Latest update: Uncharted delayed.
In the years since Den Of Geek first sprung into existence, we’ve consistently kept an eye on the videogames that have been touted for the big screen treatment. We’ve tried to list them all in a big article a few times before, and it feels like the time has come to pull a new version together.
If we haven’t heard anything about a certain videogame movie in two years or more, it seems safe to assume that it’s quietly been binned. That’s why you won’t find the likes of BioShock, Devil May Cry, Far Cry, Gears Of War, Halo, Heavy Rain and Rollercoaster Tycoon on this list. If we get proven wrong on any of those, we’ll update this article as more information comes to light.
Until then, here are the 30 videogame movies currently in active development…
Ubisoft’s historical action adventure series is another videogame property that has made it all the way through the movie development process. Ubisoft have teamed with 20th Century Fox, New Regency and a few other companies to get this one of the ground.
They’ve assembled an impressive cast and crew, too – Michael Fassbender will star as Callum Lynch, a modern day man who discovers he has an assassin for an ancestor. Callum relives his predecessor’s memories, to help bring down a big threat in his own time. Fassbender’s Macbeth director Justin Kurzel calls the shots, and his Macbeth co-star Marion Cotillard plays an unknown role.
ETA: 6th January 2017, in the UK.
Assassin’s Creed 2
A sequel is already in the works for Ubisoft and New Regency’s Assassin’s Creed movie, with Michael Fassbender attached to star once more. We don’t know much more at the moment, besides the fact that work is apparently already underway.
ETA: Unknown, for now.
As it was first touted for the movie treatment back in 2009, you could be forgiven for thinking that the Asteroids movie was never going to happen. However, the film adaptation of the iconic Atari rock-shooter sparked back to life in February 2015, when Universal hired F. Scot Frazier – writer of upcoming Nicholas Hoult driving thriller Collide – to rework the existing script.
Roland Emmerich was once linked to the director’s chair, but seemingly stepped away around 2011. The shooting-rocks-and-nothing-else structure of Asteroids doesn’t immediately lend itself to moviemaking, but once you imagine what it’d be like to actually have that menial-yet-spacefaring job, it’s easier to imagine a few different takes. Fingers crossed for a dark comedy version.
Not to be confused with the 2013 horror film The Borderlands, a movie based on Gearbox and Take-Two’s immensely popular sci-fi game Borderlands recently went into development. Lionsgate will be the studio taking us to the abandoned-by-the-big-wigs frontier planet of Pandora.
They’ve recruited producers Avi Arad and his son Ari Arad, both of whom were involved in initially bringing Iron Man, Spider-Man and the X-Men to the big screen. We’ve got high hopes.
Call Of Duty cinematic universe
Activision Blizzard’s Call Of Duty games are massive money-spinners with a fan-base so fervent that it’s popularised the midnight launch marketing model. It’s surprising that we haven’t already seen a film version. This will be amended soon enough – Activision Blizzard has launched its own film studio, with a Call Of Duty cinematic universe as their biggest goal.
We don’t know who the creative team will be, and we don’t know when the first film will come out. One thing we do know is that the official press release announcing Activision’s movie plans cited Advanced Warfare and Black Ops III as examples of the series’ cinematic potential.
When the first headlines that crop up from a quick Google search are vague statements like ‘Deus Ex producer teases big announcement soon’ and ‘Deus Ex film adaptation is still alive,’ it’s easy to lose confidence. However, it does genuinely seem that there’s still some life in the movie adaptation of Square Enix’s universally acclaimed cyberpunk title Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
CBS films had snapped up Scott Derrickson to direct the film adaptation of Human Revolution. His CV includes Sinister and The Exorcism Of Emily Rose, and he’s currently working on Doctor Strange for Marvel Studios. That may yet mean he has to pass on Deus Ex…
Five Nights At Freddie’s
Scott Cawthon’s intensely frightening point-and-click survival game Five Nights At Freddy’s has been picked up by Warner Bros for a filmic adaptation. We’ll get to see a security guard fighting animatronic animals on the big screen, it would seem.
Monster House director Gil Kenan is helming the film version, which will use practical effects to bring the creepy robotic inhabitants of Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza to life. He’s been releasing teasing glimpses of the film on social media, which has us rather intrigued.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon
Michael Bay is attached to Warner Bros’ filmic adaptation of Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon shooter. He’s believed to be producing and possibly directing, with Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia working on the script.
Federman and Scaia have previously collaborated on the canceled comic book TV show Human Target, a Zorro reboot script that Sony has yet to film. and a draft of the now-seemingly-doomed film version of the comic Y: The Last Man. They’ll be hoping that their Ghost Recon film doesn’t go the same way, but with someone as lucrative as Michael Bay interested, it’s hard to imagine Warners giving up on the idea.
There was a time where EA’s Need For Speed game and Polyphony/Sony’s Gran Turismo were both in development for film adaptations at the same time. As you already know, EA won the race by miles and the Need For Speed film has already been and gone in cinemas.
Sony are pushing on with their Gran Turismo movie regardless, with Oblivion and Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski calling the shots. Red, Battleship and The Last Witch Hunter scribes Jon Hoeber and Eric Hoeber are working on the scripts currently.
Kane & Lynch
The idea of adapting IO/Eidos’ third-person-shooter Kane & Lynch into a movie has been knocking around since 2010, when Lionsgate picked up the rights. In it’s original incarnation, Bruce Willis and Jamie Foxx were purportedly signed up to star as the death row escapees Kane and Lynch, respectively.
However, years passed and the film seemed no closer to shooting. In November 2013, there was a glimmer of hope – the word got out that Lionsgate was casting again. In lieu of Willis and Fox, Gerard Butler and Vin Diesel were being eyed. Since then, though, we’ve got radio silence.
ETA: Unknown. If the film remains inactive much longer, we’ll have to remove it from this list.
The Last Of Us
Although some would argue that the game is cinematic enough in of itself, Sony subsidiary Screen Gems (the company behind the Resident Evil film franchise) are currently working hard on bringing Naughty Dog’s The Last Of Us to the big screen.
Mr Sam Raimi is on board as a producer, while the game’s writer Neil Druckmann is working on the screenplay. (Druckman also penned the Uncharted games series). Druckmann gave an update in January 2015, insisting that his screenplay would be ‘pretty faithful’ to his original game script, despite a few ‘big changes.’
In March 2016, Druckman admitted that the film is in development hell until further notice. Maisie Williams has apparently had meetings about playing the lead character, Ellie, but for now the movie doesn’t seem to be moving anywhere fast.
The sprawling sci-fi franchise that is BioWare’s Mass Effect saga seems tailor-made for adaptation into a cinematic space opera. It’s no surprise, then, that Legendary and Warner Bros have snapped up the rights.
Avi Arad is board as a producer, and Mark Protsevich worked on a script back in 2012. However, in March 2014, Legendary Pictures CEO Thomas Tull revealed that getting the film’s story nailed down ready for production wasn’t easy:
“I think the canon they’ve created is sophisticated,” he told IGN. “It’s very broad, meaning you can’t pitch that in 30 seconds, right? It’s a complex story. So it is challenging. If it wasn’t challenging, the movie would have been out by now, but it is. We’ve just got to stick to our guns that, if it’s a movie that’s going to come from us, we want it to be great. If we can’t crack that yet then we just have to keep working.”
ETA: Unknown. It sounds like they’re still in very early stages.
Metal Gear Solid
Metal Gear Solid has had one of the longest movie adaptation gestation periods on this list. Talks began way back in 2006, with various writers, producers and directors (notably Quentin Tarantino, Kurt Wimmer and Paul Thomas Anderson) being linked to the production in the years that followed. However, come 2010, work on the film was postponed indefinitely.
In 2012, Avi Arad and Ari Arad swooped in to pick up the rights with the help of Columbia pictures. In 2014, The Kings Of Summer and Kong: Skull Island director Jordan Vogt-Roberts was linked to the movie. In March 2015, Monsters: Dark Continent writer Jay Basu signed up to script the film.
ETA: Unknown. But it sounds like it might finally be pressing forward.
The first-person shooter Metro 2033 – itself based on a novel of the same name by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky – is heading to the movies. The filmmakers will apparently use Mad Max and The Hunger Games as inspirations while adapting the Metro 2033 story (all about a Russian post-apocalyptic underground wasteland, and the chap who dares to wander through it). F. Scott Frasier, who penned John Cusack actioneer The Numbers Station, is working on the script.
We already got one Mortal Kombat feature film back in 1995. In 2011, Warner Bros hired Kevin Tancharoen – who rose to directorial prominence with the 2010 short film Mortal Kombat: Rebirth, and has since worked on Mortal Kombat’s TV series, and Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., Supergirl and The Flash – to direct a rebooted Mortal Kombat movie.
By 2013, though, he had quit the project to ‘move on to other creative opportunities.’ That didn’t spell doom for the film, though, as James Wan (Saw, Insidious, The Conjuring, and the upcoming movies Furious 7 and Aquaman) recently signed up as a producer.
ETA: Unknown. Wan hasn’t been in the job that long, so we wouldn’t expect the film for a couple of years at least.
A movie adaptation of Mojang’s massive building game Minecraft has been touted for some time. Night At The Museum director Shawn Levy was linked for a while, with unconfirmed talk suggesting that the movie might be a live action adventure, rather than an animation.
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia’s co-creator Rob McElhenney took Levy’s place in 2015, and he’s now working with producers Roy Lee (The LEGO Movie) and Jill Messick (Mean Girls) to get the film off the ground.
ETA: Exact date unknown, but the announcement that brought McElhenney to the project stated ‘2016 or 2017’ – the latter sounds more likely.
Rayman spin-off Raving Rabbids has carved out quite a name for itself. So much so, in fact, that Ubisoft has teamed up with Sony to bring the troublemaking rabbits to the big screen.
This one will be a for a live action/stop-motion animation hybrid. Robot Chicken writers Matthew Senreich, Tom Sheppard and Zeb Wells are working on the script as we speak.
ETA: Unknown. The Robot Chicken trio were only hired in November 2015, so we wouldn’t expect the movie for a year or two at least.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
The Resident Evil film franchise has proven itself a bankable commodity since kicking off back in 2002. The sixth film in the series will be Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, and it’ll bring Milla Jovovich back to the role of Alice for the last time.
Alice will be up against it this time, teaming up with Shawn Roberts’ villainous Albert Wesker (a popular character from the Capcom games, and a former leader of the Umbrella Corporation in the films) for one final stand against the undead.
ETA: 27th January 2017, in the USA /24th February 2017, in the UK.
Sucker Punch Productions/ Sanzaru Games/Sony’s stealth-based platformer Sly Cooper hasn’t yet made the jump to PS4. Instead, the title character is getting a movie. TMNT’s Kevin Munroe wrote and directed this one, which is already in the can.
Ian James Corlett replaces the games’ voice actor Kevin Miller as the voice of Sly, but others from the original cast (namely Matt Olsen and Chris Murphy) will return to their roles.
ETA: We were told to expect it in 2016, but as of yet no official release date has been announced, so that doesn’t seem too likely.
Ubisoft’s film studio is working with New Regency Productions on a film version of the black ops stealth game Splinter Cell, with Tom Hardy attached to portray the games series’ protagonist Sam Fisher. For a while, Doug Liman of Edge Of Tomorrow and The Bourne Identity was attached to direct.
He departed the project in April 2015, though. Ubisoft are searching for a new director, while Frank John Hughes – of Dark Tourist and Leave – works on the script. Previous writers include X-Men: First Class’ Sheldon Turner.
Joseph Kahn – director of countless music videos, as well as that Power/Rangers fan film – has been linked to the director’s chair.
ETA: Tom Hardy has stated that Splinter Cell will shoot in 2016 for a 2017 release. They’ll need to find a director pretty soon, then.
Splinter Cell 2
In March 2016, it was announced that New Regency Productions are exploring sequel options for the Tom Hardy-starring Splinter Cell movie. Before 100% taking this as fact, we’ll have to wait and see how the first film gets on at the box office.
The classic 80s arcade game Spy Hunter has been in development as a movie since Universal bought the rights in 2003. At one stage, Dwayne Johnson was involved, but it’s unclear if he still is. Last we heard, Zombieland’s Ruben Flesicher was on-board to direct.
In November 2015, a pair of writers were hired to resurrect the project – Nelson Greaves and Sam Chalsen, both of whom are known for their work on the Sleepy Hollow TV series. It’s unclear if Flesicher remains involved.
Eidos and Square Enix’s 2014 game Thief has been optioned for the big screen treatment. The steam-punk fantasy game is all about a master thief called Garrett who steals from the rich using stealth (or murder, depending on your preference). That story seems like a natural fit for the filmic realm, and as such Adam Mason and Simon Boye have been hired to pen a script for Straight Up Films.
We’ve already had two Tomb Raider movies – with the immense cast of Angelina Jolie, Daniel Craig and Chris Barrie from Red Dwarf – and we’re now getting another one. The franchise will be rebooted, and will take cues from the recent survival-themed editions of the gaming franchise.
GK Films, MGM and Warner Bros are behind the reboot, and they’ve recently brought in Roar Uthaug – director of Norwegian disaster flick The Wave and horror thriller Cold Prey – to direct. Tantalisingly, Star Wars: The Force Awakens star Daisy Ridley was linked to the role of Lara Croft, but it ended up going to The Danish Girl and Ex Machina actress Alicia Vikander.
Prolific producer Avi Arad has been talking about adapting Naughty Dog’s Uncharted into a film, at Sony, since 2008. In the years since then, directors David O. Russell and Neil Burger have both joined – and subsequently departed – the project.
Mark Wahlberg and Chris Pratt were both linked to the starring role of Nathan Drake, but neither is attached to the film at this stage. Joe Carnahan, director of The Grey and The A-Team, recently stepped in to pen a script and is believed to be a shoo-in for the director’s job as well.
ETA: It was slated for a June 2017 release, but was recently pulled from the schedule to give Carnahan the time to make Bad Boys For Life first.
Warcraft 2 and Warcraft 3
Warcraft director Duncan Jones has envisioned a trilogy of movies, we learnt not that long ago. He told The Verge that “we kind of have an idea of what we would do with 2 and 3,” back in July 2015.
A second film hasn’t yet been officially confirmed, but we’ll let you know as we hear more. The latest rumour is that it could bypass American cinemas altogether.
ETA: Unknown, for both films.
Ubisoft’s stealth-based hacking-themed third-person-shooter title Watch Dogs has been touted for the movie treatment since 2013. Ubisoft announced this project at the same time as the aforementioned Splinter Cell and Raving Rabbids films.
The last we heard was in April 2014, when Zombieland’s writing duo Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese were signed up to script the film. It’s been radio silence since then, but it does take a while to write a script, in all fairness.
In a way, we’ve already had a Witcher movie, and a TV series. The books that inspired the games were adapted to film and television (as The Hexer) in 2001 and 2002. Since CD Projekt RED’s action adventure game brought The Witcher property back to the public eye in 2007, it shouldn’t be too surprising that another movie has been green lit.
In November 2015, Platige Films (who’ve made some brilliant games trailers) and The Sean Daniel Company (The Mummy film series) announced the new movie, which will borrow themes from the books and the games, rather than being a straight adaptation of any specific story. Tomasz Baginski – making his feature film debut after a string of successful short films – will direct. Prolific TV writer Thania St. John will pen the script.
ETA: It’ll land at some point in 2017, we’re told.
We’ll keep this list up-to-date as we learn more about these videogame movies and any others that might be announced.