32 Video Game Movies In Development
Some are due out relatively soon, while others are stuck in development hell. Here are 32 video game movies in development...
**Originally published 8-12-13. Updated 6-20-14 with the latest information**
Out of the hundreds of thousands of films in the world currently in development, a large number of them serve as adaptations for (mostly) successful video games and video game franchises. Some have been seen on our screens before either via a previous adaptation or television series, while some are just getting their first shot on the big screen.
Whichever category they fall into, they still have to navigate their way through the difficult world of filmmaking with many of them inevitably forever damned to development hell. The following are just a few of these adaptations hoping to someday become a success.
Agent 47 (Hitman) - Spring 2015
The Fast And The Furious’ Paul Walker was set to take to the screen as Agent 47, taking over where Timothy Olyphant left off after the 2007 Hitman film quietly and unsuccessfully graced our screens. Now, Homeland's Rupert Friend has taken the role, and Zachary Quinto (remember Heroes?) has also joined up. The new film intends to serve as a reboot of the previous one, telling the origin story of the red tie, black suited protagonist. Filming began this spring when principal photography opened in Germany. The film is expected to release sometime in the spring of 2015.
Angry Birds - 2016
The Angry Birds franchise currently stands as the largest mobile app success in the world, so a film appears to be the next step of progression for this massive money-making vehicle. A 3D CG animated feature, Angry Birds will be produced by former Marvel Studios CEO and current Rovio Senior Advisor, David Maisel, and is set for release in 2016. It is to be directed by Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly, the former of whom worked as an animatior on Frozen and Tangled. The script is being written by Alvin and the Chipmunks scribe Jon Vitti.
Assassin’s Creed - 2015? (TBA)
A film adaptation for the Assassin's Creed franchise has been on the cards for several years now, with Michael Fassbender both co-producing and starring in this supposedly slated 2015 release (it will not make that date). Intended to be made in 3D, it's unknown which character Fassbender will be playing, whether old favourites like Altair ibn-La’Ahad and Ezio Auditore de Firenze or newcomers like Ratonhnhaké:ton or Edward Kenway. By the looks of it this film may actually happen with Ubisoft partnering with 20th Century Fox to make it so. The Wolverine and Minority Report scripter Scott Frank has mentioned he's worked on the screenplay, and Ubisoft officially brought Adam Cooper and Bill Collage, who wrote Ridley Scott's Exodus movie for this December, onboard to rewrite it. Fassbender is also purportedly courting his Macbeth director, Justin Kurzel, to helm the project.
Asteroids - TBA
In 2009, Universal acquired the rights to vintage blaster Asteroids. Very little has been released about this title other than Lorenzo di Bonaventura, the producer of Transformers and the GI Joe series, being involved. What story would this film have? Two years ago we had no idea, and today is the just the same. It looks to us that this one may be stuck in development hell. Bonaventura most recently told IGN in 2009 that it is a movie about two brothers who go through a "seminal experience" while in space with a "big backdrop."
Bioshock - TBA
Now an even bigger franchise since the release of Bioshock Infinite, Bioshock seems an interesting yet natural progression for this award-winning collection of stunning games. Pirates Of The Caribbean’s Gore Verbinski was set to direct before he dropped out, and in February 2011, it was cancelled completely after the box office failure of the R-rated Watchmen.
Universal were wary of spending too much on an adult-themed movie, and suggested a less expensive, $80 million version of Bioshock instead. Verbinski refused to accept a lower budget, so a new director was brought in and swiftly carted back out again. Verbinski went on to have his carte blanche film in 2013's The Lone Ranger. As of today the project has, disappointingly, been canned - by none other than Bioshock's creator, Ken Levine.
"It may happen one day, who knows," Levine said of the stalled project, "but it'd have to be the right combination of people."
In April 2014, though, Sony registered some BioShock movie web domains, so it looks to be back in development, although we don't have an official greenlight.
Deus Ex - TBA
Deux Ex is the perfect example of a video game movie adaptation that looks set to not actually happen. Originally announced in 2002, it was scheduled for release in 2006, only to be completely cancelled two years before. Nothing has been heard since, except that it is going through rewrites and it is still alive.
Devil May Cry - TBA
In 2011, the company that gained great success with the Resident Evil franchise, Screen Gems, announced the plans for a Devil May Cry movie. Little has been revealed about this plan other than it will be an origin story with the original character style. It still has no known writers or director, and we're well a year after its original announcement. Bummer.
Far Cry - TBA
Uwe Boll may have done his very damnedest to break any chance of a compelling Far Cry movie being made with his own unique take on the material, but Ubisoft is coming back around for another go. This time, it's looking to invest more heavily and retain a greater degree of creative control over the film. It would be no understatement--as much as Mr Boll brings a smile to our face--to suggest that's a good idea. You may be saying to yourself, "but wasn't there already a Far Cry movie in 2008?" Not in our minds--it was absolutely dreadful, so we won't count it. Especially with the new announcement of Far Cry 4 coming last week, we want this movie now more than ever.
Gears Of War - TBA
Gears Of War is the perfect example of a film adaptation stuck in development hell. New directors have been constantly reappointed and the $100 million budget reduced. It has been over a year since we last heard any update on the Gears of War movie, and the last update we received came via Variety which was about Scott Stuber being added to produce. It doesn’t look promising.
Previously, Stuart Beattie (who created Jack Sparrow and went on to write 30 Days of Night, GI Joe: Rise of Cobra, and I, Frankenstein) was drafting a script as late as 2007 with Len Wiseman, fresh off the first two Underworld films and Live Free or Die Hard, attached to direct. And while the quality of that movie would have been highly suspect, the thought of Kate Beckinsale (Wiseman's wife and muse) crashing the franchise's boy's club mentality is quite amusing.
Ghost Recon - TBA
On the Tom Clancy and Ubisoft side of things, there is the movement at Warner Bros. with the parterning of Michael Bay, director of Transformers and producer on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, to produce a Ghost Recon movie. The story of a fictional U.S. Special Forces division that operate as the U.S. president's personal army and assassination squad, the picture will mark Bay's first collaboration with WB.
WB and Bay have since tapped Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia to pen the screenplay. Federman and Scaia are still primarily TV writers who have worked on Jericho, Human Target, and Warehouse 13. However, they have also been hired by Sony Pictures to write the screenplay for the new Zorro reboot.
God Of War - TBA
God Of War was originally announced in 2005 after the game's release, but was dropped four years later by X-Men: The Last Stand director Brett Ratner (who has since made his swords and sandal epic with Dwayne Johnson in this summer's Hercules). Daniel Craig turned down the lead role and that seemed to be the end of it. However, last year Piranha 3DD and Saw IV writers Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton were hired to rewrite a draft by The Wolfman screenwriter David Self. They have since said in February 2014 that the film will hopefully strive to humanise the character of Kratos and focus on his backstory, making comparisons to Christopher Nolan and Batman, as they head in a ‘bolder’ direction than that of the games. But the film has moved no further than this, and there's still with no director even though a $150 million budget has been earmarked. Can it be done?
Gran Turismo - TBA
Further down this list, we're going to be mentioning the Need For Speed movie. Sony, not wanting to be outdone, has decided to bring its own fast cars game to the big screen as well. As such, a film based around Gran Turismo is in the very early stages of development, guided by producers Dana Brunetti and Mike De Luca. The pair are also working on bringing Fifty Shades Of Grey to the screen, so it might be best if they work on different projects on different days. Just a suggestion...
Halo – TBA
It was announced in 2005 that Peter Jackson was set to produce a Halo film adaptation, helmed by director Neill Blomkamp. After numerous script rewrites and the stopping and starting of preproduction, the project was declared dead two years later. The two directors later collaborated on District 9, and in spite of occasional discussions and rumours that spring up, the Halo movie seems stuck in development, where it's likely to remain for some time to come. Halo will arrive on TV screens when Ridley Scott's digital feature premieres later in 2014 and the Steven Spielberg-produced series drops in 2015. Plus, there's a new installment in the video game series coming, so there won't be any shortage of Halo. Do we really need the movie at all?
Heavy Rain - TBA
Noir masterpiece Heavy Rain seems naturally cinematic on its own, but a film adaptation is in fact in the works. The rights were acquired by New Line days after the game’s demo at 2006’s E3 and sold at auction to production company Unique Features. The film was soon after fast tracked by WB, and NYPD Blue and Deadwood writer David Milch was hired to write the script in 2013. Little else has been released about the film since then.
Heavenly Sword - TBA
A CG animated film version of Ninja Theory’s Heavenly Sword is currently in post-production and is said to soon be released. Scripted by the writer of Drive Angry, the film will star the voice talents of Fringe’s Anna Torv, Spider-Man 2’s Alfred Molina, and The Punisher himself, Thomas Jane. We recently received a trailer for the Heavenly Sword movie, which you can check out here.
Kane & Lynch - TBA
It was initially planned for an adaptation of the Kane & Lynch series to burst onto our screens this year, originally set to star Bruce Willis and Jamie Foxx respectively, but this doesn't appear to be the case since we received an update in November which suggested Gerard Butler and Vin Diesel were up for the parts. Saturday Night Live’s Jon Lovitz was rumoured to star in a mystery role, but as of this year the release date has been set to ‘unknown’, and the two lead roles are still unconfirmed. A release this year is more than unlikely.
Mortal Kombat - 2014
In 1995, we saw a Mortal Kombat adaptation and in 1997 a sequel. By the looks of it, we’re in with the treat of another, directed by Kevin Tancharoen. Tancharoen previously released a short film in 2010 titled Mortal Kombat: Rebirth as a concept for a franchise reboot, which was later the pilot for the web series of the same title. In 2011, it was confirmed he was to direct a full-length film adaptation of the game franchise. It was reported in 2013 that the movie will have a budget of $40 to $50 million.
Metal Gear Solid - TBA
A Metal Gear Solid film adaptation was put into preproduction late last year after six years of development. With supposed interest from Christian Bale, all we know is that the film will be set in Alaska. We recently received an exclusive update in April of this year on the movie's progress from producer Avi Arad, who previously produced the Marvel films of the 2000s and is still exeuctive producing The Amazing Spider-Man films.
Ratchet And Clank - 2015
A 3D CGI movie adaptation of the ever-popular Ratchet And Clank series has been announced for 2015. Starring the same voice actors as the original games, the film will retell the events of the original story and the meeting of the two characters. Unfortunately, we haven't received any updates on the Ratchet and Clank movie's progress since its original announcement by Sony in April 2013.
Raving Rabbids - TBA
Very few details have been released about a Raving Rabbids film other than the plan for it to be live action with CG rabbits, a completely new story and Ubisoft in charge of development.
Resident Evil - September 2015
The Resident Evil film franchise boasts a large number of sequels, and this number is set to increase to seven with the sixth and seventh installments already in the works. Milla Jovovich is set to return as Alice in Resident Evil 6, set for a release late next year. Director Paul W.S. Anderson already has the original film, Afterlife and Retribution under his belt and has played some role in the screenwriting process of all five previous movies, so he's well versed in the series' trappings by now. A reboot of the series might also planned for the future. We recently received an update on the Resident Evil 6 movie, which now may be titled Resident Evil Rising. The sixth film was originally scheduled for a September 2014 release date, but it has since been pushed down the road, possibly to 2015. However, Anderson said in February 2014 while promoting Pompeii that the pieces haven't quite moved together yet for the purportedly final "Alice" Resident Evil movie.
Rollercoaster Tycoon - TBA
Sony picked up the rights to Rollercoaster Tycoon in 2010, and now a live action/CG hybrid film is set to be made. Norwegian director Harald Zwart supposedly helms this interesting choice of adaptation and a storyline has not yet been released. What can we expect from this? We honestly have no idea, nor do we really care.
Street Fighter - May 19th 2014
At the Capcom panel at this year’s Comic-Con, it was announced that filming has begun for a live-action series titled Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist. A cast list has been announced and the show is set to be bilingual. The series will be directed by Bourne Ultimatum's and Street Fighter: Legacy’s Joey Ansah and is set to premiere May 19th.
Splinter Cell - TBA
Ubisoft Pictures and New Regency, along with production company Thunder Road Pictures are teaming up to create a Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell movie. Along with those earliest announcement came news that Tom Hardy, fresh off playing Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, had bees cast as Sam Fisher and American Hustle's Eric Warren Singer being appointed as screenwriter.
Most recently, Doug Liman has been tapped to direct the picture. Fans would probably know Liman best for spy movies like The Bourne Identity and Mr. & Mrs. Smith; he has also done more serious espionage filmmaking work, such as the Valerie Plame biopic Fair Game. He is currently this summer releasing his latest blockbuster tentpole, The Edge of Tomorrow, which stars Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. Next year's Everest scribe Sheldon Turner has also been hired to write a new draft for the screenplay.
Spy Hunter - TBA
The rights for Spy Hunter have been owned by Universal since 2003, with Resident Evil’s Paul WS Anderson hired as director in 2007 after John Woo and appointed star Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson dropped out. He was soon replaced by Zombieland and Gangster Squad director Ruben Fleischer. Little else is known as of today.
Tekken - TBA
A prequel to the 2010 Tekken adaptation is currently in development, set to be directed by Thai martial arts director Prachya Pinkaew. No date is attached to this film as of yet.
Tomb Raider - TBA
The first Tomb Raider adaptation starring Angelina Jolie was the highest-grossing film adaptation of a videogame ever released in the U.S. A complete reboot of the franchise is currently in planning stages after the rights were received in 2011 by GK Films. Planned as an origin story with a younger Lara, MGM are officially involved and Buffy writer Marti Noxon will provide the script. Meanwhile a fan favorite casting, Captain America: The First Avenger's Hayley Atwell, who has recently cemented her starring vehicle in the Marvel Studios/ABC TV series Agent Carter, has expressed interest in playing the role.
Uncharted - TBA
Uncharted and Nathan Fillion would have been the ideal combination, but this dream has finally been crushed, with it looking almost certain that Mark Wahlberg will be starring in this popular franchise's adaptation. Movement has been slow since Wahlberg attached to the project, however Safe House director David Guggenheim was tapped to pen the screenplay by Sony Pictures Entertainment. But it looks like the movie may really, finally happen since Seth Gordon (Identity Thief, Horrible Bosses) agreed to direct the adaptation in February 2014.
Warcraft - March 11, 2016
Things are definitely happening with the currently shooting Warcraft. As the first major blockbuster release to happen under the new partnership of Universal Pictures and Legendary Pictures, Warcraft has a lot of fan expectation with Moon and Source Code director Duncan Jones at the helm.
Wrapping up production in Canada with the filmmaker are stars Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, and Clancy Brown. This movie is a long time coming with previous attached names like Sam Raimi and the rumored Guillermo del Toro. But we suspect that WoW fans will be just fine with how this project is moving. We recently sat down with Thomas Tull in anticipation for Godzilla, but inevitably found ourselves talking about Warcraft. Tull has since confirmed that Warcraft will likely show footage at San Diego Comic-Con.
Watch Dogs - TBA
Ubisoft has plenty of confidence in its upcoming winter gaming release Watch Dogs. So much so that it's already looking to bring the property to the big screen. Given that the game isn't even out yet, this isn't the top priority for the firm as it stands. It'll likely look for a production partner once the video game is in stores later this month.
The Last of Us
Screen Gems recently announced that the studio will adapt Naughty Dog's award-winning action adventure game, The Last of Us. The script for the film will be written by Naughty Dog's own Neil Druckmann, the creative director for the game. The movie will be directed by Sam Raimi via the Ghost House Pictures banner.
Capcom's zombie-packed Dead Rising 3 released with middling to just above average reviews. Now, Capcom and Legendary Pictures will team-up for a Dead Rising movie--just what the world needed! The script will be written by Tim Carter, and Lorenzo di Bonaventura will be executive producing. There's yet to be a director attached to the project, but we'll keep you posted.