Okay, lets preface this with the fact that I am an avid gamer. I love them! Ever since I got my first Nintendo System (the original one) I've loved disappearing into the worlds that I joined.
- On the NES it was The Uncanny X-Men
- Then for the Super Nintendo it was Super Mario RPG: Legend of the 7 Stars
- Then I found Sega Genesis and played Sonic the Hedgehog
- Then there was the entire Gameboy line, I had them all (original, pocket, color, Advanced & Micro followed by the Nintendo DS) and I was a Pokemon fanatic. I still have an emulated version on my phone... Yes, I'm THAT guy.
- Then I was introduced to Playstation and played Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout
I continued my video game progression and adoration through the PS2, XBOX, Wii, Xbox 360 & now the Xbox One which brings us to today and an article that I read about Grand Theft Auto and how my beloved Harry Potter star, Daniel Radcliffe, was looking at a role in the movie. Wait, what?! Harry Potter in Grand Theft Auto!?!
Now, the movie isn't actually based on the game, per-say, but rather based on David Kushner's book Jacked: The Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto ... But regardless, it peaked my interest and got me thinking about all the video games that I've loved over the years and how my favorite games seem to tie in the cinematic scenes the best.
Take a look at any of the more recent games (Call of Duty, The Order 1886, Assassin's Creed, TitanFall, Battlefield, etc) and how far the cinematic storytelling has evolved over the years from the times past where cut scenes were obviously animated and what I see in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Look at the shots below:
I don't know about you, but the cinematography I see here is phenominal! The character modeling, the realism, the translation from green screen to my Xbox is incredible.
There have been quite a few articles lately about the transition of cinematographers and what they have to look forward to with the newest iterations of video games and the inclusion of film and all the 'imperfections' of light effects, camera lens curvature, chromatic aberrations (I don't know what that means, but it sounds good).
So taking all this in, I was thinking about a few games that I believe could make the transition to a big-budget movie.
We will start at the end of my list and work to the games that I think have the most possibility.
Honorable Mentions (Already announced and/or Filming):
Assassin's Creed - Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard are starring in this film based off of the first installment of the Desmond Miles story.
Supposed release date: Dec. 2016
The Last of Us - Maisie Williams is rumored to be starring in this adaptation, you probably know her as Arya Stark from Game of Thrones.
Supposed release date: 2016
Hitman: Agent 47 - I know, I know... It's a reboot of a movie that flopped, but I think this has promise. Rupert Friend & Zachary Quinty star in this one.
Release date: August 2015
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Okay, this is my number 5 because it's notofficially
announced as heading for the big-screen. It's technically still only in script form, but I think overall it has potential with the right actor, director combo. It also lends itself well to some interpretation and some flexibility as it has 3 iterations and a 4th on the way as well as a set of comics and a novel (The Fourth Labyrinth).
The question becomes, who to cast as the main protagonists: Nathan Drake & Elena Fisher.
Let's look at Nathan's character first.
Through the games he is voiced and motion captured by Nolan North, now his name probably means nothing to you, but his voice I promise you know. He's done pretty much everything. He's Oswald Cobblepot in the Batman: Arkham games, Desmond Miles in Assassin's Creed, Stoic the Vast in the Dreamworks Dragons: Riders of Berk TV Show & Clark Kent/Superboy in Young Justice.
As much as I would love to cast him as Nathan Drake, I can't do it, so the question becomes who can fill for the voice and the look of Nathan. Everyone is going to tell me that it has to be either Nathan Fillion (Malcolm from Firefly was supposedly the inspiration for Drake's character) or Bradley Cooper, but I disagree solely on the fact that they are the "fan-favorite" and I like picking some less mainstream actors for roles, because there have been several movies that were carried by semi-unknown actors and they became mega hits. The big name doesn't always make the best choice, so I think this would be my choice for Nathan Drake.
Josh Holloway: Probably best known for his character Sawyer from Lost (2004 - 2010) and from the under-appreciated Gabriel from Intelligence (2014).
Aside from the golden blonde hair, I think he has the grit to play Nathan Drake, I loved his portrayal of Sawyer and can definitely see the similarities between the two island adventurers. Also in Intelligence, he showed more of his wit and ability for snappy humor which are also important to Nathan's character.
Now that we have our male protagonist, the question moves to the female lead of Elena Fisher (the counterpart to Nathan - not a damsel in distress, but more than a love interest as well).
Similarly to Nathan through the Uncharted series, Elena has the same voice actor, Emily Rose.
Emily hasn't had the extent of vocal work as Nolan North did, but Emily has a history of strong female characters: Audrey Parker in Haven (brilliant show), Trish Merrick in Jericho (another great show) & Lena Branigan in Brothers & Sisters. I haven't really heard much about Elena's "fan-favorite" casting but I'm keeping it pretty close to the chest with this one.
Emily Rose: That's right, I think she has been great in all her roles. Audrey Parker is the one that sold me on her casting as Elena.
She's got the blonde locks, the acting chops and she exudes the characteristics of a strong female needed to play Elena.
Okay, this is one of those games that took me years to discover, but once I found it, I was in love. I think my favorite is the latest installment, and as well as my favorite, I think it lends itself better to the big screen. Bioshock is number four on my list because it was rumored that a movie was being planned between the game developer and Universal Studios. Things looked beautiful: Gore Verbinski to direct and John Logan to write the story (James Bond: Skyfall & Spectre, The Last Samurai & The Aviator). Then it was confirmed that the film was cancelled in 2013. Yet, I believe after Bioshock: Infinite it could make a revival if there were interested parties.
So I find myself asking myself, who should play the two main characters: Booker Dewitt & Elizabeth.
Let's start with Booker.
Badass gun-toting ex-Pinkerton detective with a gambling habit sent to retrieve a woman, Elizabeth (who we will get to later), from the floating air-city of Columbia. He's got his own issues that he's trying to cope with, and at the same time is confronted with the clash of science, religion, morality, family and life as it all seems to spiral into chaos.
I'm not sure about you, but I could get behind that movie with the right actor playing Booker, and this was probably one of the tougher casting choices for me, but ultimately I'm leaning towards:
Clive Owen: - I know I know, he's british, but bare with me. If you look at some of his roles over the years. He tends to be cast in a role that requires a balance of physical strength, a strong will and intellect. And come on, just look at that chiseled jawline.
All of those characteristics suit Booker well. One of Clive's more comparable films for me was "Children of Men" - tasked with protecting and transporting a young girl across the dystopian world - That sure sounds like a match to what Booker was sent to do.
Playing opposite of Clive Owen would probably be daunting no matter who you are, he just has that vibe of taking on whatever role he's cast for. So the next piece of the cast is Elizabeth.
I think she's almost a tougher casting call. I've heard a lot of other casting choices calling for Emmy Rossum, and while I do think she has the acting ability, I don't think she quite does it for me. So I started thinking about young actresses that could play a tough strong willed female character, and it happened while I was re-watching one of my favorite shows from about 7 years ago. It's called "Reaper" - It's a comedy about a young guy who had his soul sold to the devil and he becomes a grim reaper while still trying to cope with his every day life. Then I saw her - She was only in a couple episodes, but I saw Elizabeth.
Jessica Stroup: You may be saying to yourself, "Who is Jessica Stroup?" - And that is part of why I have her as my choice for Elizabeth. She has the looks, and the personality and she isn't averse to playing in horror-type films which I have a feeling that this would have some of the leanings towards.
I think that she would make a smashing match to play opposite Clive Owen's Booker as Elizabeth.
Extra Casting choice: Comstock -- There is really only one choice in my mind for this casting. Scott Wilson. - You probably know him better as Hershel Greene from The Walking Dead.
[Red Dead Redemption](movie:42294)
Red Dead Redemption is a game that honestly took me a while to get into. At first I wasn't interested in playing it but once I played for a few missions I couldn't get enough. I love open world games like this, and I thought it was a really unique take on the old west and had a lot of playability. I also think it has a legitimate chance to survive as a big budget film. There were rumors a few years ago with Brad Pitt's name attached but it never really got off the ground, but I still think that it would be a good film. I know that you're going to say that all westerns are the same, and while you have a point, I could say the same thing about any genre. All superhero movies are about someone saving the world. All chic flicks are about this girl who falls in love with the guy she can't really have, or the guy falls for the girl that is either: dying or can't be with him. --- Yet, I still say that Red Dead could be a great movie.
So who to cast? - First off, lets start with John Marston.
Another badass male protagonist, there seems to be a trend going. But there is really only one actor who I think could really pull off John in the movie.
Anson Mount: If you've ever seen Hell on Wheels from AMC, then you know this man. He's the main character, Cullen Bohannon - A former confederate soldier determined to avenge his family deaths. I think Anson fits the build physically and characteristically. John Marston is a man on a mission to protect his family from his past, and Cullen is trying to escape his past and gain vengeance.
Redemption really has the one main character in my mind, but his family and people he works with would be supporting cast of sorts. So I'm going to go through them quickly.
Jack Marston: Chandler Riggs (Walking Dead)
Abigail Marston: Ruth Wilson (Lone Ranger, Luther, Saving Mr. Banks)
Landon Ricketts: Sam Elliott (Justified, Ghost Rider)
Leigh Johnson: Jeff Fahey (Lost, Machette, Justified)
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My father-in-law got me hooked on this one. I remember playing this for hours at a time and getting so lost in it. Dishonored is a really inventive venture into the first-person action adventure genre. The character abilities and the settings based on late 1800-esque London & Edinburgh, I believe would be adaptable to a big screen movie and would draw out all the game fans like myself to see what they did.
There are a few players to cast in this film, so let's start at the top. Corvo Attano is a unique character to cast as he wears his distinctive mask throughout the game.
Ray Park: Ray is my choice for Corvo. I'm going a little of the beaten path with this one, but seeing as he stays masked throughout the game, I'm going with a martial artist who has played several masked characters through some of my favorite movies. He was Darth Maul in SW: Phantom Menace, Edgar in Heroes, Snake Eyes in G.I. Joe, Rugal in King of Fighters & Toad in X-Men. Based on this I think he would make a solid Corvo seeing as his main strength is his ability to remain in the shadows with his stealth and agility. Also seeing as Corvo stays silent through the game, there is little vocal comparison to think about.
After Corvo, the characters are more secondary but they're still fairly involved in the story. So let's look at Empress Jessamine Kaldwin.
Rachel Weisz: Granted her character dies in the beginning but if you pay attention through the game you realize that the empress' voice and Corvo's altered heart are the same voice, so I'd love to bring her in and hear her voice throughout the film guiding and speaking to Corvo.
Next up is Young Lady Emily Kaldwin
Chloe Grace Moretz: She did the voice through the game, and I think she has the chops to play the character on the big screen. She did just fine in Kick-Ass and I think she'd be able to hold her own as Lady Emily.
Following the two ladies, I think we still need to cast Admiral Havelock.
Liam Neeson: This may be a bit of a stretch but seeing as he's fairly important to the story line, I think Liam would be a stellar choice.
After the Admiral, there's really only one other main character that I'd want to fill, and that's the role of The Outsider.
Dylan O'Brien: Yes, I said it. I'm going with a pop-culture baby, especially after Maze Runner's success. I think Dishonored could feed off of that and he'd be a solid choice as The Outsider.
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Okay. This is by far one of my favorite games: I know it has it's flaws but as I stated earlier, I love open world style games - and this one was amazing in my game experience. I wandered around Chicago aimlessly hacking and scanning, saving and beating and just generally enjoying my travels around town. Watchdogs has a unique feel about it, you start out as a grey hat hacker (a hacker who has ethics that vary between altruistic and malicious) named Aiden Pearce. Aiden loses his niece in a car accident brought about by a target on his back for a file he accidentally hacked during a different hacking job. He then gets caught up in government corruption and cover up and must unravel all the pieces to find peace for himself and his family.
There's a good story here, and with the right casting and direction it would have potential. So let's start the casting with Aiden Pearce.
Edward Norton: With Aiden's character being shrouded in mystery for most of the game, I think it comes down to more of the voice and the presence of the actor. I think Edward Norton would fit the build quite nicely. He has a decent history as playing characters with moralities that are slightly skewed. I also think he would be a good name to tag with this film.
Aside from Aiden there are only a couple big leads to cast, the next of which is Clara Lille - The Hacker/informant help to Aiden.
Natalie Dormer: I am a huge Natalie Dormer fan. She's beautiful, intelligent and she can carry a strong female role, which is what Clara is.
After Clara, there are a couple other characters that need to be filled.
Jordi Chin - Daniel Dae Kim
Nicky Pearce - Emilie De Ravin
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Now it's your turn. Agree? Disagree? Tell me about it!