The three fundamentals of a proper gaming movie

Let’s be honest, gaming movies in the past have been rather lame. Yes, there have been the odd exceptions – ‘Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time‘ and ‘Lara Croft: Tomb Raider‘ were decent enough (actually, who am I kidding, they were very average), but the overall ratio of good to bad gaming movies is awful.

One of the worst has to be ‘Need for Speed‘, while ‘Max Payne‘ tried far too hard – and failed.

The funny thing is, these movies tend to do quite well at the Box Office, even though they are far from what most fans demand. ‘Lara Croft: Tomb Raider’ made over $131-million at the Box Office, and is still the highest grossing video game film of all time. ‘The Angry Birds Movie‘ (I actually enjoyed this movie) brought in over $107-million, while ‘Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time’ fell just short of the $100-million mark.

It is quite clear that the demand from fans is there, it is just not what they really want to see.

The question now is, why is it so hard for filmmakers to get it right in the eyes of the fans? Yes, fans are helluva demanding, while trying to put your own spin on a classic video game as a filmmaker is asking for trouble.

So then, what is required?

We take a look at three fundamentals all filmmakers need to take into consideration when adapting a video game into a movie.

Stick to the source material!

There is a reason why you have been asked to turn a video game into a movie, directors – it is hugely popular and has a massive fanbase already. As a result, it is vital that you stick to the source material. Don’t try to be clever or put your own spin on things, stick to what is known and bring it to life on the big screen. If I see another gaming movie where Hollywood has tried to ‘blockbuster’ every small aspect, I am going to lose my $%^&!

Cast correctly!

Not everyone will agree with me on this, but I like to see relatively unknown actors and actresses play out roles in movies which already have a source material. There is enough untapped talent out there to fill roles with people who are not going to detract from the story or make the video game adaptation into a Hollywood frenzy. Careful casting is vital, as the actor or actress should never be bigger than the telling of a video game story.

Stop trying so hard to impress!

The only people you need to please are the fans. It should always be like that when it comes to taking something as loved as a video game and turning it into a movie. The harder you try to impress everyone, the more the movie will suck. Just give the fans what they want and the movie will be a success. I know this all sounds a bit naive, but it really is that simple. Make the movie for the fans, not a big wig sitting in his office in Los Angeles.

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By Andrew Hallett

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