The Tetris Movie Trilogy And Hollywood’s Seemingly Hopeless Struggle With Video Games

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Over the past several years, Hollywood has become more and more fixated on adaptations of pre-existing material rather than telling fresh and new stories. While this is definetely not a bad thing (for the most part), it’s looking to be a trend that just won’t go away. If anything, since the resounding successes of Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, The Avengers, Twilight, and The Lego Movie, it’s gotten even more severe.

Knowing Hollywood, they’ll probably realize to scale things back a bit eventually. But for now, big-budget adaptations are the current norm. Just ask Larry Kasanoff, the director of 2012’s hilariously absurd CG disasterpiece Foodfight and founder of the production company Threshold Entertainment, who has took it upon itself to not only make just one $80 million-dollar “sci-fi thriller” Tetris movie, but an entire trilogy, set to be filmed in China, and NOT Russia, where the entire franchise originated….missed opportunity there, I must say.

Regardless, I think the real question here isn’t if a concept as utterly ridiculous as a Tetris film should happen, but rather if it should even be greenlit considering the absolutely deplorable reputation video game movies have. While the Resident Evil movies, as godawful as they are, tend to be box office successes, other video game movies fail completely to even slightly resemble their source material, while the others that do still end up bombing regardless.

Even some in-development video game films have had some trouble getting off the ground; there’s barely been any word on the Last of Us and Sly Cooper movies (although development of the Uncharted movie still seems to going, albeit at a snail’s pace), and with the total failure of Ratchet & Clank, there’s a good chance that they might be on the chopping block.

But, even taking in account of huge flop after huge flop, there might just be some hope for the future of video game movie adaptations. The Angry Birds Movie, while it has received some mixed reviews with a 56% percent on the website Rotten Tomatoes (which, to be fair, is way better than R&C’s 16%), looks to be a vibrant and humorous romp that captures the spirit of the apps while also managing to be its’ own thing. The Assassin’s Creed movie is also shaping up to be quite decent, with an all-star cast and some beautiful set design and intense action scenes going for it, with the same going to the Warcraft movie. Nintendo seems to be gaining more confidence of getting back into making non-Pokemon movies, and even plan to make some animated features of their own. Even the eventually-coming Sonic movie seems to have some talent going for it, with an insanely – skilled animation studio doing the VFX for it and two writers/producers who are actually lifelong fans of the franchise themselves.

At the end of the day, however, no one knows just how successful any of these films, the Tetris movie included, will turn out to be. So, the only thing we can really do right now is to wait and see.

What are your thoughts on video game movies? Be sure to post them in the comments section below.

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5 Comments

  1. I’ve yet to see a video game movie that accurately portrays its source game. I haven’t seen Ratchet and Clank nor am I that familiar with the series, so that may be a representation. I think the big problem is that movies aren’t interactive. That’s fine for movies because I don’t think they should be. However, stories for games, when they have them, are usually told with the interactive game elements in mind. I think a good game movie could be made, but I don’t know how it can be done well and make me feel similar emotions when playing the games themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly, I don’t think it should be THIS difficult to make a good movie based off of a video game. Comic book movies had consistently poor quality for years with the exceptions of the 1989 Batman movie, the first two Superman movies, and the 1990 TMNT movie (the franchise started out as a comic, so it technically counts), until the success of the X-Men and Spider-Man movies laid the groundwork for what was eventually to become the MCU. Video game movies, however, are STILL getting bad reception to this day. With the Ratchet & Clank movie, I can kind of understand why it ended up performing the way it did, with all the creative differences and complete absence of any sort of proper marketing. I concur that there can be a video game movie that can be financially and critically successful while being faithful to the source material. It just needs someone who’s familiar with the source material, a decent budget and cast, and a film studio that knows what it’s doing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree. It just seems that the people who are good at making video games wouldn’t necessarily be good at making movies, nor would I expect them to make it. Same goes for the other way around. The games that feel like they could best translate to movies are those that are already mostly cinematic like Telltale’s games, but those are pretty much like TV shows already anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Assassin’s Creed with Fassbender will be key later this year. If that’s a success (commercially, critically, and with the fans), then other studios will start to look to big franchises that are already cinematic in style (Uncharted, Last of Us in the works, etc.)

    Or if it bombs then we’ll be stuck with Resident Evil sequels forever!

    Liked by 1 person

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