by Paul Wilson.
Hollywood has finally realized that good video games that have been turned into great movies are a path to silver screen success. The film “Prince of Persia: Sands of Time” set a high bar for what a video game movie could be, and Box Office Mojo reports that it has made more than $330 million globally since its 2010 release. Many studios are practically scrambling to buy the rights for popular games and are attaching interesting writers and directors to the projects they have in the works. Here are some of the most interesting properties headed for the big screen in 2014.
“Heavy Rain,” the taut noir thriller by Quantic Dream, is lauded for its cinematic approach to storytelling and dark, visceral plot. For an experimental game created by a relative unknown studio and focused almost entirely on character study and serial killers, it has sold well since its release in 2010: VGChartz reports that “Heavy Rain” has sold more than 2.7 million copies.
It seems only natural that someone would want to adapt it for film. That someone is Warner Bros., which has brought David Milch in to write the screenplay adaptation. Milch is best known for being the mind behind acclaimed series “Deadwood” and the seminal police-procedural “NYPD Blue.” At a glance, Milch seems like a perfect fit: “Heavy Rain” is a mature noir thriller that follows multiple characters and their involvement with the Origami Killer, a serial killer who kidnaps children.
Rumored for a 2014 release, the purchasing of the rights to “Heavy Rain” indicates that Hollywood is coming to understand the potential of adapting games that already explore their content in a cinematic manner. Titles like “Assassin’s Creed” and “Battlefield 4,” both available on Origin.com, approach action gaming from an angle that makes them ripe for adaptation.
Resident Evil 6
When it comes to big screen success, it’s hard to top the “Resident Evil” franchise. Launched in 2002 with “Resident Evil,” the films have become the highest grossing franchise based on a video game ever created, grossing more than $900 million over the course of its five-film run. With “Resident Evil 6” slated for a September 12, 2014 release, Milla Jovovich will return for her final appearance as Alice in what has been rumored to be the end of the franchise.
Though the “Resident Evil” series isn’t known for sticking to the video games for source material, fans don’t seem to mind—the films have taken a video game about being trapped in a spooky house full of zombies and turned it into a post-apocalyptic action blockbuster that appeals to gaming fans and cinephiles alike.
“Heavenly Sword,” an original launch title for the PS3, began its cinematic life as an experimental idea crafted by Sony and Blockade Entertainment to explore the possibilities of using preexisting CGI resources. But recent advances in the engines used for CG have prompted Blockade to take Nariko’s adventure with the “Heavenly Sword” and push it to the big screen in 2014. Borrowing extensively from the original games resources, “Heavenly Sword” is a CG film that follows the games original story closely. Actress Anna Torv, who since the game’s release has gone on to star in “Fringe,” has returned to lend her voice to the heroic Nariko.