While the video game to film formula has proven elusive it appears that Hollywood is finally getting it right. After years of hit or miss projects, Detective Pikachu and Sonic The Hedgehog made a killing at the box office and even won over several critics. This success has caused a ripple effect where other studios are moving film projects based on video games into development. This list collects all of these projects, focusing on projects that have writers and directors attached.
Of all the films on this list this one is the closest to being completed. Warner Brothers announced that James Wan would be executive producing a live action R-rated adaption of the Mortal Kombat fighting games back in 2018. Greg Russo and Simon McQuoid signed on to write and direct respectively. After rounding out its cast, cameras started rolling on September of 2019 They wrapped in December of the same year. The film is currently in post-production and is eyeing a January 2021 release. While the exact plot is still largely unknown the film will feature such iconic Mortal Kombat characters as Sonya Blade, Scorpion, Shang Tsung, Major Jackson ‘Jax’ Briggs, Liu Kang and Kano.
Sony’s long gestating Uncharted film has finally been gaining some ground. The film is as an origin story and will star Tom Holland as Nathan Drake. Joining him with be Mark Wahlberg (who was originally in negotiations to play Drake several years ago) as Victor Sulivan. Variety also reported that Antonio Banderas, Tati Gabrielle and Sophia Ali have joined the cast in unknown roles. Joe Carnahan (writer and director of The A-Team and The Grey) wrote the script. Reuben Fleischer (director of Venom and Zombieland) is the seventh director attached the project. The film was scheduled to start shooting this summer eyeing a holiday release, but shooting has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Metal Gear Solid
Independent director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, who exploded onto the blockbuster scene in 2017 with the surprise hit Kong: Skull Island, is a huge video game and anime nerd. One property that he is especially passionate about bringing to cinematic life is Hideo Kojima’s Metal Gear Solid series. According to an interview with Collider, Vogt-Roberts started personally peitioning to get a Metal Gear Solid film off the ground in early 2010s. Development got more serious in the summer of 2018 when Jordan reached out to concept artists and had them create art for a Metal Gear Solid movie as part of his pitch. He also created a thread on Twitter to garner fan support. In December of 2019 Vogt-Roberts announced on Twitter that he and writer Derek Connolly had turned in a new draft of the script and were meeting with a specific actor ‘very soon’.
A Mega-Man film has been in development at 20th Century Fox since at least 2015. It was not formally announced until 2018. With Final Destination 3 and 4 directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman attached. In wake of The Disney/Fox merger there was some doubt as to whether the project would continue to move forward. Then in January the Hollywood Reporter revealed that Mattson Tomlin (co-writer for Matt Reeves The Batman and part of the team for Seth Rogen’s Fear Agent series on Amazon) was attached to write the script. Tomlin confirmed this on his twitter page. Recently Tomlin has been using his quarantine time to complete a new draft.
Lionsgate has owned the rights to Borderlands for five years. Wanting to bring it to the the big screen but looking for the right creative team to do it. In February Variety announced that Lionsgate and finally found their team. Craig Maizin (writer of Chernobyl for HBO) will write the script. While Eli Roth (controversial director behind Hostel, Cabin Fever, and The Green Inferno) will direct. Since the announcement there have been no further updates but development is presumably still moving forward.
Don Bluth has been looking for a way to make a feature length film based on his video game Dragon’s Lair for several years. At one point even taking to KickStarter for a feature length animated adaptation. According The Hollywood Reporter Bluth is now executive producing a live action adaptation for Netflix. Ryan Reynolds is starring in the film. Dan and Kevin Hageman (Scary Stories to Tell In The Dark and The LEGO Movie) are attached to write. We have covered this story in more detail right here at ThatHashtagShow.