Ever since the debut of the Super Mario Bros. movie back in 1993, it seemed video game movies would forever be relegated to be box office bombs and critical disasters. Over the next 25 years, dozens of video game adaptations were subject to phoned-in acting, messy action, confusing plotlines, inept directing and constant ridicule. Just look at the Mortal Kombat and Resident Evil film sequels, or Uwe Boll's filmography.
However, times have changed, as the recent monster movie Rampage (based on the classic 80s arcade game) managed to make more than three times its budget and be a decent popcorn action flick. The success of both Rampage and video game-inspired films like Ready Player One—as well as the hype building around the sequel to Wreck-It Ralph—seems to have inspired confidence in both film studios and game developers to move ahead with adapting more video games to the silver screen.
There are already dozens of video game adaptations under way in Hollywood. Some of them have been in the works for years, while others are more recent productions. Some of these movies make perfect sense (of course they were going to make a Five Nights at Freddy's movie), while others are much more questionable (Detective Pikachu? Really?).
But while we may be excited for some video game movies, we can't forget all the wasted potential of the movie industry's previous efforts at adapting video games. That's why we will also be including a list of video games we hope will never be touched by Hollywood, for various reasons.
30 Mining Box Office Gold With Minecraft: The Movie
With all the merchandising surrounding this open-world indie game, it's a wonder Minecraft doesn't already have a movie. The upcoming family film has It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia writer and actor Rob McElhenney directing and Steve Carrell attached to star.
Now you may be asking, "how do you write a story based on an open-world game with no story?"
That hasn't stopped Max Brooks and Telltale Games from creating stories based in that world, or the filmmakers of the similarly block shaped The Lego Movie. Minecraft: The Movie is slated to release May 24th, 2019.
29 Is The Gran Turismo Movie Out Of Gas?
Here's another plotless video game getting a movie adaptation, although this one is much more questionable. Back in 2013, Sony Pictures announced they were working on a Gran Tursimo movie. Sony was looking to compete with the success of Universal's Fast and Furious franchise and thought the video game's fanbase would translate to movie sales.
DreamWorks thought the same thing when they made their Need for Speed movie, a critical failure that was quickly forgotten about.
The last update came in 2017, stating the script was being worked on by the guys who wrote Battleship, so don't expect much from this.
28 No Thanks: Fortnite: The Meme: The Movie
I singled out Fortnite here, but really, this spot goes to all the "battle royale" games (PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, H1Z1, The Culling, etc.). Fortnite just happens to be the most popular one right now, so that's the one I'm most worried about getting a film adaptation.
While Battle Royale and The Hunger Games made for good movies, they had likeable characters in some very serious stakes. Fortnite trivializes the whole "games" genre with it's dabbing and goofy skins, not to mention that it doesn't even have a story for why everyone's ending each other.
27 Dave Bautista In Gears Of War
Now here's a video game movie that's been a long time coming. Earlier this year, it was revealed that Dave Bautista has been pursuing the role of Marcus Fenix in the Gears of War film, which has been in development since 2007.
The project has picked up steam in recent years, though, when it was announced in 2016 that Universal was developing the film.
In 2017 it was revealed that Shane Salerno (Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem) was writing the latest draft of the script. With the addition of Bautista in the starring role, the Gears of War movie seems closer than ever.
26 A Fruit Ninja Movie? Really?
As if video game movies weren't bad enough, now we have to endure mobile app movies. After the commercial success of The Angry Birds Movie, New Line announced the Fruit Ninja movie soon after in May 2016.
It will be a live-action family comedy about ninjas and their ongoing war against fruit.
Not much else is known about the plot as the movie is currently in development, but based on that current description and the mixed reviews of the previous app-based Angry Birds and Emoji Movie, don't expect any groundbreaking comedy here.
25 No Thanks: Fallout: Hollywood
When it comes to post-apocalyptic action-RPGs, nobody beats Fallout. Since Fallout 3, each game has been getting more and more popular, and the upcoming Fallout 76 just keeps building up hype for the series. Hollywood's no stranger when it comes post-apocalyptic stories (see Mad Max), so should they bring Fallout to the big screens?
Like Bethesda's other RPG series, the problem here is Fallout's main quests often take a backseat to everything else. Not only that, but it'd be difficult to squeeze in all the robots, mutants and factions the series is known for into a two hour movie.
24 Jake Gyllenhaal And Jessica Chastain In The Division
After the pandemic-based action RPG Tom Clancy's The Division became Ubisoft's best-selling video game, not only did they release a sequel, but they announced a film adaptation as well. The film already has David Leitch (Deadpool 2) attached as director, with Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Chastain signed on to star.
The game already has an exciting premise, with a post-outbreak, apocalyptic New York making the perfect setting for an action movie, and the talented actors and director—who also directed John Wick and Atomic Blonde—look like they may be able to make a great video game movie.
23 Resident Evil: Monster Hunter
After Monster Hunter World finally made the JRPG series popular in the west, plans for a Hollywood adaptation are now in the works. Unfortunately, the project is being helmed by Paul W. S. Anderson, the writer-director of the Resident Evil film series.
Production will start in September and will (of course) star his wife Milla Jovovich.
According to a 2016 interview, Anderson wants the story to feature a "normal American" getting pulled into the parallel world of Monster Hunter, and he already plans to turn it into a franchise. Like Resident Evil, expect sequels to vary wildly from the games.
22 No Thanks: Would You Kindly Not Make A BioShock Film?
BioShock was a fantastic first-person shooter which mixed in superpowers and objectivist philosophy in an underwater dystopia. It certainly sounds like a strange game, but the story really saved it, with a now iconic plot twist. BioShock might make an interesting action horror film, right?
Unfortunately, that famous twist wouldn't have the same impact if you aren't the one controlling the protagonist.
Combine that with the fact that most people in the audience would already be aware of the plot twist anyway, and there's really no point in having it. This one may be better off staying a video game.
21 Firewatch The Movie
Out of all the games to be turned into movies, this one makes the most sense. A movie based on Firewatch, the popular 2016 indie game, is currently in the early development stages. Developer Campo Santo signed a film development deal with film production company Good Universe, and a live-action Firewatch is their first joint project.
Firewatch was praised for its atmosphere and mystery-driven narrative, but detractors called it nothing more than a "walking simulator." Perhaps the story will receive more praise as a film. A release date has not yet been announced, but keep an eye out for this one.
20 Raving Robot Rabbids
Ubisoft's Raving Rabbids seem to be everywhere now. They had a cartoon on Nickelodeon, they teamed up with Mario and they even have a movie in the works.
The movie is being developed by Sony Pictures Entertainment and is stated to be a mix of live-action and stop motion animation.
Sony is working with Stoopid Monkey on the movie, the production company behind Adult Swim's Robot Chicken. The script is being written by three writers from the sketch comedy series: Tom Sheppard, Zeb Wells and series co-creator Matthew Senreich. This should turn out interesting.
19 No Thanks: The Halo Movie: 12 Years Too Late
Halo was without a doubt one of the greatest and most popular shooters of all time. Getting to run around with space marines as a super soldier, gunning down aliens and freaky space zombies was a blast back in middle school, and I couldn't wait for the rumored film to come out.
Flashforward 12 years, and it's clear from the bland staleness of Halo 5: Guardians that the franchise has run it's course. Producing a movie now would seem pointless. If you're really hankering for some Halo movies, you could always check out those straight-to-DVD movies, or Red vs. Blue.
18 Freddy Fazbear And The Sorcerer's Stone
This indie horror game has received so much merchandising and questionable fanfics, you knew the movie was inevitable. What's surprising is who they got to direct this horror movie. Chris Columbus, who directed Home Alone, Mrs. Doubtfire and the first two Harry Potter films, will be directing the Five Nights at Freddy's movie.
Why would horror studio Blumhouse hire a director known mainly for family comedies? Perhaps they are trying to capitalize on the surprisingly large child fanbase of the games. Scott Cawthon is working closely on the film, so expect a scary PG-13 movie, not a hard-R splatterfest.
17 Deadpool Is Detective Pikachu
As if the Detective Pikachu game wasn't weird enough, now there is a live-action film being made. The upcoming mystery comedy will star Ryan Reynolds as the voice of the titular character, with notable actors Ken Watanabe and Bill Nighy in supporting roles. The film is being directed by Rob Letterman, director of Goosebumps and Gulliver's Travels.
The movie is in post-production right now, so it'll be a while before we see a trailer. Photos from the sets have been... interesting, but this whole premise was strange to start with anyway. The Detective Pikachu movie will be released May 10, 2019.
16 No Thanks: Grand Theft Film
When it comes to crime-based video games, Grand Theft Auto is the king. It's also no secret that Hollywood loves crime films. Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino built their careers on stories about hard-boiled criminals. So a movie based on the games should be a no brainer.
When you take a closer look at some of the GTA titles, you'll notice a lot of them look very familiar. Many elements, characters, and even missions are ripped right out of classic gangster movies and crime shows. That's fine for a video game, but very questionable for a movie.
15 The Call Of Duty Cinematic Universe
If you're not already suffering from Call of Duty annualization fatigue, you will from the upcoming film series. Plot details are unknown, but it's been revealed that A-listers Chris Pine and Tom Hardy have been scouted for the lead roles.
As for the release date, Activision Blizzard Studios said the film could be released in 2020.
Call of Duty games aren't well-known for their stories, but Activision wants to create an interconnected cinematic universe anyway because they want to milk this cash cow for all it's got. With director Stefano Sollima (Sicario: Day of the Soldado), it might even be good.
14 Tom Hardy's Splinter Cell
With The Division, Raving Rabbids and now this, it seems Ubisoft is intent on turning all their games into movies. The Splinter Cell movie has actually been in development hell for a very long time (since 2004!).
The script is moving forward, but it's changed drastically from the games. One producer claimed the games didn't have a specific story.
Despite the filmmakers not being at all familiar with the games, Tom Hardy is still onboard to star as Sam Fisher. Even if it has nothing to do with the games, at least we'll get a cool Tom Hardy action movie.
13 No Thanks: Metroid, Starring Generic Dark Action Girl
The Metroid series has been praised for it's amazing 2D platforming and first-person environments, as well as starring the first great female video game hero, Samus Aran. Metroid should be able to make a great atmospheric sci-fi action movie in the same vein as the Alien films.
However, I can't help but feel Hollywood might ruin or completely misinterpret Samus' character. They would either turn her into a generically dark anti-hero, like many of the early female superhero movies (Catwoman, Elektra), or make her an emotional wet blanket dependent on male characters, like in Metroid: Other M.
12 A Far Cry From A Bad Movie
Here's another Ubisoft movie to throw onto the pile. It seems that when they optioned their Assassin's Creed movie, they threw a bunch of other titles into the deal as well, and Far Cry was one of them. They claim that their movies won't be terrible because Ubisoft has "creative control."
Far Cry already had one bad movie in 2008 courtesy of Uwe Boll, so Ubisoft really needs to be careful with this one. There's even less information on this one than Splinter Cell; all that's known is it will feature a former Special Forces operative looking for a missing journalist.
11 Borderlands: Mad Max In SPACE!
There aren't many games that look like they could make a perfect transition to the silver screen, but Borderlands could work. After the success of Rampage, it seems Lionsgate is finally moving forward with their Borderlands movie. The script is being written by Oren Uriel (The Cloverfield Paradox), but director Chris McKay (The Lego Batman Movie) could save it.
Don't let McKay's previous movie fool you. Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford has said that they are going for an R-rating. If Deadpool and Mad Max: Fury Road can become blockbusters, the Borderlands movie should be a major success.
10 No Thanks: Candy Crush: The Epic Film Saga
I know what you're thinking. "A movie about Candy Crush? Who the hell's going to make a movie about that?" I thought so too, just like how I thought nobody would be stupid enough to make a movie about Tetris and Fruit Ninja. But that's the kind of world we're living in now.
The inclusion of Candy Crush in The Emoji Movie makes this seem even more possible, given that film's high box office return. Hopefully, Sony Pictures Animation doesn't already have plans for a spinoff.
9 Is The Portal Movie Still Alive?
Portal 3 might never see the light of day, but at least we can all look forward to the movie, right? J.J. Abrams announced he was starting development on a Portal movie, but that was back in 2016. The film isn't gone, but it still hasn't moved forward from the outline stages either.
Dan Trachtenberg—who made a live-action short film based on the game—was rumored to be involved with the script, but that may no longer be the case. He is currently working on pre-production for the pilot of The Boys, an upcoming superhero show.
8 Sonic The Hedgehog Vs. Ace Ventura
Sonic the Hedgehog has had plenty of cartoons, but now he's finally getting a movie. Not much is known about the film so far, but it has been revealed that Jim Carrey will be playing the part of Dr. Robotnik. The last time Carrey played a villain was A Series of Unfortunate Events, so expect that level of over-the-top ham here.
It hasn't been confirmed who will be playing the part of Sonic, but all signs point to James Marsden, who is also attached to the film. The movie will be a mix of live-action with CGI animation.
7 No Thanks: Skyrim: Film Edition
It's no secret how popular and successful The Elder Scrolls series is, with Skyrim being the best-selling game in the series. With the announcement of the upcoming The Elder Scrolls VI, some studios might think it would be a good idea to make a movie.
The Elder Scrolls titles are great, but I wouldn't say they have the most memorable stories. In fact, due to the open-world nature of these games, many players ignore the main quests in favor of doing side quests, something you can't really do in a movie.
6 Tetris: The Movie (We're Not Joking)
You can all stop joking about the Tetris movie because it's actually happening now. Filmmaker Larry Kasanoff said in an interview in 2016 that not only was he working on an actual Tetris movie, but it will be the first in an epic sci-fi trilogy.
Casting is underway, and it looks like the filmmakers want to pander to Chinese audiences, as Kasanoff mentions that part of the film will be shot in China. Fall Out Boy will also be providing a reimagining of the classic Tetris theme song, so that's something. At least the Minesweeper movie will never happen,... right?
5 Metal Gear Solid Is Back In Action
Spy thrillers are still as popular as ever, so a movie based on Metal Gear Solid should be great. This movie has been trying to get off the ground as far back as E3 2006. The project has gone through various scripts and Christian Bale was even attached as Snake at one point.
Now director Jordan Vogt-Roberts (Kong: Skull Island) has taken on the project and is working closely with Hideo Kojima to do the story justice. With Derek Connolly (Jurassic World) writing the script and Kojima supervising, we might have a truly faithful adaptation here.
4 No Thanks: Half-Life: A Silent Film
Half-Life is considered a revolutionary first-person shooter, and part of that is the way the story is presented. That should make it easy to turn into a great sci-fi action movie, right? There's just one problem: our hero, Gordon Freeman, does not speak. You can't make a film protagonist a mute without good reason, and suddenly giving such an iconic silent character a voice would just be jarring.
More importantly, though, if Valve's going to focus on anything Half-Life related, it had better be the third game or nothing else. It's been eleven years! What happened Gaben!?
3 The Mortal Kombat Movie: Blood Code Edition
Though the original Mortal Kombat movie is remembered as one of the few decent video game movies, it does have one major problem: no fatalities! There is currently a reboot in the works that looks to fix this glaring omission, with the writer describing it as an "R-rated Avengers."
This movie has been stuck in development for 15 years, and only really picked up steam after the success of the Mortal Kombat: Legacy web series. Now James Wan (Furious 7) is onboard as producer. Maybe he can bring some of that Saw gore into this Mortal Kombat movie.
2 Mario Meets The Minions
After 25 years, Nintendo is giving an American studio another shot at a Super Mario movie. Nintendo confirmed earlier this year that they are working with Illumination—the animation studio behind Despicable Me and Minions—on a Super Mario movie. There aren't many details, but Shigeru Miyamoto himself is co-producing the film.
Some fans are worried about this movie, not just because of the previous Mario movie, but because of Illumination's mediocre film history, with Minions being their worst one so far. Hopefully Miyamoto can keep things in line so we get something of substance here.
1 No Thanks: The Legend Of Zelda: Too Good For Film?
It's probably not an exaggeration to say that The Legend of Zelda could be the greatest video game series of all time. Many of it's titles are rightly considered classics, from the first one that started it all to the most recent Breath of the Wild. So why not make a movie out of this high-fantasy adventure series?
Nintendo might be okay with letting Hollywood get their hands on Mario and Detective Pikachu, but they need to guard Zelda closely. The last thing anyone wants to see is Zelda get as horribly botched as the Super Mario Bros. movie did.