt, isn’t the most popular fellow when it comes to us fellow geeks, but I am one of the few that doesn’t think he’s a bad filmmaker although he’s definitely one that lacks passion.

Best known for his Rush Hour comedies, his two biggest flicks (and reason for fan boy hate) are X-Men 3 and Red Dragon.  I admit I enjoyed those films, but feel they definitely didn’t reach the heights of greatness they could have.  Also, Ratner quite blatantly copied the styles of Bryan Singer and Jonathan Demme respectably, not straying too far from what was already established, but not making it anything special either.  On the Pros side, this could mean a close adaptation to the game, but on the Cons side, it would make for one that doesn’t kick your ass with awesomeness.  No doubt almost everyone would rather have someone else in charge, I’m still hoping for the best and at least an R-rating.


 Thor's Top 8 Upcoming Games to Films - Kane & Lynch


Director: Simon Crane



I didn’t have a chance to play this one either, but I can’t deny the premise didn’t intrigue me, two death row inmates; Kane, an ex-bounty hunter, Lynch, a schizophrenic psycopath, team together to break out of prison and rescue the former’s daughter.

Sounds like a blast and a half, unfortunately the game received several lame reviews, though even the bad ones gave props to the games cinematic appeal, meaning this one has box-office potential written all over it.



“Kane & Lynch” has gone down as the first game to land a movie deal even before it was released!  Producers bought the rights and sought out Bruce Willis.  Willis read the script and signed up, claiming supposedly it’s the best action script he’s ever read!

Director Jieho Lee (The Air I Breathe) was attached for a moment but soon lost interest, delegating veteran Stunt and Second-Unit Director Simon Crane to take over, with the film on the fast track to shoot early next year.



Well, there’s not much to assess Crane’s filmography on considering he’s never directed before, yet there’s no denying he’s had his fair share of experience on high budget flicks pulling stunt duties for heavy-hitters like Cameron and Spielberg, so it’d be safe to assume at least the action will be satisfactory.

Coupled with a cool concept, a supposedly top-notch script and Bruce ‘the man’ Willis, this one definitely has more pros then cons.  Still, Crane’s unproven; it could be crap.  I’ll be anxious to find out.


 Thor's Top 8 Upcoming Games to Films - Prince of Persia: Sands of Time


Director: Mike Newell



The Prince of Persia series is understandably held high in the gaming community.  From its humble beginnings on the Atari to last years next-gen installment, the series has been around for a near two decades and has always been synonymous with quality.  It’s safe to assume judging from the title this flick will focus solely on the 2003 reboot; “Sands of Time”, a game that is regarded as the best in the series.

It was an epic, exciting adventure set in a fantasy land.  The platform aspects were innovating (although combat was crude), the story’s twists and turns intriguing and the love story surprisingly involving, lending itself as solid material for the celluloid screen.



Riding high on the success of the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, Uber-producer Jerry Bruckheimer figured if he could turn a theme park ride into a blockbusting franchise, he sure as hell could do the same for a video game. 

Internet punching bag Michael Bay was rumored to be attached but then it was announced veteran Mike Newell would be taking the directorial reigns.



Mike Newell fits the perfect definition of a ‘journey man’ director as he travels through genre with no specific style or interest, with his fair share of hits (Donnie Brasco) as misses (Mona Lisa Smile).  Yet his effort on the fourth Harry Potter movie The Goblet of Fire, stands as the most enjoyable out the franchise in my opinion.  It had an impressive handle on the fantasy, action and adventure elements; three things that would go hand in hand with a “Prince of Persia” adaptation.  Add to that Bruckheimer backing him up with his large bank account and this could be the one that finally does it games-to-film justice.  Lets hope!


 Thor's Top 8 Upcoming Games to Films - Warcraft


Director: Sam Raimi



To call “Warcraft” a game is an understatement, it’s a frigging phenomena. What started as series of solid RPG’S blew up when its fourth installment “World of Warcraft” was released as an MMO (internet based gaming), taking over the scene by storm.  It has won countless awards for its fantasy world of dwarves and sorcerers, and inspired several books and comics.  I admit the whole “Warcraft” scene is not my cup of tea, but even I can’t look passed that it would make for a pimp ass movie.



Funnily enough, the “Warcraft” scene has met with much backlash recently, a major factor is its addictiveness for some.  It’s been spoofed on South Park and become so serious some states have even opened up therapy clinics to treat the addiction.  Regardless, the producers weren’t deterred, certain that potential success lies in this mystical universe.  The franchise has several storylines so they could pick and choose as they pleased, and a few months back, attached the very talented Sam Raimi to helm.



I’m hardly familiar with the “Warcraft” universe and its several storylines but I can’t deny that the match of the material with Sam Raimi’s deft touch has the potential to be something very special indeed.

Raimi busted on the scene with several quirky genre efforts, then moved up the A-list when he took on the Spiderman franchise and turned it into a blockbusting juggernaut.  The first two films were met with lots of fanfare, although the third entry was regarded as a somewhat disappointment, though this year’s Drag Me To Hell put Raimi back on track.  I’ve always felt that Raimi had a similar career trajectory as Peter Jackson (both rose from low-budget horror/comedies, matured with more serious material, then hit the A-list with big time franchises) and I feel this has the potential to be his Lord of the Rings.






3 Responses to “Top 8 Upcoming Games to Films”

  1. Gregg

    Outstanding write-up, Thor! A few of those I was aware of like Warcraft and Prince of Persia, but CASTLEVANIA!? I was ecstatic over the news of that one! Castlevania II was the first video game I ever beat so that title will always hold a special place in my memory. To see that come to fruition in the form of a movie is great news! Not only that, but it was a relief to hear they ditched the sword and brought the whip back in the script. For those that know anything about the series, you can’t have it any other way. He’s not Conan!

  2. Jolly

    nice bro!,! warcraft!!! best game ever!
    hope the movie will be too…
    great stuff Thor! keep it up!!1

  3. Brian White

    As usual Thor…OUTSTANDING original content!

    I am interested in seeing Warcraft (although I know nothing about it), Castlevania, Bioshock and God of War brought to the silver screen!