Vin Diesel Is A Wheelman

Published 6 years ago by , Updated May 10th, 2009 at 6:13 am,

wheelman the movie Vin Diesel Is A Wheelman

In life there are three immutable laws: Death, taxes, and apparently the impossibility of make a decent movie based on a video game.

There may be some which are enjoyable (or likable, or charming, or whatever other positive description you wanna’ give them (for me an example is the first Resident Evil), but in terms of quality, they just aren’t any good. Hopefully that can be remedied at some point in the future… perhaps with the BioShock or possible Metal Gear Solid movies, but at this point in time there are no live-action video game movies (there are a couple of animated ones that are decent, notably Street Fighter II) that could be considered “quality stuff.”

Need examples, do you? OK, try this partial list out for size: Doom, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Resident Evil: Extinction, Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Street Fighter, Super Mario Bros., Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark, Silent Hill, Hitman, Bloodrayne, Max Payne…. I could go on and on…

However, even in the face of this, studios seem hell-bent on making more of them. The latest is a live-action adaptation of The Wheelman, which is set to star Vin Diesel and be directed by John Singleton. The game was just launched last month, and it also features the likeness, voice and producing force of Diesel himself. It’s extremely basic storyline is of an experienced getaway driver who comes out of retirement to help a woman from his past.

Oh the complexities that could be driven from that plot…

Diesel had already bailed on the Fast and the Furious series after the first and before Singleton came on-board for the second (although he didn’t direct the third or fourth, but Diesel had a cameo in the third and was recently in the fourth… confused?). Maybe the two of them will come together to make the fast car movie they could’ve done before…

Well, maybe not

The script for the film was originally written by Rich Wilkes (who wrote xXx), but has been rewritten by writing team Oliver Butcher and Stephen Cornwell. It will be produced by Diesel himself (as he did with the game) along with Lorenzo di Benaventura. The studio developing/releasing the project will be Paramount Pictures.

wheelman image2 Vin Diesel Is A Wheelman

This was a project that was supposed to have gotten going back in 2006. The original plan was to make the movie and the game at about the same time, and then release the two of them in close proximity to one another (which may have stopped it being another one of those games-based-on-movies that are rushed just for the sake of getting it out there quickly). Sumner Redstone (the big honcho who owns Paramount and game company Midway) then sold 87% of his stake in Midway (the company which made the Wheelman game) and so it went to Ubisoft.

So here we are, three years later….

Until the third law is broken, all video game movies in production will be presumed to be bad, and The Wheelman is certainly included. It’s not a game I’ve played (I haven’t had a chance yet since it only came out last month) but by the sounds of it, it’s just a thin storyline that’s there simply to serve gameplay… and that usually is the thing which results in movies based off of these games being awful.

I welcome with open arms a video game based movie which ends up being defined as “great,” but as it stands at the moment the odds are not good.

What do you think of a live-action movie of The Wheelman? Have you played the game, and if so do you think it could make a decent movie?

Source: Variety

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. Event Horizon was decent but I can’t stand anything after Mortal Kombat that Paul Anderson is involved in. Just Blah. RE 2 and 3. Dead or Alive baaaarrrrrffff. lets not Forget teh Terrible AVP movie, and I think he had a hand in scripting AVP -Requime. SOme one needs to make a movie Based off of Bubble Bobble to end the terrible Video Game movie madness.


  3. Hey, don’t give them any wacky ideas SIN…

  4. @ Vic

    Difference of opinions so I respectfully agree to disagree. However, as Ken J pointed out, not the best back up source. IMDB has it 6.2 out of 36,000 votes and that’s what it is, a generally accepted, above average flick that I really loved.

    @ Gravatar, I know what you mean. DOA was hot garbage and so were the RE movies. However, and I know I’m one of the few who say this, I LOVED Soldier. Kurt Russel is just a badass and I love post apocalypse movies.

    But I do have to say, Anderson redeemed himself, in my eyes, with Death Race. That was a fun FUN movie to watch. And on a side note, Death Race could be said to be based on Twisted Metal or Vigilante 8 (video games).

  5. @ogb – you dropped a few points with me when you said Mortal Kombat was AWESOME 
    @Wickamo – I’m gonna disregard your comments based on the fact that I don’t think you’ve ever seen said movies because you spelled Kombat with a “C” …TWICE!! 
    @Ross – DoA was a pretty bad movie and you could have added it to the list on speculation alone. I’m gonna have to disagree with you on Super Mario Brothers, how do you NOT love Bob Hoskins?
    Here a few more game movies that you didn’t add to the list that I feel should be on the good side:
    Tron (Hello? How did you leave that one off?)
    Cloak and Dagger ( Boom! 1st one to bring up an Atari game into a movie…bow to me!)
    Double Dragon (Again Boom!)
    At this point I have people laughing thinking to themselves, “Where can I find a copy of these movies because I remember seeing them in the theater when I was younger”
    Wing Commander (I liked it but it didn’t do so well in theaters)
    Alone in The Dark (Anytime you make Tara Reid a F’n SCIENITIST, the movie will fail)
    In the Name of the King (Poor Uwe Bolle, I think he has 4 or 5 game-to-movie credits under his belt and all of them bad)
    Does anyone remember the Dig Dug fake trailer that played in theaters? It was suppose to be a movie trailer but it was just a fake for the game that was being released.

  6. Not sure how I forgot about this one but TMNT I,II, and III! After looking back, Hollywood is nothing if not persistent.

  7. Silent Hill was an excellent movie – one slab of atmospheric weirdness from start to end- so there’s at least one great movie based on a video game. Strangely, i didn’t remember it was from a game till ogb mentioned it, i guess i was searching my mind for action adventure stuff and those have indeed sucked.

  8. @Walwus

    Say what you want but a lot of people liked MK and SH, so there is hope for video game movies (Gears of War, I’m looking at you)

    Oh and TMNT 1 was a damn good movie, fun especially for kids.

    @ Michael

    Yeah, SH is underrated and got quickly forgotten and lost. Good horror movies are hard to find nowadays and SH was exactly that, a good horror movie.

  9. You just knew MK2 was going to be bad when Christopher Lambert wasn’t going to be in it. And the chick that played Sonya decided not to come back either.

    I don’t know if I agree with you about SH being a “Good” horror movie. I’ll give you creepy as hell but not good. A good horror film to me is one where no matter what the “hero” does it’s not good enough to escape whatever fate lie in store for them. If they inexplicably act in a way that normal people would not act then I find it to be just ok and possibly more action than horror.

  10. @ Walwus

    TMNT 1-3 were not based off of the games, but the comics/cartoon series.

  11. @SIN187UM

    You’re right sorry. It was comics-cartoons-games-movies. I got carried away. BTW, just watched Super Mario Bros because I own it. :)

  12. @ ogb

    Death Race is based off of the original movie death race, which(the original) was made into a game. So The twisted Metal and vigilante are actually based off of Death Race, not the other way around.


    @ Ken J

    Lol Hollywood already has enough bad ideas about video game movies, but if they can actually pull off getting funding for production for Bubble Bobble then some one deserves a mild applause.

  13. @ Walwus

    ROFL, Man that was a terrible video game movie adaptation. Every time I see the dvd at Blockbuster I just laugh, but you have peaked curiosity to view it at least one more time. I’ll be sure to use it as a free rental though.

  14. @SIN

    I knew that, I made that argument for the sake of this thread and because Death Race is pretty similar to TM/V8

  15. Vin, just do what you do best and give us another Riddick movie.
    I’m not paying to see some Fast& Furious/Grand Theft Auto bs film.

  16. @ross miller “which Singleton also directed…” Singleton did not direct any of the XXX films, but Rich Wilkes wrote it.

  17. Some one should make a reality show where the challenge is to see if Hollywood can make a video game or Anime based movie that can be nominated for at least one Academy Award.

  18. @Vin,

    Thanks for catching that. While I was writing the post I got mixed up with the director of xXx and the first Fast and the Furious (both Rob Cohen) and John Singleton (who directed the secoind Fast and the Furious movie – 2 Fast 2 Furious – and is now directing Diesel in Wheelman… see, confusing:P).

    It’s fixed, thanks again.

  19. @Ross
    Oh sure! Now I’m the only one looking stupid thinking Singleton directed xXx! :-)

  20. @Ken J, thank you for pointing out how bad rottentomatoes is as a source.
    Event Horizon is really a good film! That and Mortal Kombat makes you think what the hell happened to Paul W.S. Anderson?

  21. Well, I only say that because of the unusually high ratings Crank 2 and Terminator 3 got… Both in the 60′s and both deserved nothing more than 25%…