Seven Movies That Could Break The Video Game Movie Curse

It's no secret that the majority of movies based on video games are not very good. We're not talking about movies set in the world of gaming or featuring fictional and real video games like TRON, Wreck-It Ralph, and this week's release of Pixels. We're talking about movies based on an existing video game title being brought to the big screen.

The first video game movie was Super Mario Bros. in 1993, and while that movie should have been terrible enough to kill the entire subgenre (the recent Honest Trailer for the film illustrates that pretty well), there have been about 26 video game movies released theatrically since then, and not one of them deserves to be called great (many of them can't even be called okay).

However, there might be a chance that the future has some genuinely good video game movies on the horizon, that is if the talent attached to some forthcoming projects is any indicator. Below, we look at seven forthcoming video game movies that could break the apparent curse that plagues the subgenre.

Check out some promising video game movies coming soon after the jump!

Seven Promising Video Game Movies on the Way

Assassin's Creed

Assassin's Creed

What's it about? Assassin's Creed is based on the Ubisoft game franchise of the same name about a bartender named Desmond Miles, who turns out to be descended from a long line of assassins. He's captured by a secretive organization and sent back in time to access his ancestors' memories and collect ancient artifacts.

Why does it sound good? Aside from the intriguing story, the talent attached to this game sounds better than any cast we've ever heard of for a video game flick. Michael Fassbender (X-Men: First Class, 12 Years a Slave) is in the lead role with Oscar winner Marion Cotillard (The Dark Knight Rises, Contagion) taking a key role along with Ariane Labed (Before Midnight, The Lobster). The film also reunites Fassbender and Cotillard with their Macbeth director Justin Kurzel. Watch the trailer for that Shakespearean adaptation and you'll see why this roster of talent taking on Assassin's Creed sounds awesome.

When can we see it? Assassin's Creed is currently set for release on December 21st, 2016.

Warcraft

Warcraft

What's it about? The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: Orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people and their home. So begins a spectacular saga of power and sacrifice in which war has many faces, and everyone fights for something.

Why does it sound good? This is a deep, rich fantasy taking us into a world the likes of which haven't been seen since Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy (The Hobbit trilogy jut isn't on the same level). Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code) is directing the film that will be brought to life with visual effects comparable to that of Avatar and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and it has the potential to be the biggest video game movie ever made.

The footage shown at Comic-Con was wholly impressive, though certainly a little confusing for a non-Warcraft fan, but it's a massive epic with a huge scope and a diverse ensemble of characters from Orcs to humans to wizards and more. The cast doesn't have many huge names (Ben Foster, Paula Patton, Clancy Brown, Dominic Cooper are the most notable names) but that means they put all the money into everything else in the film, and that's a good start.

When can we see it? Warcraft arrives on June 10th, 2016. The first trailer arrives sometime this fall.

Splinter Cell

Splinter Cell

What's it about? The game franchise follows Sam Fisher, a black-ops agent who works for a top-secret NSA sub-agency called Echelon, as he is sent on various dangerous missions with an array of high-tech weaponry to help him at every turn.

Why does it sound good? Much like Ubisoft's other video game adaptation, Assassin's Creed, the talent this project has attracted thus far is exciting in itself. Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises, Inception) is still attached to lead the film which just hired writer Frank John Hughes to do a new draft of the script that previous was worked on by Eric Warren Singer (The International) and Sheldon Turner (Up in the Air).

As for a director, Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow, The Bourne Identity) was once attached, but ended up leaving the project earlier this year and there hasn't been a replacement revealed yet. But with Tom Hardy still attached, there's still hope that this can be a worthy video game adaptation. It can't be any worse than This Means War.

When can we see it? As with many projects like this, it takes time to get them off the ground. Some estimates peg a 2017 release date, but that's no guarantee.

minecraft-wallpaper

Minecraft

What's it about? It's tough to say. The video game is a sandbox environment which allows players to build and explore worlds with very few rules and regulations to determine how they use the worlds they build.

Why does it sound good? It's not unlike The LEGO Movie, which will actually share its producer Roy Lee with the Minecraft movie, in that anything is possible. There are endless paths for the film to take, and while we don't have a story just yet, Rob McElhenney of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia was just hired to direct after Shawn Levy's idea for the film didn't jive with what video game company Mojang wanted to see on the big screen.

While it would be easy to say that we can expect a comedy in the same vein as The LEGO Movie, McElhenney may be striving for a little more action and adventure. After all, he struck a deal last fall for a family adventure called Figment at Legendary Pictures. That movie is described as a family action adventure about an imaginative boy and his family who are thrown for a loop when their greatest fears come to life. It's been said to have flares of E.T. and The Goonies, and that sounds like exactly the kind of style the Minecraft movie needs.

When can we see it? There's no release date yet, but the earliest we would see the film is probably 2017, though it could easily arrive sometime later.

Metal Gear Solid

Metal Gear Solid

What's it about? The game, the third in a now very long series, allows players to control a special forces operative called Solid Snake who is assigned to find the titular superweapon "Metal Gear", a bipedal walking tank with the ability to launch nuclear weapons. That's the simplest explanation of the story, but the franchise features many other missions, some very wild characters with convoluted stories, and far more for the movie to dive into.

Why does it sound good?  Well, Kings of Summer director Jordan Vogt-Roberts is attached to direct the film and writer Jay Basu was just brought in to write a new script for the project that is set up at Sony Pictures with Spider-Man franchise producer Avi Arad on board in the same capacity. Vogt-Roberts is a huge fan of the video game franchise, so this is a dream-come-true project for the indie filmmaker, and that could turn out to be the best thing for a project like this.

When can we see it?: It's hard to tell since Sony has the film in active development, but Vogt-Roberts has the Legendary Pictures project Kong: Skull Island next on his docket.

The Last of Us

The Last of Us

What's it about? Set 20 years after a mutant fungus has ravaged the United States, turning human hosts into cannibalistic monsters, the story follows a survivor named Joel tasked with smuggling a young girl named Ellie into the hands of a rebel group opposing the quarantine zone authorities that enforce a brutal martial law in the wake of the outbreak. Ellie may hold the key to finding a cure to the fungal outbreak, and whilst en route the two face the infected, official troops, and gangs of other survivors.

Why does it sound good? Aside from the cool story, Sam Raimi is producing the film adaptation through his Ghost House Pictures banner and Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams has been linked to the role of Ellie, something that fans of the game have been clamoring for since it was released. Writer Neil Druckmann has promised that the movie will be pretty faithful to the video game story, which is pretty raw and brutal at times — ok, make that incredibly raw – but there will be big changes too, hopefully enough to make it stand out from the usual pack of video game movies.

When can we see it? No release date has been revealed, and progress likely depends on the shooting schedule that Williams has for Game of Thrones.

Portal - No Escape

Portal

What's it about? The story follows a human woman, Chell, forced to undergo a series of tests within the Aperture Science Enrichment Center by a malicious artificial intelligence computer, GLaDOS, that controls the facility. Each test involves using the "Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device" – the "portal gun" – that creates a human-sized wormhole-like connection between nearly any two flat surfaces. The sequel finds Chell awoken from suspended animation after many years, who must navigate the now-dilapidated Aperture Science Enrichment Center during its reconstruction by the reactivated GLaDOS.

Why does it sound good? The idea of a portal gun used in an action adventure movie is something fun in itself. We got a taste of what that could be like in X-Men: Days of Future Past and the final action sequence of Thor: The Dark World, but using something like the portal gun in a sci-fi movie would be something completely different. A short film by Dan Trachtenberg called Portal: No Escape (pictured above) actually showed off how cool this could be.

Bad Robot and game creator Valve were said to be teaming up for a Portal film adaptation back in 2013, but since then we haven't heard anything on that front. But knowing that J.J. Abrams and Valve's Gabe Newell wanted to work together to bring the company's video game to the big screen, we're hoping that means they've got a good idea how to transfer the story of Portal to the big screen. As a video game it works due to the puzzles for players to solve with the aid of the portal gun, but it's not clear how that will work. But the prospect is exciting.

When can we expect it? Bad Robot has been pretty busy with the Star Trek franchise and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but once Abrams is finished bringing the sci-fi saga back to theaters, maybe he'll focus on bringing Portal to the big screen.

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There's a whole slew of other video games on the way like Angry Birds, Gran Turismo, Shadow of the Colossus, Rampage, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Mass Effect, a reboot of Tomb Raider and the final Resident Evil movie. That's just some of the 30+ video game movies that have been revealed to be in development.

Are there any other video game movies you're looking forward to?