As the race to draw viewers to the movie theaters continue, filmmakers reach deep into established crevices to find inspiration and adaptation. Video game based movies have seen an uptick in popularity, and traditionally shoddy adaptations are beginning to give way to beautifully wrought, full-scale productions. 2016 promises several rather high profile releases that all found their inspiration in video games.

Video game movies have a rocky history and a fairly low success rate, marred by criticism from fans and critics alike. It’s proven difficult to turn an immersive, fully fleshed out game into a comprehensive, emotionally sound 2 hour film. Despite a generally low success rating, many film companies are taking up the challenge, and we’re seeing a large number of video games licensed to be produced for the big screen. We’re getting ready to ring in the New Year and taking a look at some of 2016’s most promising upcoming video game films after the jump!

Ratchet & Clank {April 29th, 2016}

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In 2002 we were introduced to a snarky little Lombax named Ratchet, thrust into adventure as he, his wrench, and a compact but handy little robot named Clank fell into the role of hero. The series has been hailed for creative weaponry (sheepinator, anyone?), ridiculous potty humor, and engaging gameplay. Now Insomniacs’ little Lombax is headed to the big screen in a retelling of the first game. Ratchet & Clank: The Movie will focus on the origin of this heroic duo as well as expand on plot points gamers played through during the first installment.

James Arnold Taylor, David Kaye, Jim Ward, Sylvester Stallone, Roasario Dawson, Jim Ward, Bella Thorne, and Paul Giamatti will be providing voices for the characters on the big screen.

 The Angry Birds Movie {May 20th, 2016}

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Because losing your loved ones to the time-suck that is the Anrgy Birds franchise isn’t enough, Sony Pictures Imageworks is bringing these furious little fliers to the big screen in a story of bravery and standing up for your home against a mob of green pigs. Featuring the voice talents of Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Bill Hader, and Peter Dinklage, the cast certainly promises to entertain.

Warcraft {June 10th, 2016}

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Based on the extremely popular MMOPG game, Warcraft delves into the very beginning of the conflict between the Humans and the Orcs, focusing on both sides and providing multiple viewpoints to fully encapsulate the struggles for both races. Travis Fimmel and Toby Kebbell take the leads of the Humans and Orcs, respectively, charging into an epic fantasy battle.

Sly Cooper {September 30th, 2016}

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Ian James Corlett, Matt Olsen, and Chris Murphy will be portraying the three childhood friends who are launched into a wild tale of thievery in the upcoming Sly Cooper film, slated for release in September of 2016. The film will be based on the first game in Sony’s Sly Cooper series.

Assassin’s Creed {December 21st, 2016}

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Abstergo Industries hits the big screen for Assassin’s Creed, starring Michael Fassbender as Callum Lynch, in a new tale that explores ancestral links and weaves through history in hopes of settling the ongoing struggle between Templars and Assassins.

A poster released earlier this month provided a phone number. Fans brave enough to call reached a message from Abstergo Officer Alan Rikkin, who explained that he’d be unavailable until March 25th, 2016. We’re guessing that’s when we’ll be seeing a trailer for the new film.

 


How do you feel about video games being made into movies? I’m definitely looking forward to many of these upcoming releases, and they look like a promising step forward for the video game adaptation business. For more video game-to-movie analysis, be sure to check out Popcorn Talk Network for Video Game Movie Anatomy, where I join host Mark Donica (the internet’s @SoapboxMark) and Patrick Dees (@ptothedees) to break down some of our favorite (and quite often not-so favorite) game-turned-film stories and discuss whether or not video games make good movies.

VGMA

Writer. Cosplayer. Binge Netflix Watcher. Anime Dweeb. Book Enthusiast. Harbours inappropriately strong feelings about Shakespeare and William Blake. Once lost a whole day theorizing about Game of Thrones. The most motivated procrastinator she knows. Sometimes it works out in her favor. Mostly just causes widespread panic. It's all good though, because she never forgets her towel.

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