25 movies based on video games (apparently) still in production

Hollywood just cannot stop itself from adapting games into movies. This is fact. No matter how many clunkers it throws out, no matter how many critical kickings it takes, it's always there with the chequebook, ready to pick up a few more licenses for the grinder.

But they're not all bad. Well okay, they're getting better. And they'll have to. Because there are currently at least 25 movies based on games in various stages of production. Some are guaranteed certs, some might never see the light of day, and some of them are based on games you might never even have heard of. And we've collected them all together in one place so that we can take you through their current statuses, prospects, and the relative chances of being awesome or terrible when and if they do appear.

Brace yourselves, we're going in...

Area 51

In development heaven or development hell?

Paramount bought the film rights to Midway's ill-fated FPS in 2004, a year before the game was even released. Since then comics legend Grant Morrison has written a script, but the production has been quiet since 2009. Part of the reason for this may be that Oren Peli, director of Paranormal Activity, is making a PA-style sci-fi film of the same title, also at Universal.

Prognosis for a happy ending?

We'd expect flavour-of-the-month Peli's film to take priority (not least because it will be cheaper to make), so don't be surprised if Area 51 gets shunted, dropped altogether, or goes ahead with a different title.


In development heaven or development hell?

Universal also picked up the rights to Atari's 1979 shooter last year, to a great outpouring of confusion and contempt. Though surprisingly, things sound fairly promising. Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura recently said that instead of a film about humanity fighting off an asteroid strike (as everyone expected), Asteroids would be a very loose adaptation set entirely within the asteroid field and having a Star Wars-scale mythology.

Prognosis for a happy ending?

If it's just a good epic sci-fi film with the Asteroids name tagged on, we're in. Though that'll depend on whether di Bonaventura gets the money and the talent together to make one happen.

Broken Sword

In development heaven or development hell?

An adaptation of Charles Cecil's fantastic adventure game series has been on the cards since 2007. As of 2009, Cecil is in talks with Radar Pictures (The Box, The Invention of Lying, The Chronicles of Riddick), with the plan of writing the script himself.

Prognosis for a happy ending?

The material is certainly there, and Broken Sword is one game license that wouldn't need any association with the game in order to be a box office success. The Da Vinci Code has made a splash by covered similar material far less well, but Cecil is aware of the need to acknowledge that with the Broken Sword script.


In development heaven or development hell?

It's still all go for BioShock, despite a few hiccups. Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski was set to head this one up, but has since stepped down to Producer to make way for Juan Carlo Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later). John Logan (Gladiator) is writing the script. Pre-production officially started in January 2010, but has slowed a little as of July so that budget issues can be worked out.

Prognosis for a happy ending?

If it continues to go ahead with this current line-up of talent, then actually really good. A BioShock adaptation will be either stunning or terrible. There can be no inbetween. But with Verbinski really seeming to 'get' it and proclaiming nothing less than a hard 'R' in terms of rating, so far it seems safe.


In development heaven or development hell?

Paul W.S. "How do I keep getting work?" Anderson was working on this one for a long time, but passed the directorial duties over to Silvain White (Stomp the Yard) in 2007. Later that year the writers' strike halted the production, and in May 2009 Castlevania was announced as cancelled. However, in July 2009 it turned out that Saw co-creator James Wan had signed up to write and direct a new version.

Prognosis for a happy ending?

Much better now that Wan has taken charge (don't forget that the first Saw was a really tight little horror film). In fact we'd go as far as to say we're excited. There are dirty rumours that Anderson is still circling the project though. He must not be allowed near it again. Or any other film.

Clock Tower

In development heaven or development hell?

In 2008, G4 announced that The Weinstein Company was working on an adaptation of Capcom's other survival horror series. And things seemed to move forward with a mighty aplomb. It even got some casting details (Brittany Snow) and a set of '80s-tastic posters (check out their explotariffic delights right here). Since then however, it's all gone quiet. The film still hasn't gone into full production and Snow has left the project.


Prognosis for a happy ending?

Could go either way right now. But Clock Tower is a property obscure enough to be promoted as a standalone film, so there's no pressing need  to get it out of the door immediately. If it happens though, and if the old-school brutality hinted in the posters makes it through, it could be pretty brilliant.

Dead Space

In development heaven or development hell?

A prequel movie (a full-sized live-action one this time, in contrast to the animated Dead Space: Downfall) has just been announced as of August 2010, with D.J. Caruso (Disturbia) attached to direct. There's no script yet, but as soon as EA has a writer it's happy with, it will auction off the project to Hollywood studios.

Prognosis for a happy ending?

Very high. EA takes this kind of licensing seriously these days, and Dead Space's mix of Alien, Cronenberg and Carpenter could make a killer cinematic eyeball-party. Give it a year or so, and we reckon we'll hear a lot more about this one.


In development heaven or development hell?

Paul W.S. "Oh God it's him again" Anderson picked up the rights to Driver in 2003 with the intention of putting out the film in time for the release of the Driv3r game. Several years and some bought and sold rights later, and the film is on the go at Rogue Pictures (Shaun of the Dead, Balls of Fury) with Roger Avery (Pulp Fiction, Silent Hill) set up to write and direct. Originally set to shoot in 2007, this new version of the film is currently on hold following the closure of the studio lot it was using. In 2009, a version of the script turned up online.

Prognosis for a happy ending?

It could well still happen. Things have been quiet for a little while, but the prospect of a new Driver game, Driver: San Francisco, on the way, don't be surprised if production on this one goes into very quick turnaround over the next 18 months.

Next: Gears of War to Metal Gear Solid

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000
  • Randy-Butternubbs - August 14, 2012 4:54 p.m.

    Well...why don't we just go ahead and throw in Pong as a possible option as well? dafuq is with hollywood cranking out movies based off of the, well, most baseless games, board games included? (i.e. Battleship)
  • Ganonpork - October 5, 2010 8:13 a.m.

    theres already a metal gear solid movie, wanna know what its called? MGS 4. OH SNAP!
  • brian003 - August 16, 2010 9:01 p.m.

    Joust!!??? Seriously? Well I'll take anything Uwe Bolle isn't invloved in.
  • fuzzywuzzy - August 14, 2010 9:26 a.m.

    @NotBraze Technically, a Bioshock movie doesn't necessarrily need to be centered on Jack. It could just be set in the bioshock universe, perhaps during Rapture's civil war? In my opinion, I think that it could be a pretty good movie if done right.
  • NintendoStaff - August 13, 2010 12:59 a.m.

    Metal Gear solid 4 movie would be awesome.... if it was made by Kojima productions.
  • R_U_Guys_From_British - August 12, 2010 9:28 p.m.

    I demand a Mass Effect movie.
  • MadMan - August 12, 2010 8:43 p.m.

    How about a Red Dead or GTA movie???
  • Camoxide - August 12, 2010 12:29 p.m.

    Metriod Movie?
  • philipshaw - August 12, 2010 10:59 a.m.

    Where are the Uwe Boll films? Don't tell me he has stopped making them
  • reaperman22 - August 12, 2010 5:55 a.m.

    i do hope they do make a god of war movie, it could be great if done properly, im thinking clash of the titans x saw + 1 big scary man covered in ash and a red tattoo
  • HawtKakez - August 12, 2010 3:03 a.m.

    You know, there are possibly more movies that could be added to this list. As far as I know, Silent Hill 2 is still going and I hope it turns out for the best. However, there is still one video game movie I want to see and I don't know why it hasn't picked up yet. Where is the Sam & Max movie? I mean, we've got CG animated Yogi Bear and Smurfs coming, I'm sure we can get a well dressed bipedal canine and an anthropomorphic rabbit cracking wise and taking names. Make it so number one.
  • crumbdunky - August 12, 2010 2:32 a.m.

    Tjhey will be rubbish-nearly every single last one. Gears, GOW(Kratos is NOT a cinematic hero and only gets by by being so badass to PLAY as. As a character he has pretty much nothing for an audience to relate to), Halo(books are godawful and the book is always better than the film), MGS( how? just how? Koj has done SO much diatribe already I fail to see how a film can work without feeling uber, uber lightweight and flimsy)-oh, I could go on about how TR is dead as a film franchise and because of that it's nigh on impossible for it OR Uncharted to break back into Indy territory. But I won't. Oddly enough one that isn't down is the one series i would personally want to see made film and have often considered trying to write a screenplay for((to see how it might be done by someone with talent! If I could do OK what could someone good do?)-Metroid. Samus is a blank canvas and the fact the Prime games are so isolated in feel means that a film maker could use that to great effect, imho, and with Samus being so enigmatic she's a born filmstar. Moreso than any other game character I can think of. Of those in production here the least hopeful I am(because it would be BORING and like a zillion other films before it with the Clancy name stuck on as well!)is with Splinter Cell and, maybe oddly, the most promising, and I always imagined it would make a great TV series so a film is no great stretch, is Onimusha. It's great untouched materia for a film and now the boards are clear again for it to get going I can see it being the best of a bad, overall, bunch. If any of them stands a chance it's this with a great, strong character to it's game to draw on(and not just the lead but throughout and down to the game ITSELF being individual in a tough place to BE individual all things considered), a director who's had success with what i'd thought a preetty hard game to translate to film in SH(seriouasly, the first ones worked as games but did anyone imagine those quiet, long, tense moments all strung together could ever spawn a decent film? Just the pacing would have put me off and the way he got round that and brought the game to .life on the big screen is, imo, maybe even a little bit under rated. It's no great film but it'as solid, more thoughtful than you'd think and blessed with some good performances wrung out by a director who warmed to his task really well. So, yeah, Oni has the best chance for me-Castlevania's the type of game/storyline that could also work given a decent , understanding script and cast. Otherwise, though, pants and the thought of Halo and MGS on the big screen really scares the life out of me!! Honestly, where do you go with the MGS story without making it LESS and if the "novels" are the yardstick for any subsequent Halo movie then be afraid, very afraid. If the books were all that existed there is NO CHANCE AT ALL that we'd be looking at possible films so the closer to the games the better as it's them that the project owes it's life to and NOT those sorry excuses for Sci Fi! they're about the only thing that ever got close to putting me off Halo itself! Scary thing is the one I read(stupid mates who haven't read ANY other books forcing pulp cack at me!!)was the "Fall of Reach" book which Reach is supposedly based on!! Stick too close to that tripe and all we can hope is the MP is as good as ever!! Let alone any bloody films!
  • lovinmyps3 - August 12, 2010 1:42 a.m.

    The original people working on the Halo movie were perfect. 28 Days Later was amazing, as was District 9, and Peter Jackson would basically bring an infinite budget. God damn those fucking corporations and their money!
  • greenjoker - August 12, 2010 1:38 a.m.

    i don't why you all give paul w.s. anderson such a hard time and rep...yea he has recently made some weak movies...but this guy was one of the first directors/writers to start making video games into movies....from him came mortal kombat ( the first good video game movie) and has made one of the dam best horror space movies of all time: Event Horizon!!
  • nai1210 - August 12, 2010 12:36 a.m.

    Agree with Nathan Fillion 100% he's the only actor i could see as drake,whilst playing through uncharted 2 i said to my flatmate that drake reminded me of that guy from serenity,to bad the original voice actor looks nothing like the drake character as his voice is Drake,which makes it hard for me to play other games where he has done voice work on,couldn't play the "pretty damn crap for a Capcom game" Dark Void cause the characters voice just made me want to play uncharted 2 again.
  • c1nd3rcell - August 12, 2010 12:05 a.m.

    There is some talk of an Assassin's Creed movie coming out.
  • Jacko415 - August 11, 2010 11:51 p.m.

    A. Dead Space movie would be epic B. What about Mass Effect? C. There was nothing wrong with the Tomb Raider movies D. Lynch is white...
  • spartans591 - August 11, 2010 10:47 p.m.

    halo movie would be epic, hope it gets done eventually
  • Dredgon - August 11, 2010 10:45 p.m.

    Matthew Fox as Commander Shepard in Mass Effect!!!!!
  • mahabat - August 11, 2010 10:41 p.m.

    yeah so legendary pictures has the rights to mass effect apparently, It definitely shouldn't take place during the games or be based off of them, i do like the idea of the first contact war a lot. unfortunately i don't think a Garrus origin story would work out in the end juicenpancakes, but another problem is where to go if by some miracle the movie works out in the end,i think it would be smart to wait until the third game comes out and has a real ending because then anything could theoretically happen afterward.