With Sonic The Hedgehog 2’s immediate success over the last week, we’re just getting started with an intense roundup of upcoming adaptations of world-famous videogame series.
From cringey B-grade films in the ’90s, we’ve gone to multi-million-dollar blockbusters that bring the characters we know and love to life. While we’re unsure as to how many of these announced projects will truly see the light of day, we gamers can surely hope.
Here’s a comprehensive list of every videogame-to-film adaptation coming up across the following year, and onwards:
1. The Untitled Mario Movie
While this project wasn’t really taken that seriously by fans over the years, developers Nintendo shocked audiences by announcing their intentions to create a full-size Mario flick, topped off with an impressive star cast.
Mario himself will be voiced by none other than Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt, while Anya Taylor-Joy joins in as Princess Peach, Charlie Day as Luigi, Jack Black as Bowser, Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, and Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong — with the latter three serving as one of the funniest casts in videogame-film history. The project doesn’t have a title yet, December 21st, 2022 stands as the current release date.
2. Cyberpunk: Edgerunners
Possibly one of the most exciting cross-continental anime projects in the pipeline, Netflix has paired with Cyberpunk 2077 devs CD Projekt Red — after a super-successful Witcher run — to create an animated tie-in.
The show will be produced by the hit Polish developers, while Studio Trigger will handle all animation duties – spearheaded by the director efforts of Hiroyuki Imaishi, who took the reins of the hit series Gurren Lagann, Kill la Kill, and Promare. Topping it off is a score by Silent Hill composer, Akira Yamaoka.
3. The Last of Us
According to game director Neil Druckmann, The Last of Us is in development hell, as far as the film adaptation goes.
Instead, HBO have acquired the rights to adapt the games into a series, with Chernobyl’s Craig Mazin heading the project alongside Druckmann. The project, scheduled for a 2023 release, has reportedly roped in Pedro Pascal to play Joel, while Game of Thrones co-star Bella Ramsey will be playing Ellie.
4. The Untitled Knuckles Series
Following on the success of Sonic the Hedgehog and its recent sequel, Knuckles, voiced by Idris Elba, will be getting his own live-action spinoff for Paramount+, expected to be released in 2023.
5. Tomb Raider: Obsidian + Anime
While 2018’s Tomb Raider released to lukewarm reception, MGM and Warner Bros. seem interested enough to recast Alicia Vikander in a sequel.
Simultaneously, Netflix is working on a Tomb Raider anime series much in the line of The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf – only that it’ll star Agent Carter’s Hayley Atwell as Lara Croft.
The Borderlands film was announced way back in 2016, with Avi and Ari Arad picking up production roles as Aaron Berg penned the script. As you now know, nothing really happened until 2020, when Hostel’s Eli Roth was confirmed as the director, while the aforementioned Craig Mazin was confirmed as the new scriptwriter.
The film will loosely focus on the first game’s antagonists, with Cate Blanchett locked as Lilith, while Kevin Hart plays Roland. Ariana Greenblatt plays Tiny Tina (who recently got a new videogame release), Florian Munteanu as Krieg, Jamie Lee Curtis as Tannis, and Jack Black as Claptrap.
The film has officially wrapped up production, meaning that we may be in for a launch date announcement soon.
7. Assassin’s Creed
I’ll be honest here. As an aficionado of history and videogames too, I was more hyped for 2016’s Assassin’s Creed starring Michael Fassbender than I had any right to be.
Years after that bland effort, Netflix has announced their intent to create a live-action series produced by Ubisoft’s Jason Altman and Danielle Kreinik. The intent certainly seems there, with Netflix sharing that the collaboration will “tap into the iconic video game’s trove of dynamic stories” to create live-action, animated and anime series.”
8. Resident Evil
Sure, the Resident Evil films of old have cemented themselves as mindless action flicks — but leave Milia Jojovich behind, and strap in for (you guessed it) yet another Netflix adaptation of the hit horror video game series.
Featuring Ella Balinska, Tamara Smart, Siena Agudong, Adeline Rudolph, Paola Núñez, and Lance Reddick, the new series will be set “nearly three decades after the discovery of the T-virus [when] an outbreak reveals the Umbrella Corporation’s dark secrets.”
One of the most underrated series to ever come out of Sega’s stables, the publisher has joined forces with 1212 Entertainment and Wild Sheep Content to create a live-action adaptation.
While no writers have been attached to the project yet, Yakuza’s awesome blend of deeply emotional stories, hilarious Japanese-style comedy, and adrenaline-pumping setpieces makes for an instant classic.
10. Mega Man
With Mario and Sonic making it on the big screen this year, it’s no surprise that Mega Man would eventually follow suit.
The classic character was initially confirmed for an adaptation way back in 2013, and while it seemed that the project was dead, the film was confirmed to be on the table back in 2020’s Comic-Con event. A year later, Netflix was confirmed to be involved, at least according to IGN’s sources.
One of the most awesome alternate-history scenarios put into videogame form, Fallout has been confirmed to be under production by Amazon — with Westworld creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy behind the effort.
While we’re not sure if the show will adapt an existing story or tell an all-new one, production has kicked off early in 2022. Promising!
12. Mass Effect
Another series ripe for the picking, Mass Effect’s blend of storytelling, grand-scale galactic intrigue, and memorable characters makes for a perfect web series premise. While Avi Arad thought so way back in 2010, the project kept hopping hands until game project director Mac Walters confirmed that the project was dead.
Fortunately, December 2021 turned this around. It was reported that Amazon was working on a deal to adapt the game into a TV series.
13. Metal Gear Solid
As one of the most complex, multifaceted game series in existence, Metal Gear Solid is as fascinating as it is intimidating to adapt – although that hasn’t stopped people from trying.
While the project is still in its infancy, Jordan Vogt-Roberts has reportedly been roped in as a director, while Oscar Issac has been confirmed as the face of the world’s greatest special forces soldier, Solid Snake.
First announced in 2013, Valve’s award-winning puzzler made for interesting adaptation material with it’s unusual storytelling cues, excellent dialogue writing, and threat of a strange, rogue AI. Then, nothing happened — until J.J. Abrams of all people made an announcement last year.
“We actually do have a script that’s being written for the Portal movie now at [Warner Bros.],” he shared. “We’re really excited about the take and the pitch, so it feels like that thing’s finally on the rails.” Bring it on!
(Featured Image Credits: Nintendo, Naughty Dog, CD Projekt Red)