Video game adaptations have had a bad rep forever, but in recent years, the subgenre has shown improvement. Films such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Tomb Raider have been solid, while Castlevania has an outstanding anime series on Netflix. Currently, new properties like Uncharted and Monster Hunter are being adapted, with reboots of Mario and Mortal Kombat underway. And those are just the movies. Television adaptations in the works include HBO’s The Last of Us, Showtime’s Halo, and Amazon’s Fallout. We can also talk about Netflix’s The Witcher series, but that is an adaptation of the books, rather than the games.
Now, we’re always thinking about the future. As long as video game movies and television shows make money, then studios will continue to make them. Fortunately, there are countless video game franchises that are ripe for live action. Video games are bigger now than ever before, and it’s only up from here.
Below, we list five video game properties that we’d love to see adaptated to live action, whether it’s film or television.
God of War
God of War has been one of Sony’s biggest exclusive franchises for PlayStation. Consisting of four games (so far), the original trilogy depicted warrior Kratos’ rise to power in Greek mythology. Most recently, the series put Kratos and his son Atreus in the realms of Norse mythology. The latter game is one of the best in recent history, and it’s easy to imagine a live action adaptation working. Personally, I would love to see a Netflix series in the vein of The Witcher. It can be based on the Greek or Norse games, or even both. Also, get Jason Momoa to play Kratos. You’re welcome.
If Nintendo were to adapt any more games, it may be best to stick with animated movies or shows. But one exception is definitely Metroid. The games see space bounty hunter Samus Aran defending the galaxy from Space Pirates. The series has had several hit games, such as the Metroid Prime line. A live action movie was in the works in the 2000s, but due to Nintendo’s reluctance to pursue Hollywood projects, it was scrapped. Still, it can work with the right creative team. For example, Brie Larson has expressed interest in playing Samus…
One of PlayStation’s most successful recent IPs is Horizon: Zero Dawn, which launched in 2017. The game was acclaimed for its storytelling and graphics. It follows Aloy, a hunter in a futuristic world overrun by machines. A sequel, Forbidden West, is in the works for PlayStation 5. This can work as either a film or television show, but if done right, it can be a mega hit at the box office. Also, while television has shown more ambition with big budgets in recent years, I still think a movie-caliber budget is critical for making a Horizon adaptation work.
Rockstar Games’ Red Dead has been another successful series in recent years. Consisting of three games, the franchise broke records with 2018’s Red Dead Redemption 2. Set in the 1880s to 1911, in the latter years of the Old West, the game depict various outlaws and bounty hunters. The stories are great, and expanding this world with additional stories in live action can be great too. Personally, I would love a streaming series (Netflix, HBO, whoever). It doesn’t even have to adapt a preexisting story; it can tell its own story and still be set in the same world as the games.
I was hesitant about including this one, since the anime series on Netflix is so good. However, the world of Castlevania is so big, a live action adaptation has potential too. The Netflix series has been influenced by Dracula’s Curse and Curse of Darkness, so this can look to other games for inspiration. And with the anime starring Trevor Belmont, we can always focus on Simon Belmont (or even a new protagonist). Ultimately, Castlevania can be very cool in live action (film or TV), and if they can come up with a way to do it and still honor the franchise, then have at it.