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15 Movie Directors Who Should Make Games

Unlike Quentin Tarantino, who infamously said “If I wanted all that computer game bullshit, I'd have stuck my dick in a Nintendo.”, not all directors have such a distain for all things pixels and polygons.

Hell, some of Hollywood’s finest filmmakers have even started embracing games, with Spielberg heavily involved on EA’s Boom Blox back in 2008.

So put the DualShock down while we cover the movie makers we’d love to see get involved with gaming.

Martin Scorsese

The Game He Could Have Made:
Grand Theft Auto III

The glamorous way the series paints the life of a crook would have fit Scorsese like a pair of lead shoes.

Though the series has been shaped by crime flicks in the past, most notably Scarface in Vice City, it was Scorsese’s work in mafia masterpiece Goodfellas that set the tonal template in GTA III.

Depicting a world of wise guys and snappy dialogue, Marty would have had no problem shaping the bleak Liberty City, which is damn similar to Henry Hill’s seductive, if really stabby world.

Games He Should Make: Adult action titles. Basically, anything involving crime, swears and semi automatic weaponry.

Scorsese’s peerless ability to make criminal worlds appear both alluring and sympathetic would be ideal for providing Rockstar’s amoral GTA series with more depth and soul.

His incredible eye for detail would also be a great quality for making a compelling period project.

We think a Scorsese/Rockstar pairing on a title that puts players in control of an immigrant in a 19th century Big Apple (ala Gangs of New York) would be awesome.

Next: David Fincher [page-break]

David Fincher

The Game He Could Have Made: Condemned: Criminal Origins

Sega’s shooter is a deeply unsettling, jarring thriller that’s influenced equally by Fight Club’s mega bloody fisticuffs and Se7en’s bleak cinematography.

With its brutal array of serial killings, each perpetrated by a bloke in an orange jumpsuit, the first Condemned’s plot is massively indebted to Fincher’s breakthrough 1995 crime film.

Condemned also has violent first-person fighting, which take place in houses so dank and miserable, you’d have Tyler Durden setting up as a squatter within minutes of landing your first punch.

Games He Should Make: Psychological horror games, like a new Silent Hill or Condemned title.

Fincher’s ability to create morally murky worlds that feel dirty, lived-in and disturbing, means he’d be well placed to make a horror title.

He could even handle chucking things at you that go bump in the night, after his work on Alien³. Awww c’mon, it wasn’t that bad.

Next: Neil Blomkamp [page-break]

Neil Blomkamp

The Game He Could Have Made: Halo ODST

He’s already shown an interest in the medium and ODST would provide him with a familiar setting, as just like District 9, the shooter also takes place in Africa.

Blomkamp’s directorial debut showed the man’s adept at directing big-ass explosions and giving the audience alien weapons that can barbecue your spleen in thirty seconds.

If he can handle that, we’re sure he could have come up with more memorable set-pieces and action than the downbeat, dreary latest entry in the Halo series.

Games He Should Make: First person shooters. Preferably ones where aliens and humans shoot up each others colons with high tech weaponry

Blomkamp’s ace District 9 was originally set to be a Peter Jackson-produced Halo film, meaning he’s the only man in Hollywood qualified to work on a new Master Chief game.

His distinct handheld style would also give any shooter he worked on a hugely authentic first-person perspective.

Well, as authentic as you can get for a film that would essentially be about a guy in a helmet pumping glorified alien Ewoks full of magic pink needles.

Next: Christopher Nolan [page-break]

Christopher Nolan

The Game He Could Have Made: Heavy Rain

An ambitious thriller with a complex, left field narrative, the really miserable and really French adventure has a lot in common with Nolan’s Memento.

The masterful movie man would have had few problems weaving the multiple, intersecting story strands together. And he would have easily identified with the game’s stark, clean cinematography.

Granted, he’d have probably left out Heavy Rain’s stupidly awkward sex scene, which is the worst this side of Joe Pesci’s and Sharon Stone’s grindathon in Casino.

Games He Should Make: Interactive thrillers . Trendy new genres aside, Nolan would be ideal for a Heavy Rain or Alan Wake sequel.

If anyone could turn a game into a searing, intelligent ride that delivers as much pause for thought as joy for bloodthirsty thumbs, our money’s on Nolan.

The above titles both try to tell twisting narratives in unconventional style, with mixed results. Get Nolan involved and he’d mould the awful dialogue and ponderous pacing into a lean, pulsating interactive thriller.

Nolan is also a master at delivering intelligent twists that you rarely see coming. Again, both Wake and Heavy Rain tried this, but you could see both on the horizon several country miles off.

Next: George A. Romero [page-break]

George A. Romero

The Game He Could Have Made: Dead Rising

Bloody, tongue-in-cheek, with a wry, daft sense of humour, Capcom's zombie-fest is already the perfect companion to his Dead series. It simply couldn’t be anymore up Romero’s decomposing alley.

Let’s be honest, there’s no way a game where you’ve got to survive in a confined space against a mall full of zombies wouldn’t have benefited from his input.

Games He Should Make: Probably something to do with shooting undead folk in their rotting faces. We hear something called Resident Evil made it popular.

As the Grandfather of the Zombie, George would be perfectly placed to work with virtual shuffling hordes of the living challenged. Left 4 Dead, Resi and Dead Rising would all be rife for a Romero collaboration.

He’s also open-minded to working in video games. And he even lent his name to 2003 zombie shooter City of the Dead, which was canned before it saw release.

Next: John Woo [page-break]

John Woo

The Game He Could Have Made: Devil May Cry 4

All about diving across tables and sliding down banisters while pumping baddies full of hot lead justice, DMC is a kindred spirit to Woo’s Hard Boiled.

Achingly stylish with enough twin pistols and kung-fu kicks to keep Woo happy, the series’ visual style would only have been further enhanced by the Hong Kong director.

Games He Should Make: Action/platformers. We think all the gravity-defying ass kickery in Bayonetta or the Devil May series would be Woo’s wet dream.

The director with the semi crippling addiction to slow-mo has already worked in games. Namely 2007’s Stranglehold, which contained a virtual Chow Yun-Fat.

Woo’s bombastic, frenetic style would provide the intensity needed for today’s high octane action titles. And we can’t think of anyone who’d direct a more stylish cut-scene.

Next: TimBurton [page-break]

Tim Burton

The Game He Could Have Made: Psychonauts

Visionary game developer Tim Schafer’s mad platformer, which sees you infiltrate circus performers' dreams, is part Inception, part Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

The game’s slightly demented visual style owes much to Burton’s work. And we’re pretty sure Johnny Depp’s BFF couldn’t have resisted something that lets you destroy a city with a giant lungfish.

We’re also certain Burton would have made Psychonauts’ utterly bizarre, but ultimately well-intentioned bunch of weirdoes even more oddly endearing.

Games He Should Make: Adventure games, where the key is revelling in exploring your environment… rather than blowing the shit out of everything in it.

Because Johnny Halo is only interested in eviscerating ET’s mates, it’s difficult to get left field projects made. Burton’s big name clout would help with this no end.

The colourful, imaginative worlds he regularly crafts in his films would also look glorious if ever translated onto your PS3 or 360.

Aside from making our eyes gush with audio visual geekery, Burton would also undoubtedly come up a helluva lot more subversive ideas than Generic Space Marine Shooter X ever manages.

Next: Steven Spielberg [page-break]

Steven Spielberg

The Game He Could Have Made: The Last Guardian

Admittedly, it’s not out yet. But from all we’ve seen, the adventure about a boy and his monster is basically E.T. Just replace the little cross-dressing intergalactic traveller with a sodding big cat/dog/eagle… eh, thing.

Spielberg is one of the few filmmakers we can think of who’d be able to instil a game with the gentle, ethereal spirit The Last Guardian will no doubt have.

Oh, and he’s also dang good at making stuff where folk get eaten by big bloody monsters.

Games He Could Make: Story-driven adventures. Especially ones with a soulful, sentimental quality (similar to Ico and Shadow of the Colossus).

In an age of 42 inch teles and blistering 1080p clarity, gamers demand spectacle. And last we checked, the Greatest Director of all Time TM was fairly decent at delivering it.

Spielberg would also understand the importance of delivering an honest, heartfelt narrative, which the medium needs if it’s ever going to be taken more seriously.

Next: Guillermo del Toro [page-break]

Guillermo del Toro

The Game He Could Have Made: Batman: Arkham Asylum

After his genre defining work rebooting the Bat, you’d think Nolan would be the obvious choice here. But for us, Arkham is too overtly comic bookey for his tastes.

We think del Toro’s work on Hellboy means he’d have been more suitable for an over-the-top game delving into the heart of Gotham’s gothic nuthouse.

The inventiveness shown in the various creature designs in Pan’s Labyrinth also makes us believe he’d have filled the asylum with loads of hellacious beasties for players to scrap with.

Games He Should Make: Anything in the superhero genre. Just as long as they weren’t the kind shoved out the door in a couple of weeks to coincide with a film’s release.

The husky director is no stranger to games, after he wrote the script for 2008’s Hellboy: The Science of Evil. Admittedly, it’s shit, but points for effort.

With most titles starring spandex-clad crime fighters crapped out in short development cycles to coincide with summer blockbusters, we’re confident del Toro would bring a level of craft and care rarely seen in the genre.

Next: Peter Jackson [page-break]

Peter Jackson

The Game He Could Have Made: Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Oblivion is pretty much Lord of the Rings. OK, so you’d have to replace Ian McKellen with an especially miserable-sounding Patrick Stewart. But the subject matter’s dead on.

Pity the whole thing’s so bloody po-faced. Jackson would have ensured the title had been injected with a bit more Merry and Pippin-style impish laughs.

Considering he’d already spent five years making a grand fantasy trilogy, we’d doubt he’d have been put off by 200+ hours of virtual elves saying ‘whence’.

Games He Should Make: RPGs. The Kiwi movie maker would be well suited to taking on the kind that last 60+ hours (see Bethesda’s Fallout 3).

Role playing games are usually some of the most ambitious undertakings in the medium. After his lengthy work on LOTR and Kong, it’s clear he’s got the commitment required to take on a project that could take years to finish.

He also loves to embrace undertakings that rely on sweeping scale and cutting edge tech, another two qualities that would hold him in good stead in the games world.

Next: Michael Mann [page-break]

Michael Mann

The Game He Could Have Made: Kane & Lynch

Io loves Michael Mann. Like love him so much the meticulous director should take out a restraining order.

Focusing on an unhinged cop and a psychopath, it had a nightclub level ripped straight from Mann’s Collateral and a bank robbery inspired by epic bromance Heat.

Couple that with the Kane & Lynch’s love for sleek designer suits and automatic weapons and its clear Mann would have been in his element. He’d have just made it more cerebral and y’know, not rubbish.

Games He Should Make: Action titles with a focus on crime. Developer Io’s Hitman and Kane and Lynch games would be perfect fodder.

Mann has the kind of obsessive eye for tiny details that would ensure anything he worked on was nothing short of technically perfect.

He’d probably take all the sun-deprived developers out on shooting ranges for hours at a time, too. So you could be sure the guns in a Mann game would rock hard.

As our perforated eardrums will attest (thank you very much, Heat’s shootout) Mann knows how to craft incredible sensory experiences. Any title from the Chicago-born director would look both beautiful and no doubt deafen us in the process.

Next: Zack Snyder [page-break]

Zack Snyder

The Games He Could Have Made: Killer7

Capcom’s batshit mad, grizzly shooter is one of the most inventive and visually striking games ever. Snyder’s history of ultra violent, stylised action films would have served him well on Killer7.

Let’s face it, 300’s green screen fest is pretty much a video game already. We doubt working on a title about killing demons with burly assassins would have been that much of a leap.

Games He Could Make: We’re either thinking heavily stylised shooters in the mould of a XIII or artistically striking action titles, like No More Heroes.

He’s a comic book geek who loves cutting edge technology. Putting him and pixels together seems like a pretty snug fit to us.

Snyder also loves a bit of claret and, as unaccustomed as modern games are to violence, we’re sure they could adapt.

He’d also be a graphics whore’s dream. After all, if there’s one thing Snyder knows how to do, it’s beam purdy pictures onto our telly boxes.

Next: Sam Raimi [page-break]

Sam Raimi

The Game He Could Have Made: Splatterhouse

It not quite out yet, but we reckon Raimi would have been ideal for this remake of the late 80s survival horror.

The 2010 version of Splatterhouse may well become the most unpleasant horrors titles ever put to disc. And you just know Raimi would have made it bloodier than an all-you-can-eat black pudding buffet.

We’re also certain he would have instructed the developers to stick in enough tongue-in-cheek laughs to pull you through all the relentless demon debowlings.

Games He Could Make: Survival horror; the gorier the better, please. We’re thinking a sequel to the ridiculously nasty Dead Space.

We ain’t talking Spider-Man Raimi, here. Rather the gorehound responsible for the Evil Dead series and Drag Me to Hell.

The likes of Mortal Kombat have made a 20 year-spanning series out of shamelessly selling gore. And we’re pretty sure Raimi is qualified enough in this area.
Ultimately he likes blood, superheroes and making men hack up the undead. He’d have developers worshipping at his designer shoes.

Next: James Cameron [page-break]

James Cameron

The Game He Could Have Made: Killzone 2

Guerrilla Games has already openly admitted that Cameron ‘helped shaped Killzone 3’. They’re probably referring to Avatar pioneering 3D bandwagon, which Killzone is just about to jump on.

It’s clear, though, that Cameron’s work on Terminator has influenced the look of the futuristic FPS franchise.

Both focus on oppressive visions of tomorrow where humanity has been crushed by an evil, relentless opponent. Unlike Guerrilla, though, Cameron would have given us more story than an opening Brian Cox monologue.

Games He Should Make: Sci-fi shooters. Just no more blue folk, alright Jim?

Cameron’s movies have always been at the forefront of new technology and we’re positive he’d take that same appetite for developing shiny toys into games development.

He’s also a perfectionist that would not only make a technically peerless title; he’d also make one with a narrative core that would be hard to match.

The self-proclaimed King of the World is also something on an old hand at creating and redefining iconic sci-fi universes. And we’d love to see him have a crack at a FPS set in the future.

Next: Paul WS Anderson [page-break]

Paul WS Anderson

The Game He Could Have Made: Aliens vs. Predator

It’s already terrible, so we’re sure Paul’s many fine directorial qualities like… eh, enthusiasm? Yeah, we’ve got nothing. Seriously, Paul: you’re a good sport.

Games He Could Make: Anything with zombies or aliens. Ideally rubbish ones that go straight into bargain bins.

He already makes a living turning games into shitty movies. He might as well just cut out the middle man and start making shitty games.