For the most part, videogame movies are the cinematic equivalent of taking a dump in your friend’s shoe. It might have seemed like a hilarious, cool idea at the time, but now there’s shit everywhere and everybody is angry. For decades filmmakers have been trying to make decent films based on popular videogame franchises, but there has yet to be a single movie that would qualify as legitimately good, although the Resident Evil movies continue to make money, for whatever that’s worth.
Most of us recognize that videogame movies could be good though, right? Many games have an interesting premise, exciting characters and are overflowing with violent action—basically all the ingredients for a successful modern blockbuster.
Well, that’s what Gearbox Software seems to think, and they’ve announced that two of their biggest franchises—Borderlands and Duke Nukem
(!!!)—are inching closer to their big-screen debuts. At E3, Gearbox CEO, Randy Pitchford, had a livestreamed sit-down with the guy who has the job you want—videogame journalist, Geoff Keighley—to discuss the forthcoming adaptations. On Borderlands, Pitchford said:
We’ve been developing scripts and the strategy that we’re on right now is, that it’s obviously in the Borderlands universe, but rather than retell the stories that were in the game, we’ create new stories so that the films will have their own film canon … We’ll use all the characters and scenarios, it’s similar to what Marvel is doing. You can read any particular film plot in a comic book, but there’s a lot of characters, themes, and in fact, some of the situations are represented.
Then Pitchford got really excited and revealed that a Duke Nukem movie was honest-to-God-for-real happening. Here’s his “I can’t announce this” announcement:
We’re working on Duke Nukem! I can’t announce it, but it’s blown my mind, there’s been a lot of production companies have come at us. We’re putting together a deal right now with a major motion picture studio; I’ll tell you off the record if you want to know. It’s the exact right people that should be doing a Duke Nukem film and we’ll see what happens. It’s unbelievable, I think that’s very likely a thing.
It sounds like pretty exciting stuff. A flick that gives us all the opportunity to watch Claptrap rumble across a dusty desert-scape or Duke Nukem himself guzzle beer while chucking pipe bombs haphazardly would obviously make all of the money.
Regardless of what happens with these two films, it’ll be awhile before they hit theaters. Resident Evil’s obscene amount of forthcoming movies aside, it looks like the next major videogame-esque movie will be Spielberg’s Ready Player One, which should land on March 30 of next year. But that’s based on a dumb paper book, so that hardly counts.
To learn more about why some of your favorite franchises aren’t being made into movies, check out this article here. Otherwise, watch the entire Gearbox E3 interview livestream below.