With the forthcoming onslaught of superhero comic book based Hollywood blockbusters on the horizon, I got to thinking, what other IP’s (intellectual properties i.e. fictional characters or universes trademarked/copyrighted in a different medium) currently out there would make really cool big budget films. As I have a love of video games and sci-fi my list is understandably biased in that direction. That said I’m certain there are a number of others with brilliant ideas for the next amazing movie based on some obscure novella series from the 1920’s… what are your ideas? 🙂
Freespace (Game) – Viewed by many as the best space flight sim video game (there was a really good sequel as well) ever made, this space opera had the player character on the front lines of a truly massive war when a mysterious third race appears and proceeds to dominate everyone nearly destroying the human race and their former foes. As the game was focused on flying around blowing up bad guys in your badass star fighter there wasnt exactly a lot of characters to develop. In fact, outside of a couple command people giving you orders virtually no one else in the game has a name, not even the dude you’re playing (common in a number of games of course). However the neat thing about that is it would allow the writers and director a lot of room to maneuver within the universe to create a truly compelling story. Even without any other real characters to develop within the game most players still felt it when they saw their home ship get annihilated by the unstoppable bad guys mid way through the game. With proper character development that could be a pivotal moment in any well made movie and make for an entertaining watch.
Fallout (Game) – A storied video game franchise (4 separate games, 5 if you include the crappy tactical one, each with is own story, this is starting with the first game) popular among many in the RPG community. The setting for this is a post apocalyptic United States where the survivors live in government sanctioned underground vaults equipped with everything necessary to repopulate the homeland. In one of these vaults is the protagonist but something goes wrong in the vault where he lives in so he volunteers to travel the wastes to another vault to obtain parts allowing the people of his vault to survive until the earth has finished healing and is ready for re-population. Along the way he discovers human survivors that didnt make it to the vaults, mutants and a plethora of other strange creatures. Could sort of be made as a rehash of mad max (only in the US) but if done properly could see its own niche created.
Arcanum (Game) – A fairly obscure game which in my opinion was the only one to ever really do a proper steampunk universe. Perhaps the coolest thing about this was the competition between technology and magic in a world where they were equals. Though the story in the game itself was a bit of a letdown just the idea of a steampunk vs magic universe is a pretty cool one and could be set in a different/better story fairly easily I think.
System Shock/Bioshock (Game) – I put these two series together because 1) they were created by what was ostensibly the same company/design team and 2) though the settings are significantly disparate, the baseline premise of the two stories is essentially the same. The protagonist awakens in the case of system shock on board what appears to be a derelict spaceship. Having been in stasis, he is unaware of what has occurred on the ship bringing it to is current state of being. As he is part of a small military contingent on board he begins to explore the ship discovering it has been overrun by mutants and zombies under the control of a maniacal computer AI (maybe one of the best villains ever in computer gaming history, the voice acting was brilliant) bent on destroying everything in its path. One of the many things that differentiated this game and its successor bioshock from many others was its ability to create a dark and foreboding atmosphere simply through proper pacing. The protagonist never felt completely safe as it was virtually impossible to build up much of an arsenal so you were always left scraping and scrambling for whatever protection you could find. Also this was never about a cast of heroes, merely one individual desperately seeking survival and escape… it’d certainly make for a great thriller movie.
Monkey Island (Game) – A bumbling idiot of a man wants to become a pirate and we get to follow him on his journey… thats the premise of this incredibly well written and funny series of video games. From insult duels to using inane and weird combination’s of objects this game has the potential to form the basis for a good slapstick comedy. Kinda what Johnny Depp’s character was supposed to be in Pirates of the Caribbean only so much better.
The Foundation Series (Book) – I have absolutely no idea how to make this series into a movie all I know is it might be kinda cool (and I heard rumors that someone might actually be doing it!). Anyways, this series covers the fall of a mighty human empire millennia in the future and the resulting rebuilding in the centuries following
The Dune Series (Book) – I know I know this series already has a few movies to its credit however, I REALLY don’t think any of those movies came close to covering the scope of the overarching story line in the series. The whole premise of the series is an examination of what occurs when the message of a messianic figure gets twisted and warped into the basis for a holy war that decimates countless worlds. Neither of the current films did that story proper justice
Mechwarrior/Battletech (Book/Game) – I think this universe would be incredibly fun to explore in film form… though it’s probably prohibitively expensive. There are countless stories from the games and the great number of books that could be covered too many to go into any detail here really. That said the general setting is that of humanity a millennia hence where Earth is but a distant myth. The galaxy has been carved up by various factions of humanity and while there is space combat, the primary mode of fighting are giant building sized walking war machines… now how cool is that? You get armies of these things dueling with each other vying for control of various planets as conflicts rage between the different factions. Later in the Books you see the arrival of a lost clan of humans from the outer reaches of the galaxy which changes the balance of power. I’d certainly say this fictional universe had potential on the big screen and with any number of stories to choose from all you’d need is a little spare change for all the giant Mech battle scenes!