Are video game movies the new trend?

The year is 2023, and a renaissance has seemingly begun. And no, I’m not talking about the new Beyoncé album.

The renaissance in question actually revolves around the game to movie pipeline that many video games have become the target of in recent years.

 A Super Mario Bros movie is set to release later this year, Sonic the Hedgehog is threatening to release yet another film in its trilogy, and countless other video games are in the works with production companies behind the scenes to take their ideas from the computer screen to the silver screen.

Most notably, “The Last of Us” on HBO Max has been making splashes worldwide for how good it is for a videogame film adaptation. Many critics have been showering the series in accolades for staying true to the source material and making sure the passion behind the project is evident.

“The Last of Us” is doing so well, in fact, that the show has already been renewed for a second season, despite only a handful of episodes having been released. The first episode of the series saw 18 million viewers within its first week. The day the second episode dropped, 5.7 million watchers tuned in, according to HBO.

The show is paving the way for video game film entirely, with a whopping 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, and overwhelming fan support on all social media platforms. The original game came out a decade ago as of this year, so the long wait for the game to hit the big screen was a worthwhile one.

In my opinion, there are other past video games that have been waiting just as long (if not longer) for a film adaptation, and are well deserving of it.

For starters, the Portal series. In the two games, you play as the protagonist Chell, as she is challenged to navigate through a variety of test chambers using a portal gun (the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device is the full name, but saying that would’ve taken up half of the paragraph itself.)

Chell is working to escape the laboratory in the first game under the watchful, vindictive eye of GLaDOS (Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System,) the robot running the facility. The second game takes this idea and flips it on her head, having Chell escape this same facility, now decrepit and dilapidated. 

There’s been talks of a movie being made based off these games for years, but nothing has come of it – yet. The last news we got was in 2016, when J.J. Abrams said news was coming “fairly soon,” before Abrams broke his silence again in 2021, saying that a script was in the works in association with Warner Bros.

The game, on a surface level, is a strategy-puzzle game. But after investigating deeper into the storyline and the lore, a myriad of information is uncovered, more in-depth than you could ever imagine. There’s plenty of material to work with in the game, and everyone loves a dystopian thriller.

Write to Joey Erickson at joseph.erickson.2@mnsu.edu

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