With movies based on video games now common in popular culture, there are a lot of game-to-film adaptation projects that have been floating around Hollywood for quite some time now – but what has happened to them?
We’ve recently seen the Need for Speed and Shadow of the Colossus film projects make some small steps of progress. So let’s run down where some of the most potential (or potentially disastrous) tie-in projects are in this stage in time.
Kayne & Lynch
While Kayne & Lynch wasn’t exactly the game (and sequel) gamers and critics expected from Eidos, the game did leave an impression with its gritty bank-robbing story and bizarre partners in crime.
Not long after the release of the first game, a plan for a movie adaptation started doing the rounds. Most recent information reveals that stunt-coordinator Simon Crane has been attached to make his directorial debut for Kayne & Lynch.
The involvement of a first-time director isn’t putting too much hope in the project, but it is confirmed that Bruce Willis has signed on to play Kane, with Jamie Foxx being rumoured to be portraying his psychopathic sidekick, Lynch.
Probability of happening: Slim
The desire for an Uncharted movie is a little confusing, as the game itself is practically a movie. Despite this, a movie is being made.
Columbia Pictures picked up the rights and initially signed on David Russell (Three Kings, The Fighter) to direct, Mark Whalberg as Drake and Robert De Niro as Sulley, although Russell bailed out in May last year, and the plans seem to have been scrapped at that point.
The latest piece of information was that Neil Burger (Limitless, The Illusionist) has taken over to fill the boots of director, and the project is back on.
Burger spoke about the film and seemed enthusiastic about the project (which is in pre-production stages), but tackling the project may still be a little overambitious, because there’s very little chance that the movie will outdo the in-game performances of Nolan North and co.
Probability of happening: High
God of War
Probably one of the most unlikely film projects to happen, given the scale and nature of the games, is God of War, although there are talks about bringing Kratos to the big-screen.
In 2005, game creator David Jaffe confirmed that a script has been written by David Self (The Wolfman, Road to Perdition) and that Universal Studios were behind the production of the movie.
Things died down and no one heard any more until 2010, when Jaffe said that the script had been sent to Bond star Daniel Craig, who turned it down. It was said that another actor had signed on to play the Spartan-turned-demigod, although (once again) things have gone silent regarding the project.
Probability of happening: Lower than Hades’ basement
Everyone knows (or should know) that two Mortal Kombat movies came out in the mid-90’s and although they were cheesier than the Moon, they were pretty entertaining for their time.
The franchise has gone through various live-action and animated TV shows, but it’s thanks to a little interweb passion project that Mortal Kombat will be making its way back into theatres.
Some of you may remember Mortal Kombat: Rebirth, director Kevin Tancharoen’s small indie short (which starred Michael Jai White) which was released on Youtube and impressed everybody who cared to press ‘play’.
Gamers weren’t the only ones impressed, as Warner Bros. were blown away when the short was pitched to them. Warner Bros. asked Tancharoen for a 10-episode web series, which became known as Mortal Kombat: Legacy that ran online throughout last year.
Once again, the series got a great reception and gave Warner Brothers the confidence to hand Kevin Tancharoen the director’s chair for the upcoming live-action Mortal Kombat reboot, which is being written by Oren Uziel.
Probability of happening: It’s happening!
Gears of War
There’s no denying that Gears of War would be appealing at the box-office. Hulking heroes who take on an unknown enemy race against all odds, with some inter-personal drama thrown into the mix would fit as snugly into the blockbuster season as Marcus Fenix’s bandanna does around his head.
With that in mind, the project has encountered a host of problems and has essentially been through hell since the release of the first game.
New Line Cinema originally picked up the rights and were keen to get the film going with Len Wiseman (Underworld, Live Free or Die Hard) directing and Gears designer Cliff Bleszinski producing.
Everything seemed like it was on track, although in 2010 New Line slashed the budget and scaled back the production size, making it very difficult to create a movie that requires some big things. Wiseman then stepped away from the project, and the last heard information came from Cliff Bleszinski, who said that the movie was being rewritten.
Probability of happening: Sketchy