Game to movie adaptations have a poor record at the box office. Who can forget such classics as Super Mario Brothers or Mortal Kombat? A new technique of filming action scenes, partly based on the innovations introduced by the now classic The Matrix, have made the transition from game to movie a more viable and profitable possibility.
Last Summer Tomb Raider proved to be a money making movie, even though critics hated it. Based on the charms of its star, and on the impressively filmed action scenes, Tomb Raider seems to have opened the FPS floodgates for the movie industry.
US reports claim that the continuation of that success, as expressed by the money brought in by Resident Evil, have led to its director, Brit Paul Anderson, writing and directing a big screen version of Aliens vs Predator. This will be a unique story of movies turned games turned movies. The games in the series feature Aliens and Predators who have undergone various scientific experiments. The movie, it is rumoured, will rely heavily on the stories of previous Aliens and Predator movies.
Return to Castle Wolfenstein will be co-produced by Saving Private Ryan producer Mark Gordon and The Mexican producer John Baldecchi. In the game a highly decorated Army Ranger is recruited and tasked with escaping and then returning to Castle Wolfenstein in an attempt to thwart Heinrich Himmler's occult and genetic experiments. Himmler believes himself to be a reincarnation of a 10th century dark prince, Henry the Fowler, also known as Heinrich. Through genetic engineering and the harnessing of occult powers, Himmler hopes to raise an unstoppable army to level the Allies once and for all. The story allows for the creation of an impressive, at least visually, movie.
All these first time efforts however, will most likely be preceeded by the release of Tomb Raider 2. Angelina Jolie has already agreed to return as Lara Croft and although early estimates of a Summer 2002 release where overly optimistic, a quick release, possibly summer 2003, is expected.
What recent efforts have shown is that for any game-turned-movie to succeed a careful selection of the leading lady is important, as the names Angelina Jolie, Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez tend to suggest.