12 Video Game Characters That NEED Their Own Movies & Who Should Play Them
We all have favorite video game characters but how many of them ‘could’ thrive on the big screen? Whether you’re partial to classic characters you grew up with or modern marvels just beginning to make their mark, we all envision bigger things for our favorite franchises.
Below you’ll find 12 of the biggest video game characters who have yet to make a splash on the big screen. Some of these characters have movies in development, others reside in development hell. The one questions surrounding all of them is the infamous video game movie curse.
Warcraft and Assassin’s Creed couldn’t lift the curse in 2016. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter made money… I guess that’s something. This year Rampage and Tomb Raider will attempt to rise above the abysmal track record of their adapted predecessors. If they can’t and the golden age of video game movies begins, we have so much to look forward to!
Let’s start with a few honorable mentions:
The Grand Theft Auto franchise. Pick a protagonist from any of these phenomenal games. If I had to choose one to adapt, I’d go with Tommy and Vice City. The games aren’t included on this list because you can essentially adapt any of them and the project would skyrocket up my list of anticipated movies. But they are all different and feature unique main characters. It’s tough to narrow down and even tougher to feel hope that a movie series can happen someday.
Super Mario Bros. Nintendo has already announced they’ve partnered with Illumination on an animated feature film. Of all the rumored productions on this list, the Mario Bros is the closest thing we have to a guarantee.
The Last of Us. A brilliant game led by Joel and Ellie that’s been circling around in development hell for years. The idea of a film adaptation should get a big boost when The Last of Us 2 is released.
SAMUS ARAN (Metroid)
Make no mistake, Metroid is a HUGE franchise for Nintendo. Even if Samus doesn’t quite get the recognition (or sales) that Mario and Link deliver consistently.
But The Nintendo Switch is crushing sales records and the much anticipated Metroid Prime 4 is on the way. Most importantly, the big ‘N’ has finally begun to branch out into other mediums. What better way to bring Samus into the mainstream then a feature film. Samus could easily be the Guardians of the Galaxy of Nintendo’s vast stable of intellectual properties. Relatively obscure but poised to be something truly special.
WHO SHOULD PLAY SAMUS? Saoirse Ronan.
LINK (The Legend of Zelda)
The trickiest character to adapt on this list. He’s one of the most beloved heroes in video game history yet he doesn’t speak… It’s an easy challenge to overcome but very difficult to perfect. How do you give a voice to a voiceless hero and remain true to the franchise?
The big advantage is the enormous wealth of stories the Zelda mythology provides. Ocarina of Time is destined to become a big blockbuster someday.
WHO SHOULD PLAY LINK? Nicholas Hoult (Older Link)
MARCUS PHOENIX (Gears of War)
Universal is currently developing a Gears of War movie tapping Shane Salermo to write the script. Marcus is a perfect character to adapt and the action alone would make this film incredible. My biggest fear is the veer… (Sorry for rhyming) It seem too easy (relatively speaking of course) to simply adapt the first Gears of War movie. I just get the feeling the story won’t quite make it to the big screen intact. Opening credits. Emergence Day. 2 hour struggle through hell with great characters and character moments.
WHO SHOULD PLAY MARCUS PHOENIX? Gerard Butler
NATHAN DRAKE (Uncharted)
I’m beginning to think this film will never happen. It has stopped and started enough times with several actors either holding the role (Mark Walberg) or actively campaigning for it. (Nathan Philion)
The current plan for the Uncharted franchise stars Spider-Man himself Tom Holland as a younger Nathan Drake. I can get behind the idea of building an Indiana Jones style franchise focused on a young actor. It’s a risk, but if it pays off, Holland will grow into the Nathan Drake we all want to see on the big screen.
ALOY (Horizon: Zero Dawn)
The newest ‘AAA’ video game star, Aloy made her debut in 2017’s Horizon: Zero Dawn. The game itself was incredibly well received and featured an absolutely gorgeous world filled with mechanical beasts and mysteries. The success of a movie like this no doubt hinges on the longevity of a film franchise like Tomb Raider (Alicia Vikander). If Tomb Raider spawns huge box office numbers and a sequel the flood gates SHOULD finally open.
WHO SHOULD PLAY ALOY? Jessica Chastain
COMMANDER SHEPARD (Mass Effect)
I don’t understand why this isn’t a major film franchise by now. I don’t understand the hold up. It’s a perfect trilogy to adapt into three entertaining films. The mythology is rich, the characters are cool and you don’t have to worry about elevator loading time. The films would no doubt be expensive but they are marketable to more than just the hardcore video game community. There’s room for another sprawling space opera alongside Star Wars.
WHO SHOULD PLAY SHEPARD? Wentworth Miller
MASTER CHIEF (Halo)
A Halo movie has been gestating for a long time. Peter Jackson was involved. Steven Spielberg was involved. Director Neill Blomkamp (District 9) created incredible short films in preparation for… eventually being involved. There were rumors that Microsoft wanted a Halo live action series to premiere exclusively on Xbox…
Still we are no closer to fully realizing the potential of a character like Master Chief on the big screen… The catch to casting the Spartan? You don’t. The mask stays on.
WHO SHOULD PLAY MASTER CHIEF? Voiced by Steve Downes
KRATOS (God of War)
An action adventure movie featuring gigantic gods and an angry protagonist bent on revenge? Nah… We’re good. We don’t need a God of War movie. It’s cool.
There were rumors long ago that Vin Diesel was circling the role but the film is still in development waiting for a video game adaptation to proof it’s worth the risk.
WHO SHOULD PLAY KRATOS? Tom Hardy
JOHN MARSTON (Red Dead Redemption)
I’m still shocked Red Dead Redemption hasn’t received a green light. I can understand the hold up adapting something as complex as Grand Theft Auto given the history of that series. But Rockstar’s Red Dead series centers on one man in a western setting that’s overdue for a resurgence in Hollywood. And a long gestating sequel is about to be unleashed this year. No better time to reignite the movie adaptation conversation.
WHO SHOULD PLAY JOHN MARSTON? Jon Hamm
SNAKE (Metal Gear Solid)
Fortunately, the Metal Gear movie is one of the few on this list with good chance of actually happening. Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts (Kong: Skull Island) has promised a faithful adaptation of creator Hideo Kojima’s vision. If that’s true, Metal Gear could become one of the most unique and amazing film franchises. Ever.
The question is, can they pull it off.
WHO SHOULD PLAY SNAKE? Brad Pitt
JOANNA DARK (Perfect Dark)
If the rumors are true, an all new Perfect Dark is set to be revealed by Microsoft on (or before) E3 in June. Why not revisit the idea of adapting the N64 classic?
Joanna Dark has all kinds of potential to lead a big action/science fiction franchise. It might be tough to strike a balance between spy thriller and alien elements but the game did it! Find a way!
WHO SHOULD PLAY JOANNA DARK? Emily Blunt
Imagine an ‘R’ Rated Bioshock movie. There was a time when director Gore Verbinski was set to bring the world of Rapture to life. But an escalating budget and overall tone derailed those plans.
This remains the number 1 franchise I want to see on the big screen. By far the most unique in terms of setting and the atmosphere alone would be incredible.
What makes the Bioshock movie unique is the remarkable twist I still refuse to spoil after all these years. Because if you haven’t played Bioshock through to the end. You’re missing out on one of the coolest twists in video game history.
WHO SHOULD PLAY JACK? Joaquin Phoenix
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