The list of upcoming video game movies shows that adaptations are big business in 2021, and we've come a long way from cheap and cheerful spin-offs. Game studios like Ubisoft now have their own movie departments, and directors with a passion for gaming want to make sure the stories they love are told right.
There are lots of upcoming video game movies to be excited by, even if the pandemic has meant movie release dates are uncertain things these days. But don't worry, we're keeping an eye on all the dates, casting news, and rumors to keep you as well informed as a studio executive.
So check out the list below to see how everything from the (probably cursed) Uncharted movie to Metal Gear Solid is going, and then check out our list of the best video game movies that you can watch right now.
Tomb Raider 2
Release date: March 19, 2021
Warner Bros confirmed a release date of March 19, 2021 for a sequel to 2018's Tomb Raider movie. A delay is always on the table, but for now that release date is still the official word.
Excitingly, the writer hired for the project is Amy Jump, a longtime Ben Wheatley collaborator who has worked on cult films like the excellent Kill List, A Field In England, Free Fire, and High-Rise. All are dark and sinister, and hint at an exciting future for Lara Croft. According to Deadline, star Alicia Vikander was a fan of Jump's work on the script.
The movie was revealed just last September, which feels like three decades ago but was actually less than a year from now. That timeline suggests it's still in production, so we'll be keeping an eye out for a possible delay. Though, here's hoping the March 2021 release date stays put.
Sonic the Hedgehog Sequel
Release date: April 8, 2022
You read right: 2020's live-action film adaptation of Sonic the Hedgehog is getting a sequel. Not much is known about it yet, but it's said that director Jeff Fowler and screenwriters Pat Casey and Josh Miller are coming back for the sequel. Recently Paramount officially confirmed the release date, and Ben Schwartz also tweeted about the news, so it's probably safe to assume he will be reprising the role as the voice of Sonic. As it was announced in the midst of the pandemic, it's unclear when production will actually begin, but Sonic fans will rejoice to know the famously zippy hedgehog is on his way back to the big screen.
Call of Duty
Release date: Delayed indefinitely
Things aren't looking as bright for the Call of Duty movie. Back in February, the movie's director announced that it would be delayed indefinitely. It pains me to remind you that mid-February was just before everyone started delaying productions, so it's almost a certainty that nothing's changed since then.
Before things took a sharp downturn, things were looking good for the Call of Duty movie. Stefano Sollima was signed on as director, and if that name is familiar its because he's just finished Sicario: Day of the Soldado. Kieran Fitzgerald was on board as the writer - he's also currently at work on Sherlock Holmes 3 - and in the past has penned Oliver Stone's Snowden and a few episodes of gripping Netflix documentary series Wormwood.
"Not a war movie, but a soldier movie," Solima said of the project in an interview with Polygon. "I think that this is what I will do. I think it’s a missing part. [There have recently been] some movies [about] soldiers, but only some of them are masterpieces. I think I miss modern [soldier movies]. As an audience.”
Minecraft: The Movie
Release date: March 4, 2022
The Minecraft movie saw some big changes this year, including a total overhaul of the plot and a release date announcement. The original official synopsis was "Steve is the only person in the village that doesn't fit in, but one day while mining for stone he meets Klunk, the iron golem and together they have wacky adventures," and The Office's Steve Carrel is rumored to be on the books to play Steve.
Now the movie will tell the story of "a teenage girl and her unlikely group of adventurers. After the malevolent Ender Dragon sets out on a path of destruction, they must save their beautiful, blocky Overworld." Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist director Peter Sollett is now leading the project, and Hidden Figures writer Allison Schroeder is on screenplay duties.
Release date: July 16, 2021
Rumors and drama have surrounded the Uncharted movie since around 2010, when Mark Wahlberg confirmed he was playing Nathan Drake and that Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci would be his co-stars. Directed by American Hustle's David O Russell, fans we're confused about the rumored plot lines, and things soon fell quiet. Fans hope's soared when Dan Trachtenberg was announced as the new director, but he left a few months later.
Bumblebee director Travis Knight took his place, but only for a couple of months, leaving the director's chair empty for now. Perhaps because of this, Sony Pictures has confirmed it's once again delaying the release of the live-action Uncharted film. This time the release has slipped to March 5, 2021, a further three-month delay for a movie that's been in development, off and on, since 2008. Naturally, the coronavirus pandemic would eventually impose its effects on the Uncharted movie and delay its release to July 16, 2021.
Tom Holland will play a young Drake, and the latest candidate for the cursed director's chair is Venom and Zombieland director, Ruben Fleischer. According to Holland, Wahlberg is back in the cast, but as Sully instead of Nate Drake as he was previously cast. The word before the pandemic was that filming was set to begin shortly, but production was put on hold in March. Since then we've had the first picture of Holland as a young Drake, and Wahlberg with an impressive mustache.
The Uncharted movie is now set to be the first cinematic feature headed up by PlayStation Productions, Sony's home-grown take on the Marvel Studios formula. We'll keep you updated the minute we learn more.
The Last of Us
Release date: TBA
Brace yourselves, because the most recent news on a The Last of Us adaptation isn't good. The game's writer, Neil Druckmann, worked on the script for the movie version a couple of years ago, but recently said on stage the DICE Summit 2018 that "having some separation from it, I look back and I'm like, 'I don't want that movie to be made."
Lucky for him, the project seems to have run out of gas. It was announced in 2014, with Spider-Man and Evil Dead veteran Sam Raimi producing and Resident Evil studio Screen Gems on board. By 2016 Raimi revealed in an interview that things had stalled because Druckmann and Sony couldn't agree on a direction for the movie. " I'm attached to it. I'm not too sure what that means," he told IGN. "Right now it's just sitting there. They don't want to move forward, and it's not my place to say why, and Neil, I think, is in a slight disagreement with them about how things should go so there's a standstill. And I don't have the power to move it."
At least there's The Last of Us 2 to play instead.
Release date: TBA
Announced in 2013, the last we heard about the hacker movie adaptation was in 2016, when Ubisoft said it was working with Sony to make it happen. Since then, Watch Dogs 2 has been released to a solid critical reception but soft launch sales, the Assassin's Creed movie failed to slay its intended audience, and all has gone quiet.
Excitingly, or not, on IMDb it's also listed as the "Untitled Mark Wahlberg/Hacker Project" so let your mind run wild with that for a while.