2016 is shaping up to become the year that video game adaptations take over the world of cinema as adaptations of popular franchises such as, Assassins Creed, Warcraft, Ratchet and Clank, along with many others storm theaters. 2016 will be the telling year for whether video game adaptations can have a life on both the small and big screen or if gamers and moviegoers should expect Hollywood to produce nothing less than previous “gems” like Alone in the Dark and Agent 47.
With so many big video game franchises dipping over into the cinematic universe, one cannot help but wonder if this is Hollywood’s newest trend. Super hero movies have been building up to be the cats meow since the release of the first Iron Man movie back in 2008 and since then there has been various spawns of super hero movies and television shows everywhere you look. Seven years later and people are still jumping on the bandwagon but any avid moviegoer or film enthusiast knows that this only means one thing; that the super fad is in danger of fatiguing.
Certain fads that have died down since super heroes have taken over the silver screen are young adult films such as Hunger Games, Divergent and Maze Runner and with the Hunger Games saga coming to an end, we can surely expect to see less and less of these movies. Vampires and by association werewolves were all the rage back in 2008 with both breakout hits such as True Blood and Twilight completely dominating the demographic markets, but once the super hero trend started to gain more traction, the fatiguing vampire romance trend quickly died off and was forgotten about. Currently it’s all about super heroes and zombies thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and The Walking Dead, but now seven years later it’s time to start introducing a new trend for super fans to get behind and video games seems to be it.
As the first trailer for 2016’s World of Warcraft film adaptation is released, the director of the highly-anticipated upcoming film, Duncan Jones, explains why he thinks this video game-based movie will be the defining experience that will not let down its fans like so many have before it. “They’ve been trying to make this film for a long time when I came in I pitched what I thought it should be: essentially a war story where the story is told from both sides and both sides can be empathized with — and that is the film that we made,” said Jones. “I’m looking at what makes it appeal to me on a story level and who are the characters I can empathize with. I don’t think it’s necessarily what the source material is — I think it’s about the respect that you treat it with and how you find the core that makes it worth caring about.”
Jones talks a big game and from what he is saying, it sounds like he actually understands what gamers of the beloved franchise are looking for with its film counterpart. If Jones is able to capture the ever eluding magic touch and make Warcraft the breakout hit he’s hoping for, then it could be entirely possible that Warcraft will be this year’s Iron Man and usher in a new era of worthy video game adaptations and putting an end to so many past letdowns. With zombies and super heroes on the fast track to fatiguing out in the next couple of years, Hollywood is starting to plant the seed of their latest cash cow trend. With so many unique and franchise worthy stories that games tell, it would be surprising that the big H would not get behind and reap the benefits of adapting as many major hit franchises as they can while they figure out what trend to start next. If only they would put as much effort into creating new stories as they do in adapting them.