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Weekend Reading: Some more upcoming video game movies

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A few of you might remember a while ago that I did an article on some upcoming video game movies. Well, because of its extreme popularity, I've decided to bring it back, but this time, I'm calling in some big guns on this. With me on this article is Alex Keen, the man who writes Videogames to Flix over at the most awesome spot for movie news on the net, JoBlo.com. So, what do we have for you to look at? Well, this time, there are 34 movies mentioned in the article, so be sure to enjoy!

Alice

A twisted version of Lewis Caroll's Alice in Wonderland, the film is set to be directed by Marcus Nispel, whose most recent film is Pathfinder, while the writers are fresh to the screenwriting scene. Alice is set to be played by Sarah Michelle Gellar.

DMV: After doing some searching on Pathfinder, the director's most recent film, there have been some pretty harsh reviews of the film (doesn't mean that I'm not going to see it). This is making me a lot more wary about how Alice is going to turn out, but I at least like the casting of Sarah Michelle Gellar as Alice.

Keen: An old game with an old news release. This project is about as dead as a video game adaptation can get. You're more likely to see Duke Nukem Forever sooner. 

Probability of suck: Moderate

Castlevania

The Castlevania film is supposed to be set in the classical vampire period, and will be about the start of the Belmont clan's venture into vampire hunting, and their quest to kill Dracula. Paul WS Anderson will be writing and directing the film, with no actors announced for the project yet.

DMV: I really want to have high hopes for Castlevania, I do. The thing is, this is Paul WS Anderson, a man who has a track record of bad video game movies (Mortal Kombat, Resident Evil, Alien vs. Predator). Combined with his "vision" for the film, which has killed any hope I have for the film, Seriously, "Dracula Begins"? The tagline sounds pretty crappy, and I have a feeling I'll be seeing some vampire action that was even worse than Blade.

Keen: I've only seen one Paul WS Anderson movie and I liked it. For me, Event Horizon worked perfect and scared the crap out of me. I agree that he's not the right choice for this movie, but he's better than Uwe. I'd like to see the Wachowski's get behind the wheel on this project.

Probability of suck: Moderately High

Clock Tower

Clock Tower 3, which the movie is supposed to based off of, tells the story of a 14-year-old girl who is told to hide by her mother until her 15th birthday passes via a mysterious phone call. When she goes looking for her mother, she ends up in World War II London. This is a different type of survival horror than Silent Hill or Resident Evil. In the game, you have to solve puzzles while trying to hide from a stalker who is pursuing you throughout the game.

DMV:  I remember reading a strategy guide for Clock Tower back in the day, and to me, it seemed fairly creepy, as the premise was a man chasing you with scissors. Looking at who is doing the work on this project, I have little hope. One of the writers did Jason X. Oh, what a laughable title that was.

Keen: I've never heard of this game and, therefore, never played it. A brief scanning of the web says this game is by Capcom and has similarities to Silent Hill and Resident Evil. Perhaps this game's lack of notoriety will help the film find its own voice. Sometimes movies based on games get bogged down by fan expectations and storyline hindrances.

Probability of suck: High

Cold Fear

As a Coast Guard member, you head aboard a Russian frigate that's floating out in the middle of the ocean. Inside are hostile Russians and strange creatures possessing the Russians.

DMV: Reading the description for the game alone, I am rather uninspired by how it sounds, and I wouldn't pay to even play the game.

Keen: With the movie announced quite a while ago and the game now forgotten, I doubt that this movie will ever be made. It almost sounds similar to the Ashton Kutcher/Kevin Costner Coast Guard flick, The Guardian. Yep, Kutcher + Costner is quite horrible.

Probability of suck: High

Condemned

While hunting a serial killer, Ethan Thomas, is trapped in a condemned area of Metro City, with a mysterious phenomena causing many of the area's denizens to turn into violent killers.

DMV: Sadly, I'm not an Xbox 360 owner, so I've never gotten to play Condemned, but everything I've seen on the game leads me to be creeped out; more so in a Resident Evil way as opposed to in a Silent Hill fashion. This will definitely appeal to the American audience because of the bigger focus on heavy violence.

Keen: I wrote briefly about this project last year. This is one of the best games available on the Xbox 360 and is incredibly cinematic in nature. It would be a perfect fit for a new movie and if it turns into a TV show, even better. WB and Sega have been quiet on this project but a guy can still dream, can't he?

Probability of suck: Moderately Low

Duke Nukem

One of the more popular first person shooters, Duke Nukem carved its way into peoples' minds by featuring plenty of gore and sex throughout the game. News of the game being adapted to the silver screen came out in 2001, but since then, pretty much nothing. Dimension Films was going to release the film, which was supposed to star The Rock as the main character.

DMV: Anyone want to make a Duke Nukem Forever for me here? Well, this is one of those projects that seems dead in the water, but it's fun to speculate. Looking at this film, the only concievable way I could see this working is as an utterly cheesy B-movie flick, complete with bad acting and over the top story. In reality, though, I know it'll be meant as a hardcore action flick, and will bomb.

Keen: With Bruce Campbell well beyond the age of being an action star, this project doesn't deserve to be filmed. If it takes them ten years to generate vaporware, imagine how long it will take to a get screenplay written.

Probability of suck: High

Deus Ex

This sci-fi adventure tells the story of the UN's Anti-Terrorist Coalition, and one of its agents getting caught up in an ancient conspiracy that could lead towards world domination. Announced back in 2002, the film seemed to die in 2004, as it's no longer listed on IMDB, and there's been no new news about it.

DMV: I've never gotten to touch the Deus Ex games, as evident by my description. From the sound of it, and by the looks of the Wiki entry, this game really doesn't seem like one that should be made into a movie. I think the plot sounds a bit too cliche for me.

Keen: I'm one of those rare breed that missed out on Deus Ex but fell in love with Deus Ex: The Invisible War. I'd love to see these game made into a movie. They're steeped in sci-fi lore but well supported by general humanity. The characters in this game would translate well to the silver screen, but might be even better on television.

Probability of suck: Moderate

Driver

Currently on hold, this film is the story of a cop who goes undercover as a getaway driver for crime rings. Chris Avary is set to write and direct the film.

DMV: Kill this movie. Now. After Chris Avary ruined Silent Hill, I have lost all respect for the man and I wish to see this movie buried.

Keen: This game was cinematic from its inception. Borrowing for the '70s car chase movies, Driver is an understandably attractive property. But sometimes revisiting a concept that was pretty much retired thirty years ago can lead to disastrous results.

Probability of suck: Moderately High

Eternal Darkness

Eternal Darkness tells the story of people who have all encountered the Tome of Eternal Darkness, and must fend off the "eternal darkness." The film adaptation was announced back in 2003.

DMV: I love playing this game, and I'm actually still in the middle of it. It'd make a damn good movie, but telling the whole story in the span of 2 hours would be rather difficult, since the story encompasses 12 characters. I could see some really neat effects with the speaker system in the theaters, or some interesting trick photography.

Keen: Etermal Darkness is one of my favorite cult video games from the last generation. It was a GameCube exclusive that unfortunately targeted Mature gamers. Too bad the majority of GameCube owners were more interested in the latest incarnation of Mario Mario. This game tells a fascinating story and brought its story out of the TV and into reality. The sanity effects would be very difficult to duplicate in movie theaters but might be a cool effect on a DVD release. Unfortunately, because this project is years past dead, I wouldn't expect to see much of anything more than a sequel to the game.

Probability of suck: Moderate

Far Cry

Ex-special forces operative is stranded on a small island filled with mercenaries and genetically mutated primates and humans. Fighting through all this, he must rescue a female journalist and get to the bottom of everything. To be directed by Uwe Boll. 

DMV: Why? Why must you try and turn another shooter into a movie, Boll? Just stop it.

Keen: While this movie remains in the clutches of Uwe Boll expect it to completely suck. Its kind of a shame because originally this series had a lot of promise. With Boll on board expect this movie to look like a Skinemax late night sexcapade.

Probability of suck: Bet on it

Fatal Frame

Miku is searching for her lost brother. She winds up in a mansion where several brutal murders had taken place. Armed with only a polaroid camera, she must take photos of the ghosts trying to attack her to trap their souls in the camera, and find her lost brother.

DMV: There's one problem that I have with this movie: I feel that it's concept relies a bit too much on Japanese culture to really gel with American audiences. I mean, it could take the path of The Grudge or The Ring, but it'll just feel like a bastardization of the original.

Keen: The central idea in this series of games fits well in the genre of horror movies. However, with the glut of horror movies released in the past few years I can't see this game doing much better than the rest of the pack. With no solid new news on this movie, consider it on ice for the time being.

Probability of suck: Moderately High

Fear Effect

Set in a futuristic China, three mercenaries are hired to find the daughter of a wealthy industrialist. The film was originally set to be directed by Uwe Boll, but there is word of Stanley Tong, a Chinese filmmaker, directing this film now.

DMV: Oh dear lord! Not this game! I played it for about 20 minutes, but I couldn't manage to do so any longer because of the game's horrific controls. From what I remember about the story it told, the game sounded like it was a sort of Blade Runner knock-off, except with horrible graphics.

Keen: Another Uwe mess bound to be forgotten in no time.  Another survival horror game bound to be tarnished by the hands of Uwe. Just move along and forget that this adaptation was ever mentioned. You'll be much better off.

Probability of suck: High

Half-Life 

As a warning to you all, this movie is just a pipe-dream right now. What we're showing you is a fan made trailer that Justin Seau did for their digital video class in college. Valve, though, has been shopping around the rights to the game to some Hollywood studios.

DMV: Looking at the trailer that the fan made, it really brings out some hope for this movie, as it could be one of the few good first person shooter adaptations, right along with Halo. I've noticed a ton of fans compare Children of Men to Half-Life 2, which I have sadly yet to see. The likelyhood of this being made, however, is very slim in my mind, even though it would come out extremely awesome, and most likely be a series of films.

Keen: Half-Life is a guaranteed blockbuster... if it ever gets made. Deciding who would play Gordon Freeman would be incredibly hard and controversial to say the least. Who would you choose, Henry Rollins? Jamie Foxx? Clive Owen? Matt Damon?

Probability of suck: Moderately Low

Halo

The infamous game is set to be directed by Neill Blomkamp, with Halo set to be his first feature film. D.B. Weiss, one of the writers, has Halo listed as his first screenplay. He is working with Alex Garland, who wrote 28 Days Later.

DMV: Halo, I feel, is actually going to be a really tricky beast to make. I can see them going the CGI route, like with the Halo 3 FMVs that we saw released a while ago, but then it loses a bit of the magic of seeing a real Master Chief. I'm actually pretty happy to see Alex Garland on this, because I really loved the story for 28 Days Later, and I hope he can re-create that magic on Halo.

Keen: Of the films on this list, Halo looks like the most likely to happen. The cinematics for both Halo 3 and Halo Wars look outstanding and are a great start for a full length animated movie. In my eyes a fully CGI Halo is the only way to make this movie and the vibe from New Zealand certainly felt that way. However, with the failure of Final Fantasy: The Spirit Within, I can see that studios might be wary of a PG-13 (or even R) rated CGI feature film.

Probability of suck: Low

Hitman

The career of Agent 47 is set to be told by Xavier Gens and Skip Woods. Gens, who is directing this film, has worked on a handful of films, mostly French, while Woods has written the 2001 film Swordfish. Timothy Olyphant is set to play Agent 47.

DMV: I always liked the idea of the Hitman games, and I think this game would make a good adaptation. While I'm not knowledgable to the plot of the games, I definitely think that it can be told in an interesting Leon-esque manner. I'm looking forward to catching the trailer for this.

Keen: Unlike a lot on this list, Hitman has the beginnings of a cast and crew. Timothy Olyphant may not be the first name that comes to mind when thinking of Hitman, but he's not altogether awful. The idea of a Hitman movie is a good one. Now it is up to execution to deliver the goods.

Probability of suck: Low

In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale

DMV: Why the hell is this even being made into a movie?

Keen: Guaranteed awful movie.

Probability of suck: Bet on it

Max Payne

Max Payne is involved in a tale of revenge. Drugged up junkies killed his wife and child, and now he's out to seek revenge for the people who made the drugs. Max is now a fugitive cop, running from the law, entering into dangerous territory, and fufilling all the requirements of being a film noir.

DMV: I'm glad this game is being made into a movie. We can really use some more film noir right now.

Keen: With Universal supporting the project, Max Payne should eventually make it to theaters. It appears that a script exists and is worth adapting, now they just need a star and some momentum. Perhaps the appearance of Max Payne 3 will start the ball rolling... if that ever happens.

Probability of suck: Moderately Low

Metal Gear Solid

Snake is finally sneaking his way into theaters, with Mike De Luca as the producer of the film, and Columbia Pictures currently in the process of trying to acquire the rights for it. No director or actors have been announced yet.

DMV: Well, my hopes and dreams have finally come true; there is to be a Metal Gear Solid movie! Kojima himself has stated that Uwe Boll won't be a part of this film, so I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief. I have full faith in Kojima on this project, and I have a feeling he'll even have a good hand in all this. Hopefully, they'll just base it on the first film, so that we can enjoy the utter mindf*ck that is Metal Gear Solid 2 later.

Keen: Should I be stabbed for saying I've never played a Metal Gear Solid game? Nevertheless, the character of Solid Snake is intriguing and would sell well outside of video game fans. Explaining what the hell the title means might be a hump that keeps general film fans away.

Probability of suck: Very Low, or else heads will roll.

Metroid

The details on the movie are slim, with the only real announcement that John Woo is supposed to direct this film. The film was announced back in 2004, with not much new news since then.

DMV: This would be really interesting to see. I'm too used to seeing Samus as a CGI character, so I'd feel better if this were a well rendered CGI movie. Also, it might become boring for the audience watching the constant solidarity that is Metroid.

Keen: Wasn't John Woo involved with this project at one point? While John Woo was a great director many years ago, a string of AWFUL movies makes his appearance here a bad omen. I'm not sure who'd play Samus, but fanboys and girls would likely be upset no matter what.

Probability of suck: Moderately High

Mortal Kombat: Devestation

Once again, Lu Kang, Sonya, Jax, and Raiden must fight the forces of evil in the Mortal Kombat tournament. The director uses a false name, "mink", for this film. High quality for sure.

DMV: Ooh! Another Mortal Kombat movie! I know this is going to turn out horribly, but I enjoyed the other ones as a kid, so I can guarantee that this is something that will end up on Shi...wait, I can't talk about that.

Keen: I never enjoyed the Mortal Kombat games and I've no interest in seeing another movie. Making this movie is just an easy cash in on a franchise that should have been put out to pasture a decade ago. Movies like this remind stupid congressman that video games can sometimes be violent.

Probability of suck: Bet on it

Onimusha

Most likely set to be based on the third game, Onimusha tells the story of a French police officer and a Japanese samurai who must fight against demons in each others' worlds. The film is set to be directed by Chris Gans, the man who did Silent Hill.

DMV: Aah, Onimusha. This is one of those hack and slashes that I was really able to get into, and I loved Onimusha 3, especially with its storyline. I think this game has a really good chance of working as a story, mainly because it can be told fairly straightforward, cutting out a lot of the puzzle action, and just putting in some really sweet combat scenes. If Chris Gans is anything like he was with Silent Hill, then I have full faith in this game.

Keen: Sorry folks, this is another PlayStation title I've had the misfortune of missing out on. However, studying up on the title, Onimusha sounds interesting to say the least. The inclusion of Jean Reno as a voice actor is impressive. And bonus points for sneaking in Danica McKellar.

Probability of suck: Moderately Low

Postal

DMV: I can only say, hopefully Boll will be somewhat self-depricating in this, which will warm us all up to him a little more. Maybe. The game is meant to be rediculous, so hopefully the film will be too. 

Keen: The trailer for this movie looks dreadful.  Another mess of a video game brought to you by Uwe Boll.

Probability of suck: High

Prey

Tommy, a Native American living on a reservation, is trying to rescue his girlfriend and grandfather after aliens attack the reservation. He goes aboard the alien "sphere" and wreaks havoc.

DMV: This is one of those games that really shouldn't be turned into a film, as I feel that the story really just isn't there. Plus, we're dealing with another FPS headed to film, which can only bode poorly for theater patrons.

Keen: I really enjoyed Prey. Unfortunately, the game's strength was its gameplay not its storyline. The voice acting was subpar and its plotline was cliche. This felt like a variation of Turok among other well known games. They really need to polish this story if they want to make a successful movie.

Probability of suck: High

Prince of Persia: Sands of Time

The IMDB plotline is something different from the game. "Based on the video game, which follows an adventurous prince who teams up with a rival princess to stop an angry ruler from unleashing a sandstorm that could destroy the world." This is currently being written by the guy who did The Day After Tomorrow.

DMV: Here's another game that I wanted to see turned into a movie, and I'm expecting there to be a good story. The only problem is that I don't have much confidence in the writers of the film, and so I'm hesitant on declaring it to be a success. There are just too many variables right now for it.

Keen: This is another game with an outstanding story that deserves to be seen on screen. Sales for Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time weren't tremendous, but the reviews and gameplay were. If they can translate the voicework, plotline, and adventurous spirit of the game to a script, you'd better look out!

Probability of suck: Moderate

Resident Evil: Extinction

It's the third and final installment of the Resident Evil trilogy! The story this time is that now the survivors of Racoon City are heading through Nevada to try and make it to Alaska to escape the Umbrella Corporation. There's a bit of a switch up, as Paul WS Anderson only has writing credits for the film, while Russell Mulcahy is directing. Also, it should be noted that Vanilla Ice will have a role in this film, which he won on The Surreal Life: Fame Games

DMV: Ugh. Resident Evil was bad. Resident Evil 2 was horrible. So naturally, I can assume that Resident Evil 3 will be a sin against God. I see no chance of this movie being redeeming, but I know I'll go watch it anyways for the sake of gamers everywhere.

Keen: The other two films did quite well and I expect the third will maintain the status quo. The trailer is due to hit theaters with Ghost Rider, so that should indicate if they got things right in the third installment.

Probability of suck: High

Silent Hill 2

After the mediocre Silent Hill film, Chris Gans is back to do a second one. There's currently no one else attached to this film, as well as no decision as to which Silent Hill game they are going to be focusing on.

DMV: Oh, how I wish Neil Gaiman was working on this project. Aside from that, I'm really glad that Roger Avery is not attached to write this film. If you bother to take the time to watch the extra features on the Silent Hill disc, then you'd realize that everyone had some real love for the game, especially Chris Gans. The only person who didn't play it was the writer, Roger Avery, because he felt that it "would have tied him down too much to be restricted to one game." God, how I wanted to punch that guy in the face.

Keen: I enjoyed Silent Hill (the movie) for what it was. The visuals were crisp and creepy, too bad the acting was empty and some of the situations were ludicrous. A movie sequel is guaranteed because the original generated just enough money to hit the well one more time.
 

Probability of suck: Low

Splinter Cell: The Movie

The Ubisoft game is currently sitting in film development, with no director attached to helm the project. The writer for the original game is set to be working on the script, and there is some concept art floating around the backlots. The film is supposedly going to be released in 2010.

DMV: With the Metal Gear Solid movie on it's way, I feel like Splinter Cell is just going to be a bit of a ripoff. I'm no fan of Sam Fisher, as I prefer Snake by a longshot.

Keen: I remember seeing the teaser for this movie in a movie theater many moons ago. And like so many other great game-to-film projects, this movie died before it ever got off of the ground. No actor can play Sam Fisher (not even Michael Ironside) and no one should. This is one of those games that is better off not having a movie adaptation.

Probability of suck: Moderately High

Tekken

The fighting game is announced to get the big screen treatment sometime in 2009. The film is supposed to be directed by Dwight H. Litte, who has had experience directing episodes of 24 and Prison Break, along with Halloween 4 and Free Willy 2. The writing team is a group of 4 writers, who have all had experience with fast paced films, incluing Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, Face/Off, and Spawn.

DMV: God, that Free Willy 2 thing made me laugh. Nonetheless, I have higher hopes for this film than I did for Dead or Alive. The experience of all of these men fills me with the hope that they have an idea with what they're doing, but my only worry is that the storyline will get extremely convoluted.

Keen: Making fighting games into movies makes absolutely zero sense to me. Of all the genres of video games, fighters contain the weakest amount of storyline (unless you include shit like Cooking Mama). I'm sure Tekken would be a fine popcorn flick but I'd rather see games like Beyond Good and Evil or Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath made into movies.

Probability of suck: Moderate

To add in, here are some titles that have been buzzing around the Hollywood wire:

  • Area 51 
  • Dragon's Lair 
  • Mech Warrior 
  • Rainbow Six
  • Siren 
  • Soul Calibur
  • Spy Hunter

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