Video games and movies have always shared a close relationship, thus the rise of video game movies. Both mediums are known for their immersive storytelling and cinematic experiences. However, adapting video games into movies has been a challenge for years. After all, you can only count on a few successful examples.
But in recent years, the video game movie genre has been on the rise. There have also been several critically acclaimed adaptations and promising upcoming releases. The adaptations include some of the best video game movies recording box-office sales.
The Best Video Game Movies
One of the earliest successful video game movies was 1995’s “Mortal Kombat.” The movie adapted the popular fighting game into a thrilling martial arts movie, featuring iconic characters like Liu Kang, Johnny Cage, and Sub-Zero. A sequel followed called, “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation,” which was not as well-received but still has a cult following.
Another popular video game movie is the “Resident Evil” series, which has grossed over a billion dollars worldwide. The series follows Alice, a former security officer who fights against the evil Umbrella Corporation and its creations. The movies have diverged from the video game’s plot. However, they are still entertaining with action-packed sequences and horror elements.
“Detective Pikachu” took the world by storm, bringing the popular Pokemon franchise to life in a live-action movie. Critics and fans alike praised the movie for its visual effects, humor, and respect for the source material. It was so good to see our beloved Pokemon visualized in a more realistic approach.
Another highly successful video game movie is “The Last of Us,” a TV series adaptation of the critically acclaimed post-apocalyptic game. The series starred Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey as Joel and Ellie, respectively. HBO produced the TV Series adaptation. Since the game is already heavy on storytelling, the TV series did not disappoint and delivered a worthy adaptation.
“Warcraft” was another ambitious video game movie that brought the popular MMORPG to the big screen. While it may not have been a box-office success in the United States, it was a hit internationally. The movie demonstrated the potential for video game adaptations to succeed in global markets.
Future of Video Game Movies
The success of recent video game movies has opened the door for even more adaptations in the future. One of the most anticipated upcoming releases is “Uncharted,” based on the popular action-adventure game series. The movie stars Tom Holland as a younger version of Nathan Drake, the series’ protagonist. The live-action adaptation will explore his early adventures as a treasure hunter.
Other video game movies in the works include “Tomb Raider 2,” “Minecraft,” and “Metal Gear Solid.” The success of recent adaptations has also opened the door for more experimental approaches to video game movies. Such as the upcoming animated movie “Super Mario Bros: The Movie.” The film will feature the iconic Nintendo characters in a unique animation style.
What Not to Do in a Live-Action Adaptation
While the future of video game movies looks bright, it’s essential to acknowledge the mistakes made in the past. One of the most common issues with video game adaptations is a lack of respect for the source material.
Yet, it could change the characters, plot, and world— which fans know and love. Filmmakers must understand the essence of the game they are adapting. Once they stray away from their core elements, the fans will not be happy about it.
Another mistake that can lead to a failed video game movie is focusing too heavily on action and special effects while neglecting character development and storytelling. It’s essential to remember that what makes a video game successful may not translate to the big screen. Filmmakers need to balance action and spectacle with a compelling narrative and well-developed characters.
The rise of video game movies has shown that it’s possible to adapt video games into successful movies with compelling stories and engaging characters. As more adaptations are announced, it’s essential to keep in mind the mistakes of the past.
Lastly, do not force the movie to be a live-action adaptation if it is not possible to do so. This will lead to a mob of angry fans and pundits alike. Take a look at League of Legends’ “Arcane“. Nonetheless, video game movies are here to stay, and let us hope for their success in the future.