The Mario movie is one of the most highly-anticipated and talked-about movies of the last few years. While this isn’t Mario’s first trip onto the big screen, people are curious if a movie inspired by a game, especially a game franchise with such a simple plot, can work as a full 90-minute feature.
But if the Mario movie smashes expectations, then we can expect other video game franchises to get big-screen adaptions. So, if anyone at Illumination is looking for ideas for future films, here are 10 franchises just asking to be made into movies.
10. Deus Ex
One of the most influential action RPGs of all time, Deus Ex, first landed on Windows, Mac, and PS2 in 2000. The game was known for its deep and involving cyberpunk story, featuring cybernetics, government conspiracies, and loads of intrigue. And as Cyberpunk: Edgerunners proved, these themes translate well to the screen.
There was an attempt to make a Deus Ex movie based on the Deus Ex: Human Revolution reboot back in 2012, but the project fell through. However, if Mario reignites Hollywood’s passion for video game movies, this script can be dragged out of storage and put to use.
9. Resident Evil Village
There have been several Resident Evil films, from the surprisingly decent to the utterly terrible. (Looking at you, 2010’s Resident Evil: Afterlife).
But the recent game, Resident Evil Village, is just crying out for a film. Lady Dimitrescu, one of the game’s antagonists, became an internet sensation the second she was revealed, so why not cash in on that virality by making her a film sensation as well? Village’s cast of characters is one of the most fascinating collections of oddballs ever created. So there is plenty of fun stuff the writers could explore in a film spin-off.
If Capcom wants to leave a massive mark on pop culture, they could even dig out the puppets they used to promote the game in Japan, hand them to Peter Jackson and let him give the world the spiritual sequel to Meet the Feebles we desperately need.
Pac-Man is a video game legend. The dot muncher also has a strange history when it comes to films. Sure, there has never been a Pac-Man film in the truest sense, but the character has had top billing in two other films. Even more weirdly, Pac-Man was the antagonist in both films, and both featured him becoming a city-wrecking kaiju. What makes this all the funnier is that one of these movies is the notorious Adam Sandler vehicle Pixels, while the other was Kamen Rider Heisei Generations: Dr. Pac-Man vs. Ex-Aid & Ghost with Legend Riders, a spin-off of Japan’s ever-popular Kamen Rider franchise. Leading to the world’s weirdest double feature.
Because of this, we’re well overdue for an actual Pac-Man movie. Especially as the game franchise has inspired several animated TV series. So there is loads of stuff that could be adapted if a studio decides to make an actual movie.
7. The Secret of Monkey Island
The Monkey Island series of point-and-click video games are some of the most influential games in the world. The first in the series, The Secret of Monkey Island, is one of the best games ever created. The game’s blend of adventure and humor is sublime. Plus, the game is packed full of memorable characters and set pieces that would work beautifully on the screen.
There were plans to make a movie based on Monkey Island. However, this project was canceled. Legend has it that Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio used parts of their Monkey Island script to make the first Pirates Of The Caribbean movie. And, while the pair deny this, the success of that movie and its subsequent sequels shows that a Monkey Island movie would work.
6. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island
Let’s face it, if the Mario movie does well, we can expect a whole host of spin-offs. The film is being made by Illumination – a studio that is famous for its ability to wring every last drop out of all its franchises. And if there is one thing Hollywood loves more than a sequel, it’s an origin story.
Launching for the SNES in 1995, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island is a prequel to the other Mario games, showing Yoshi carrying baby Mario around the world to reunite him with his brother. The game is known for its unique art style, so it would be the perfect choice for a sequel, as it would allow Illumination to experiment with the franchise’s aesthetic. Also, Yoshi is one of the franchise’s most iconic characters, so both long-time fans and Mario newbies would be happy for the green dino to take center stage.
5. Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble!
Much in the same vein as the previous entry, if the Mario movie does well, a Donkey Kong spin-off seems inevitable. Donkey Kong is no stranger to the small screen, making his TV debut in 1983’s Saturday Supercade (where he was voiced by the legendary Soupy Sales) and in 1997’s computer-animated Donkey Kong Country series.
But, if Illumination wants to really cement the Mario movie as a meta-franchise, jumping right to Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble! might be the best move. Launching on the SNES in 1996, this game tasks Dixie Kong and Kiddy Kong with rescuing Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong. This would be a great way to expand Donkey Kong’s world and open up more sequels and spin-off opportunities.
When Alexey Pajitnov created Tetris in 1984, he made a phenomenon that would shape the future of interactive entertainment. The block stacking game is one of the most-known video games in the world. And the game has been re-released countless times and inspired millions of developers.
While the game lacks a story, other puzzle games, like the ones found in the Puyo Puyo series, have managed to have a decently fleshed-out story that complements the puzzle action. There was a previous attempt to make a Tetris movie in 2014, but that movie vanished, never entering production. However, it does show that the idea of a Tetris movie does have some potential.
Heck, if they can make the Emoji Movie and have it earn $217.8 million at the box office, then anything is possible.
3. Super Metroid
One of Nintendo’s most beloved franchises, Metroid, is just crying out for a movie version. Metroid’s lead character, Samus Aran, is iconic, and her sci-fi adventures would work perfectly on the big screen. This is especially true of 1994’s Super Metroid, which follows Aran as she tries to rescue the last Metroid from a group of space pirates led by Ridley.
Metroid’s aesthetic is just crying out for a sci-fi epic, and the story is detailed enough to give a film some foundation while still being open enough for the writers to flesh it out in a way that makes sense.
2. Kirby Super Star
Released in 1996 on the SNES, Kirby Super Star is the 8th game in the Kirby franchise. However, unlike previous installments, this one contains a series of shorter games. It sees Kirby go on an epic adventure and battle some of his most famous foes, including King Dedede and Meta Knight.
Kirby’s cute visual style is perfect for an animated movie, as it has loads of delightfully whimsical locations, and the cartoonish, stylized characters would look stunning in Illumination’s signature style. Plus, the nature of this game means you could have several small vignettes with different stories that all link together at the end, giving the writers plenty of opportunities to get creative.
1. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
The Legend of Zelda is one of the most famous video game franchises to ever launch on home consoles. Link and his fantasy adventures are some of gaming’s most iconic stories, and people have been crying out for a movie based on the franchise for years.
And 2000’s The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask would be the natural choice for a movie. The game sees Link trapped in Termina, a world that will be destroyed by the Moon in three days. This situation forces Link to go through a three-day time loop over and over, trying to find a way to stop the Moon before it can wipe out the world. But, while trying to do this, he’ll have to deal with the perplexing Skull Kid and learn about the mysterious Majora’s Mask.
Known for its immensely unsettling atmosphere, Majora’s Mask would work really well as a horror film. And the film’s dark and gloomy visuals would allow for some stunning animation. In fact, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask‘s unique aesthetic feels like a natural fit for a director like Henry Selick, as they could create something truly memorable with the game’s environments and characters.
Plus, it has been proven that the story of The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask can work in other mediums. As the manga version written by Akira Himekawa built on the game’s plot and fleshed it out in several unique ways while also being just as gripping and atmospheric as the original game.