Video Games & Hollywood Part 2 – Avoiding Old Mistakes
Welcome back, in the previous entry to this series we discussed Hollywood’s attempt to cash in on the video game craze. Well, today we’ll be discussing steps that can be taken to help ensure that future adaptations don’t suffer the fate of their predecessors. After all, it’s not that successful video game movies can’t be made. It’s that they tend to flop more often than they succeed.
Wait… There Is a Solution
To find success adapting video games into movies, Hollywood needs to change its approach. This change will be the key to future video game adaptations finding success.
First, movie execs need to learn that not every adaptation needs to be a live action movie. Many video game franchises would work great as an animated feature. Rather that movie uses traditional animation or CGI is irrelevant. That’s because things that won’t work in a live-action movie, would work in an animated feature.
Second Hollywood must stop cherry picking which elements of a game make it into a film. Imagine seeing an Iron Man movie without Iron Man, or an Iron Man movie without any actual Iron Man armor. You’d feel cheated right? Well, the same principle applies to adapting video games.
It would be like making a Final Fantasy movie and not including chocobos… oh, wait that did happen. Fact is if you’re going to make a movie based on a game then make sure fans can watch it and recognize it for what it is.
Lastly, not everything needs to be a direct copy of a specific game. Original stories set in a games universe could work. An original animated movie based on Super Mario could work. Provided the proper elements are present. The movie wouldn’t have to be based on any specific game in the series for it to work. Of course, it would help if the mistakes that occurred with the live action adaption are avoided. Taking properties and making films based on the series itself as opposed to a specific game. This would allow a bit of freedom on the part of the movie studio. While at the same time provide new stories for fans of the game series.
That doesn’t mean that a movie can have nothing in common with the game that it’s based on. Then you end up with a video game movie adaptation like Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. Which had the name of the famous role-playing game franchise, but the name was all they shared.
So long as movie execs could make a movie that was true to the source material it was being adapted from. Then there’s no reason that original movies set in a specific games universe couldn’t work. It’s not enough to slap a games name on a movie and expect it to do well. Real effort will need to be put into making these properties.
Special Care Must Be Taken
Much like when books and comic books are adapted into feature films. Video game adaptations deserve the same level of TLC that other properties get when they’re adapted. Despite popular belief when people are passionate about a project that’s in development. In truth, video game fans are no different than the fans from other mediums such as comic books, and novel series.
Fans are passionate and often have high expectations. While it’s true that you can’t please everyone, that doesn’t mean that you don’t try. Adaptations of other mediums are often a collaboration between creators and movie studio. There’s no reason why video game adaptations should be any different.
Fact is if Hollywood thinks there’s money to be made, they will continue to turn video games into feature films. It’s important that when these adaptations do happen, that they’re done right. It may also be wise for us as fans not to get our hopes up anytime soon, given Hollywood’s track record. Of course, with several video game adaptations now in development, all that can be set to change soon.
Have thoughts, or comments? Sound off below.