Movie directors who seriously should be making games

For better or worse, games and films are converging more all the time, and the biggest outcome of the media cross-over so far is the number of movie directors setting up game projects. Peter Jackson, Steven Spielberg and Zach Snyder have all either dabbled or are about to, and we can't see the trend ending any time soon.

We're not thoroughly convinced though. How differently would any of these projects really have turned out without the big name on the box? And did any of them really feel like the work of their filmic overseer? Now, we're fully aware that film and game production are two very different disciplines, but we think that cinematic talent can certainly be utilised better than it has been so far. So here's our list of directors we really want making games, and what we want to see from them. Only two rules; our choices can't have done games before, and we're not going to discuss licensing their existing movies.

Tim Burton
(Batman, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow, The Nightmare Before Christmas)

Old Timbo had to be on this list, didn't he? One of the most visually distinct movie directors of his generation, his style has been aped by pretty much every medium going since he hit the big time, but now we think we're due for something directly from the man himself.

Burton's wintry Gothic visuals and theme of the outsider protagonist fighting grotesque 'normality' would work well in pretty much any genre, though given his propensity for atmosphere and introspection, they might be wasted on an all-out action game. A twisted, character-driven adventure in the vein of Psychonauts would be a beautiful prospect, as in fact would a Burton-directed point-and-click.

His expressionist worlds of alienation and outlandish but sympathetic characters would be a natural fit, and if he could be persuaded to hand-draw the art work in his trademark "Oyster Boy" style, then all the better. Though by Burton's own admission, he's crap with plots, so it might be better just to let him come up wth the story and have someone else work on the script under his supervision.

Guillermo Del Toro
(Cronos, Blade II, Hellboy, The Devil's Backbone, Pan's Labyrinth)

Guillermo Del Toro can do anything he wants in videogames as far as we're concerned, just as long as he does it. And as long as he makes it more tangible than some vague 'overseeing' duties on a crap Hellboy game, naturally. There might have been an explosive disturbance in the fanboy force when his mate Peter Jackson became linked with Halo, but an original Del Toro project has much more potential, we reckon.

From his feature debut with Cronos right through to Blade 2, Hellboy and Pan's Labyrinth, Del Toro has always packed his films full of two major ingredients: intelligent, emotional character drama and bloody brilliant monsters. We need both of those in videogames, and the prospect of having them intertwined to a Del Toro standard almost has us weeping with pre-emptive joy.

Hayao Miyazaki
(Princess Mononoke, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, My Neighbour Totoro, Spirited Away)

They call Miyazaki the Japanese Disney, but in truth he's much better than that. Very few directors in animation can match his visual flair or ability to infuse depth and pathos into even the most seemingly standard fairytale set-ups. His work can genuinely be enjoyed on an adult level, to the degree that there's not even any need to have a kid around to justify what you're watching.

With HD cel shading looking utterly gorgeous in these days of Eternal Sonata and Tales of Vesperia, now is the time for a Miyazaki RPG. His themes of environmentalism, hatred of war and strong female characterisation would fit into the genre with ease, but his refusal to compartmentalise his characters into simple good and evil would make for one hell of a layered, thought-provoking game. And needless to say, it would look stunning.

David Cronenberg
(Rabid, Shivers, Scanners, The Fly, EXistenZ, A History of Violence)

As one of the founding fathers of body horror in the '80s, David Cronenberg has gooed up the screen with some of the filthiest, most unnerving creatures, deformations and gore in cinema history. He's also a very intelligent guy with a great grasp of human psychology; as displayed by his later, calmer films such as A History of Violence. As such, he's utterly perfect for survival horror.

All of those malshapen mockeries of the human form in Dead Space? Pure Cronenberg. But there's nothing quite like the genuine article, so we want him taking full creative control of his own horror game. We want a Cronenberg scenario, Cronenberg production design and, crucially, a Cronenberg script. The ideas and psychology of his horror are always as affecting as the amazing gore; usually moreso, and his studies of subjective perceptions of reality are a brilliant starting point for a fourth wall-messing videogame. If treated with enough respect by a publisher, his game could be the new Silent Hill 2.


  • PortalFTW - April 19, 2011 1:49 a.m.

    What no George A Remero. Well it is kind of justified as his movies are more about story than killing zombies, but come on
  • Sizzler - October 17, 2008 3:37 a.m.

    @Dmc: Oh yeah. "The Happening: The Game" is just what we need :P
  • Dmc 138 - October 17, 2008 2:44 a.m.

    m night shyamalan
  • NelosAngelos - October 16, 2008 2:14 a.m.

    Yes...give me a Del Toro game now dammit!!!
  • Samael - October 16, 2008 1:30 a.m.

    Ugh! Who do I want to make a game more? Del Toro or Cronenberg? .......Gah! I can't decide! And not to say that it wouldn't be awesome, but if Takashi Miike made a game it would probably get a freakin rating above AO, if it was even allowed to be released at all.
  • lava_lamp - October 16, 2008 12:51 a.m.

    @Jimmyjammy "don't you think the Joker laughs at you" I Am The Walrus -The Beatles
  • LionheartAce - October 16, 2008 12:06 a.m.

    Wait, Miyazaki is involved with Level 5 now so it's closer than you'd think! I hope he directs a PS3 game.
  • averagejoe - October 15, 2008 1:38 p.m.

    Haahaha! Oh, man, I'd play the Adventures of Ronnie Cordova in a heartbeat! After Doug Jones appeared in Episode 4, you could get Guillermo in there too, maybe? :)
  • Nobody - October 19, 2008 8:42 p.m.

    Why am I the first to mention Quentin Tarantino?
  • Gamechief - October 19, 2008 3:43 a.m.

    Boy, watching the movie Crank just gave me a great idea for a GTA 4 machinima
  • Tochy - October 19, 2008 2:51 a.m.

  • Reaverx - October 18, 2008 2:52 a.m.

    Shaolin Soccer is a great movie; everyone should see it. I think I made a user just to say that haha.
  • zeden - October 16, 2008 7:31 p.m.

    I can see Takashi Miikes game now... Visitor Q: The Game Playing as deadbeat reporter and equally bad father of a broken family you must undergo a series of tasks to bring back the unity and family values you so crave. With the help of the rock weilding Visitor you set off to save the day! Sleep with your incestuous prostitute daughter! Dont blow your load too quickly! Watch as your son beats your heroin addicted wife! Make sure you get those all important shots of him hitting her with bamboo rods! Kill a fellow reporter, then sleep with her corpse! Try not to get stuck! lol
  • CandiedJester - October 16, 2008 3:22 a.m.

    Ooo a Del toro game would be boss.
  • lava_lamp - October 16, 2008 12:50 a.m.

    Guillermo Del Toro is one of my favorite directors, he would make an amazing game
  • GamesRadarJoeMcNeilly - October 15, 2008 11:29 p.m.

    Darren Aronofsky would make a dope video game designer. Also, David Lynch.
  • Johnny6Gun - October 15, 2008 9:56 p.m.

    A Sockbaby vidja game? Yes. YES. OH GOD YES.
  • skyguy343 - October 15, 2008 8:04 p.m.

    everyone just acts like that comment never happen...
  • odders - October 15, 2008 5:27 p.m.

    James Cameron should direct the film of Metal Gear Solid. He's the only director that could do it justice
  • Jimmyjammy - October 15, 2008 2:27 p.m.


Showing 1-20 of 25 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000