Is it Time to Start Taking Video Game Movies Seriously? Image

Is it Time to Start Taking Video Game Movies Seriously?

By Film Threat Staff | January 25, 2023

The world of video game adaptions into film has been a rocky one, to say the least. Thanks to less-than-stellar early efforts and some major stumbles along the way from questionable filmmakers, the perception of this part of the movie market continues to struggle. Recent success stories in film and television have begun to challenge what used to be a negative status quo, however, revealing the potential for a new generation of well-regarded projects.

Overcoming the Past

When it comes to the poor reputation of video game adaptions to film, two major names of infamy can’t be ignored. The first of these is the original Super Mario Bros movie, which hit theatres in 1993. Disliked by viewers and cast alike, this movie seemed disinterested in the source material, instead creating a bizarre interpretation that ended up as a box office bomb.

The second point of infamy comes from much-maligned director Uwe Boll. Releasing film adaptions of video games like Alone in the Dark, BloodRayne, House of the Dead, and Far Cry, Boll’s films have been universally panned. Regarded as lowering the bar and poisoning the well, gaming’s reputation in the movie space has had an uphill battle thanks to creatives along these lines with little respect for the original titles.

Taking Gaming Seriously

In the 2020s, gaming is taken more seriously than ever before. Aside from a gradual expansion in popularity, recent international mega-hits like Fortnite have also helped the industry step out beyond just games, and into real life. This begins with dedicated websites that are built on offering better FPS Fortnite tips through to real-life collectibles like Funko Pops in major retailers like Walmart.


On the filmmaking front, we’ve finally reached an age where the people who grew up playing and loving games are taking over from the old Hollywood guard. Rather than films written, produced, and directed by people with no care for gaming, the new environment consists of real, lifelong gamers, who cooperate with video editing experts to produce materials that engage from the first seconds.. This is exactly how we got the great new Sonic and Detective Pikachu movies, and it’s what provides hope that the new Mario movie won’t be anything like the old one.


The final point of possible contention that video game movies have been shaking off in the last decade is the idea that they come from a silly place. Games are often not serious, this is true, but that doesn’t make them unadaptable, as the modern dominance of comic book films has shown. Even if a game is based on a silly concept, it’s how this concept is developed that matters. Plus, with serious games like The Last of Us now seeing adaptions into TV, it’s not like basic themes and ideas are all there is to pull from.

Video games are now worth more than music and the film box office. Combined with a more welcoming audience and an improving track record, the 2020s could be the time when video game movies are judged more on their merit than their origin alone. Don’t get us wrong, the nature of filmmaking means there will always be failures along the way, but for the first time, there’s real hope for the next few years in video game cinema.

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