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Showing now: blockbusters based on video games

What is common between The Lego Movie, The Last of Us, Angry Birds, Need for Speed, Warcraft and Resident Evil? They are all blockbuster Hollywood films based on video games. Several titles are headed for the big screen and more are being announced every day.

hollywood Updated: Mar 12, 2014 15:22 IST
Sneha Mahale
Sneha Mahale
Hindustan Times
video games,movies,angry birds

Post the success of the recent release, The Lego Movie, film adaptations of video games seem to have become a safe bet at the box office, or so filmmakers feel. In the coming years, several titles are headed for the big screen and more are being announced every day.

The latest is the movie based on Minecraft. The game's creator, Markus Persson, took to Twitter to announce that he and Mojang, the studio that manages the title, are working with Warner Bros to release a movie based on the block game. "Someone is trying to leak the fact that we’re working with Warner Bros on a potential Minecraft Movie. I wanted to be the leak! (sic)," was the tweet posted on the micro-blogging site.

That's not all. The most critically acclaimed and successful video game of 2013, The Last Of Us, too, will be adapted for the big screen. Set some years after a deadly virus has transformed many people into monsters and the rest into scavengers and killers, the project made headlines recently when Spider-Man (2002) director Sam Raimi came on board as a producer.

And with several other projects, including Angry Birds and Need For Speed, already in the works, Here are some that could soon be at a theatre near you:

Need For Speed
One of the most famous racing video game series in the world will be seen on the big screen this Friday (March 14) in the US, followed by a worldwide release. The adaptation sees a street racer framed by a wealthy business associate go on a cross-country race with revenge on his mind. Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad fame gets behind the wheel in this movie based on NFS, whose first title was out in 1994.

The games in this series with a Lord of The Rings-ish feel, with orcs, elves, dwarves and trolls, are set in the fantasy land of Azeroth. The film based on the series was announced in 2006 and since then continues to be a work-in-progress. Filming on the project finally began this year on January 13 and the film will feature the initial encounters between orcs and humans. Universal Pictures will release the movie in 2016.

Angry Birds
This popular game by Rovio Entertainment sees enraged birds bring down some naughty pigs. A 3D feature was announced back in 2012, and the project should make its way to the big screen in 2016. Despicable Me (2010) producer John Cohen is currently attached to the project.

Resident Evil
Probably the most successful franchise of films based on video games, yet another adaptation readies to hit the big screen in 2015. Milla Jovovich reprises her role as Alice, for what could be the last time as the series may be set for a reboot.

Assassin’s Creed
The video game revolves around a secret organisation of assassins that shapes history while fighting a centuries-old war. Ubisoft now plans to bring out a 3D movie on it. The adaptation was in the news when Michael Fassbender of X-Men: First Class (2011) and Prometheus (2012) fame agreed to not only produce the film, but also to star in it. The project is expected to hit theatres in 2015.

Heavenly Sword
Another game on the lines of The Lord Of The Rings series, here, the story revolves around the mythology surrounding a sword and its wielder. The film, set to release in June 2014, follows Nariko, who is a member of an ancient tribe charged the safe-keeping of an ancient sword. But Nariko must wield it herself against those who wish to possess it.

Sly Cooper
Though not much is known about this movie, a teaser on the Sly Cooper game series (by developer Sucker Punch) is out. Blockade Entertainment, the company also behind a Ratchet and Clank big-screen adaptation, will be backing this project. The film is expected to be out in 2016.

In the past:

Some popular games that have made it to the big screen:
Super Mario Bros: Released in 1993, it follows Mario and Luigi into a parallel universe in which King Koopa is a dictator.
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider: The film with Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft, was a commercial success when it came out in 2001. A sequel, The Cradle Of Life, hit screens in 2003.
Prince of Persia: The 2010 film, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, opened to mixed reviews but remains the highest-grossing film based on a video game.
Silent Hill: Based on Konami’s survival horror video game series, two movie adaptations — Silent Hill (2006) and Silent Hill: Revelations (2012) — have made it to the big screen.
Mortal Kombat: The martial arts game has inspired many film-makers to adapt it for the big screen. Mortal Kombat (1995) and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997) are just two of the many reboots.

Movies that became video games:

Austin Powers:
Post the success of the film series, Austin Powers: Welcome To My Underground Lair!, was unveiled for gaming fans.

ET the Extra-Terrestrial:
Often blamed as a contributing factor for Atari's financial losses in 1983-84, the game's objective was to collect three pieces of an interplanetary telephone to contact the home planet.
The Fast and the Furious: The arcade games-based street racing franchise was released with virtual tracks at Times Square, Hollywood, Shinjuku City and New England, among others.
The Matrix: The cult trilogy was so popular that a game, Enter The Matrix, had to be produced alongside the films to keep the fans happy.

First Published: Mar 12, 2014 13:23 IST