Film adaptations of video games get a bad rep because most of them are terrible. It's often because the directors and writers don't play the games that their movie is based on. This has resulted in a number of noteworthy bombs, with a few heralded as some of the worst movies ever made. But for every disappointment that gets pushed into theaters, there are a few gems out there. Movies like Ready Player One and Detective Pikachu have proved that good gaming movies are possible.
There are a number of gaming movies that will never see the light of day. Some of them could have been awesome, while others should be left to rot in the minds of those who conceived them. Here are 10 that we wish we could see, and others we're glad will never see the light of day.
10 Didn't Want To See: Tomb Raider Sequel (Angelina Jolie)
Between 2001 and 2003, Paramount released a pair of movies based on the Tomb Raider series. While both movies received negative attention by critics, they did perform well at the box office, due in large part to Angelina Jolie's star power. Naturally, plans for a sequel were laid out. However, a third outing with Lara Croft wasn't meant to be.
Jolie herself was the one responsible for the movie's shelving. After Cradle of Life was released, she felt the need to move on to better and brighter things. She made the right choice. The first two Tomb Raider movies are seen today as shallow iterations of Lara Croft.
9 Did Want To See: Castlevania
Konami's horror-platformer about the vampires of Dracula's castle sounds like the perfect idea for a film adaptation. The rich lore and gothic aesthetics would lend themselves nicely to a big-budget feature. At one point, a movie was in the works that was announced back in 2007. Sadly, the writer's strike of 2008-2009 put the film on ice, and it eventually had a stake driven through its heart. Turns out that sunlight, crucifixes, and garlic aren't the only things that can hurt a vampire, and organized protests can be can as well.
8 Didn't Want To See: Doom Sequel
Released in the wake of the Doom 3's release, 2005's Doom starred the Rock as a space marine trying to save Mars from demonic monsters. The movie was heavily inspired by Doom 3's visual aesthetics and even featured a few scenes shot in the first person.
Still, that didn't stop the movie from tanking at the box office and receiving overwhelmingly negative reviews from critics and fans. Plans for a sequel that had been proposed while the first was still in production were banished to hell, and Hollywood abandoned the franchise for a decade.
7 Did Want To See: Gears of War
The Xbox 360's first killer app, Gears of War took players to the grim and dying world of Sera, where a subterranean race of militant monsters called the Locus threaten the existence of humanity. Action, stylistic gore, and the beauty of urban decay would have looked amazing on the big screen, and the game's sharp writing seemed tailor-madet for a screenplay. A film adaptation was first announced not even a year after the first game was released. But constant script rewrites and a rotating door of writers undermined the project and eventually caused it to crash and burn. We hope that the movie could one day be salvaged, but for now, fans shouldn't hold their breath.
6 Didn't Want To See: 5 Nights at Freddy's
What started as a humble indie horror game turned into one of the biggest viral sensations of the decade. 5 Nights at Freddy's exploded onto the indie scene back in 2014, prompting Warner Brothers to release a prequel film adaptation. But since the day it was green-lit, the movie has been marred by issues.
The film's director has changed multiple times, and shake-ups at the studio have caused the movie to be delayed indefinitely. While series creator Scott Cawthon remains optimistic, considering the game has become something of a passing fad has made the movie all but destined for failure. Perhaps Freddy's should stay closed for good this time.
5 Did Want To See: Bioshock
Irrational Game's masterpiece is widely considered a classic of modern gaming. Fueled by an elaborate plot, biting commentary, and a dangerous world filled with monsters and mutated freaks, Bioshock is a cinephile's dream come true. Despite this, Universal was reluctant to give the movie the budget it needed to be successful, because the thought of spending more than $100 million on an R-rated film made their financial backers uncomfortable. While this belief doesn't make a lick of sense, it was enough to sink the movie for good.
4 Didn't Want To See: Call of Duty
Rumors of a Call of Duty movie have been floating around for the better part of a decade. Yet the film is taking its sweet ol' time getting off the ground. Last year offered a glimmer of hope, when the director of Sicario 2 a was attached.
However, in the months that followed, we've heard nothing on its progress. While Call of Duty has the best chance of any of this list of coming out, the franchises' unpopularity among gamers could spell doom for production.
3 Did Want To See: Halo
Halo fans have been begging for a film adaptation on the beloved shooter for almost twenty years. It's sad, therefore, that getting the movie off the ground has proven to be harder than The Library on Legendary. Microsoft's desired level of control over the production rubbed many in Hollywood the wrong way. Case in point was their falling out with Peter Jackson, who planned to produce the movie with Neill Blomkamp in the director's chair. However, it did give us District 9, so the debacle wasn't completely in vain.
2 Didn't Want To See: Unnamed Mortal Kombat Sequel
The first Mortal Kombat film, released during the peak of the game's popularity, was panned by critics, but performed well and became a cult classic. The sequel, Annihilation, which came out two years later, didn't fare as well. Considered one of the worst movies of all time, the film has remained the butt of industry jokes for two decades.
Yet, one might be surprised to learn that a third installment was not only greenlit, but also languished in development hell for over years. Writers and directors came and went, until Warner Brothers acquired the IP in 2008 and performed a fatality on the project.
1 Did Want To See: Half-Life
Half-Life is to gaming what To Kill a Mockingbird is to modern literature. The franchise that butted conventions to become a force unto its own, Half-Life and its sequel are universally loved by everyone and their mothers. A film adaptation would not only break the internet, but the box office and all of Hollywood as well. But as of now, the movie has proven to be just as elusive as Half-Life 3. Recently, JJ Abrams has stated his desire to direct a Half-Life movie, with the blessing of Valve frontman Gabe Newell. Yet, with no concrete proof of the movie's existence, fans should remain skeptical. After all, Valve has shown time and time again that they couldn't care less about supporting the franchise that made them a household name, so a movie is likely not at the top of their list of priorities.