This weekend’s “Five Nights at Freddy’s” is yet another title hoping to cash in on the popularity of a beloved video game, with Josh Hutcherson starring as an unwitting security guard who must elude the possessed animatronics of the iconic Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza shop made famous by the now-iconic horror survival game.
In the past, audiences have had a fraught relationship with video game adaptations, including films like the 2018 “Tomb Raider” reboot and last year’s “Uncharted.” Critics and fans alike found those movies faltering in their ability to capture the story and magic of the gameplay in their respective source material.
However, the success of this year’s Super Mario Bros. Movie, as well as HBO’s “The Last of Us” – which earned widespread acclaim and greater viewership than the brand’s other hits like “House of the Dragon” – means that studios aren’t hitting pause anytime soon on their quest to turn video game IP into cash-generating and franchise-ready titles. (CNN and HBO are both part of the same parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery.)
Here are several more upcoming movies and television shows based on video games, in current release order:
“Fallout” (April 12, 2024)
Amazon Studios will bring to life the post-nuclear apocalyptic, alternate universe Los Angeles of “Fallout” in a new television series. Based on the long-running video game whose first iteration appeared in 1997, the show’s executive producers include “Westworld” creators Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan with a cast featuring Walton Goggins (“Justified”), Kyle MacLachlan (“Twin Peaks”) and Ella Purnell (“Yellowjackets”). While the game varies from action role-playing to first-person shooter combat, the show is said to be an original story based off the franchise that will be canon to the overall lore.
“Borderlands” (August 9, 2024)
Science fiction meets western meets open world, first-person shooter, the “Borderlands” franchise has it all, including an upcoming film adaptation. Fans of HBO’s “The Last of Us” will find a familiar face in Craig Mazin, who co-wrote the “Borderlands” screenplay along with director Eli Roth (“Hostel”). The film stars Cate Blanchett as Lilith, an outlaw who must team up with the likes of the iconic robot Claptrap (Jack Black), former mercenary Roland (Kevin Hart) and unstable scientist Tannis (Jamie Lee Curtis) to find and protect a missing girl (Ariana Greenblatt) with great power.
“Sonic the Hedgehog 3” (December 2024)
Nearly four years after the first “Sonic the Hedgehog” movie, the classic Nintendo videogame franchise will round out its theatrical run with a third movie. If audiences are looking for a more family-friendly option, Sonic will return and it is anticipated that fan favorite and our hero’s nemesis, Shadow, will be making his big screen debut. Both James Marsden and Idris Elba look to be returning after last year’s second installment, but it’s too soon to tell if Jim Carrey’s zany Dr. Robotnik will be back for the third go-round.
“Return to Silent Hill” (2024)
The survival horror puzzle game franchise will return to theaters with “Return to Silent Hill.” Christophe Gans, helmer of the Radha Mitchell-starring “Silent Hill” from 2006, is back to direct the sequel, inspired by the 2001 game “Silent Hill 2.” The movie will follow James Sunderland (Jeremy Irvine) as he is drawn back to the creepy titular town by a letter seemingly from a past love.
If you like mining, crafting, virtual architecture or Reddit-thread voiceovers – yes, those ones – then you might know a thing or two about “Minecraft.” Warner Bros. is turning the game into a live-action film to be directed by Jared Hess (of “Napoleon Dynamite” and “Nacho Libre”) and starring Jason Momoa (“Aquaman”). Though the game itself is not necessarily story-focused, viewers can expect to see the Ender Dragon at odds with heroes in the Overworld. (CNN, Warner Bros. and “Aquaman” are all part of the same parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery.)
“The Last of Us Season 2” (TBA)
The much-anticipated Season 2 of the hit show will be based on “The Last of Us Part II” (2020) game that spurred a divisive response from players. When asked about what to expect, showrunner Craig Mazin recently told The Hollywood Reporter that the show is not afraid to follow “exactly what happened” in the game, but also do “something wildly different.” “Part II” the game delved deeper into the tenuous relationship between Ellie and her protector, exploring the ramifications of Joel’s lie to Ellie after he slaughtered the Fireflies militia group to save her life.
“Pokémon: Detective Pikachu” sequel (TBA)
Though not the character’s first foray outside of video games, Pikachu will grace screens again in a sequel to the live action “Pokémon: Detective Pikachu” film from 2019 that featured the voice of Ryan Reynolds. A second movie was announced shortly before the first debuted at the box office, however, whether or not the original star-studded cast will return remains unclear.
“Halo” Season 2 (TBA)
Despite a lukewarm reception from fans and critics, Paramount+ has greenlit the “Halo” television series for a second season. The show, inspired by the popular first-person shooter Xbox game of the same name whose first iteration was released in 2001, chronicles the Spartan leader Master Chief as he fights to protect humanity against imperial alien forces.
“God of War Ragnarok” (TBA)
Amazon Studios plans on making the widely-acclaimed fantasy, third-person story game “God of War Ragnarok” into a television series. The show is expected to closely mirror the 2022 game, which was massively popular with both players and critics. Fans will once more see Kratos the Greek God of War and his son Atreus journey against the backdrop of Norse mythology to honor Kratos’ fallen wife.
“The Mortuary Assistant” (TBA)
Audiences will get a chance to relive this first-person horror game as “The Mortuary Assistant” gets its own film adaptation. If the movie closely follows its game counterpart, fans can expect demonic thrills, suspenseful tension and a fair share of dead bodies sprung to undead life.
What could be better than wandering around a vaguely dystopian, cyberpunk city as a friendly feline trying to piece together clues as you find your way home? Perhaps watching a kitty instead of playing as one. Annapurna Pictures, whose video game division developed the popular 2022 game “Stray,” is currently developing an animated feature based off the beloved title.
“Arcane” Season 2 (TBA)
The Netflix hit “Arcane” based on the long-running, online multiplayer game “League of Legends,” has been renewed for a second season. The first season followed sisters Vi and Jinx against the backdrop of utopian city Piltover and its dark counterpart, the Undercity, as the two are at odds with each other over a stolen artifact and emerging technology that could bring about war.
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