A video game adaptation used to be something many tried to steer away from. We all remember the horror shows that were the Assassin’s Creed, Tomb Raider and Prince of Persia adaptations, which suffered the most from being more boring than overly bad.
In terms of live-action video game adaptations, however, we seem to be turning over a new leaf. The Last of Us, as good and faithful as it is, has given us hope that upcoming adaptations won’t be mediocre at best and that we can look forward to the retellings of some of our favorite games. There are currently more than a few video game adaptations in the works, but we’ve narrowed down a few notable hits that you should keep an eye out for.
The Horizon TV Show
We have known for some time that Netflix is developing a series based on the Horizon universe. The working title is reportedly Horizon 2074, although we haven’t had official confirmation of that yet. The show is still very early in development and we are not sure who will star in it, whether it will follow Aloy’s story or take a different approach.
Even if we were to ditch Aloy’s quest for knowledge in the Horizon TV show, that doesn’t mean it won’t be worth looking forward to. The worldbuilding Guerrilla has put into its post-apocalyptic series is consistently intriguing and leaves many moments in time that could be explored as a TV series.
There could be an entire show about Earth before GAIA essentially resets it and shows us the war on machines. Or, to avoid the Terminator comparisons, a Horizon show could just show us a protagonist based in another tribe, showing us the culture in greater depth than what the games offer.
The God of War series
Aside from The Last of Us, perhaps the game series with the most eyes on it right now is Amazon’s God of War adaptation. Because of Ragnarok’s overwhelmingly positive reception, God of War is as hot as it will ever be, and so many people are hoping Amazon’s series can do it justice.
While there may already be some missteps in abandoning Kratos’ Greek storyline in favor of the Norse saga, we can’t help but hope that Amazon wants to get this one right. The God of War games since 2018 have been incredibly cinematic experiences anyway, so unless Amazon really wanted to ruin this one, they will have a hard time doing so.
There is a lot of pressure on casting for this adaptation, but with Sunny Suljic and Christopher Judge doing so well as Atreus and Kratos, respectively, who can blame fans for wanting something that lives up to those performances?
Amazon’s Fallout Show
Although the adaptations of Horizon and God of War are probably years away, Amazon’s Fallout TV series arrives this year and we’ve already seen many set photos that make it look like a pretty faithful adaptation.
From power armour to a Super-Duper Mart, we’ve seen a lot that has us hyped for the Fallout TV show. Plus, there’s the cast, with familiar faces like Walter Goggins, Ella Purnell and Kyle MacLachlan.
Goggins will star in the Fallout series and he will reportedly play a ghoul. This is interesting because we have never had a ghoul protagonist in the Fallout games, so to see one in the show proves that it will offer a fresh take on beloved material. Even with these differences, let’s hope it still feels like a Fallout product.
The Super Mario Bros Movie
Super Mario Bros. does not have the strongest history with video game adaptations. The 1993 film set the bar for stinkers of video games, and even with the 2023 film coming out soon, Chris Pratt is doing his best to ruin the hype for it with his mediocre Mario voice and apparent lack of interest in the project.
However, if we remove Pratt from the equation, The Super Mario Bros. Movie looks like a promising film. With bright, fluid animation from Illumination, Jack Black and Charlie Day as all we can ask for in Bowser and Luigi, and a general sense of fun in the promotional material, we may not redefine cinema with this one, but it looks like it will at least be entertaining. Given the success of the Sonic movies and Detective Pikachu, sometimes a mix of fun with good visuals is all you need.
The Borderlands movie was first announced in 2015, and while it’s been a long time coming, that doesn’t mean we have a stinker in store. The Borderlands universe is not based on a single, coherent story in the same way as, say, The Last of Us, but there is enough of a core story out there to make for an interesting film.
Also starring Cate Blanchett, we will at least get a strong performance out of this film. At one time it would have been easy to write off Borderlands as nothing more than a 5/10 action hulk at best, but we now live in a different era, one where video game adaptations might actually be good. So while I may not think our last two entries will knock it out of the park, I’m still looking forward to seeing what they accomplish.