It’s with no surprise that Hollywood’s film and TV production companies have turned to video games for blockbuster ideas in the last few years. The Last of Us, which premiered earlier this year, and is based on the game by the same title, had the best debut for a non-Game of Thrones HBO show since 2010. According to Variety, the viewership for the first episode in the series drew in 4.7 million viewers across all platforms. Forbes reported that the linear TV viewership has almost doubled since its premier, drawing more than 500,000 viewers for the premiere and more than 1 million viewers for episode 7. This is something that the House of Dragon, Euphoria and Game of Thrones, some of the most popular TV in recent memory, didn’t even do in their first season.
For video game success on the silver screen look no further than 2020’s Sonic the Hedgehog and its 2022 sequel Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Sonic brought in more than $300 million worldwide and Sonic 2 raked in over $405 million. Sonic’s domestic gross made it the third highest-grossing movie of 2020 and Sonic 2’s gross made it the tenth highest-grossing movie of 2022.
With video game-based content proving it has the experience points to be a formidable opponent in Hollywood, there are two clear video game titles that could make great debuts as prestige TV or feature film.
Red Dead Redemption
The grittiness of the American West seen through the eyes of Arthur Morgan or John Marston at the turn of the 19th century could make The Red Dead Redemption franchise a great candidate for a TV adaptation. The openworld of the franchise gives the storytelling limitless possibilities when it comes to locations for the background of the story to take place. The game could visit real cities and have Arthur walk the streets of New Orleans or have John gunslinging his way through Tombstone, Arizona. A part of what has made The Last of Us so great has been the nods to those who played the game. There are so many scenes, lines and sounds that have made watchers do the Leonardo Dicaprio Once Upon A Time In Hollywood pointing meme in real life. Red Dead Redemption can give us these same reactions with nods to the Dead Eye sound effect, someone chugging a good ol’ reliable bottle of Tonic or Arthur calmy saying, “You’re alright now girl!” to his horse as some passerby babbles nonsense on the opposite side of the road. Also, who wouldn’t wanna see a hilarious, in a dark, twisted sort of way, mauling from a Legendary Grizzly Bear or Alligator?
The Legend of Zelda
Zelda has captivated audiences since the mid 80’s, growing an immense fan base around the world that could be rewarded with a feature length film. Since Zelda has been around for such a long time and deeply embedded within pop culture, there’s built-in anticipation, similar to what is happening with The Super Mario Bros Movie coming out in April. Different from The Last of Us or Red Dead Redemption, Zelda can pull source material from so many different titles and not have to be as linear as the two previously mentioned titles. Storylines from Breath of the Wild can be mixed with Ocarina of Time or A Link to the Past and can even explore the backstories of Link, Zelda and Ganondorf (I think Link’s Dad deserves a little bit of a redemption). A Zelda storyline can also offer up action too because who wouldn’t want to see Link hacking and slashing his way around with the Master Sword?! Another piece to a good feature film that’s offered by The Legend of Zelda and its universe is main character growth and development. Throughout gameplay, Link gets more hearts, making it possible to fight harder bosses, and acquires new items, opening pathways to new dungeons or solutions to previously unsolved puzzles. This is growth that can be portrayed as confidence building as Link gets closer to finding Zelda and battling with Ganondorf.
Of course with all of these suggestions comes a giant caveat: these video games could make great TV or film adaptations if done correctly. If not, we could have another Assassin’s Creed on our hands.
Michael Vela is the Founder and CEO of World Champion Fantasy, creators of PlayerX – the world’s next generation Fantasy Esports platform. Mike has been playing video games his entire life and has worked with computers since 1979. He is also a member of the Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association. Mike is a 1995 graduate of Purdue University, School of Technology, earning a B.S. in Organizational Leadership and Industrial Supervision.
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- Source: https://thegamehaus.com/gaming/video-games-that-would-make-the-best-tv-shows-or-movies/2023/05/26/