Video Game Movies Are The New Comic Book Movies, Says Ex-Marvel Man

Illustration for article titled Video Game Movies Are The New Comic Book Movies, Says Ex-Marvel Man

Avi Arad, former head of Marvel Studios and producer of the comic book company's big screen adaptations, believes that video games are "great source material" and that Hollywood will soon embrace games as it has superheroes.


According to the Hollywood Reporter, Arad said at the Milken Institute Global Conference "Very much like when we started with comics, we need one runaway success to make it very clear that this is a great source material." Arad, of course, has a vested interest in seeing video games succeed as potential film properties. He's backing adaptations of Mass Effect, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and inFamous along with his son, Ari Arad. The elder Arad produced Marvel's Spider-Man, X-Men and Iron Man films, to name just a few.

Legendary Pictures' top man Thomas Tull appeared to agree with Arad, saying "some of the properties that have come out in the last couple of years are incredibly layered and complex." He expects a "similar shift is going to happen."

Some video games, like Resident Evil, have enjoyed some degree of commercial success. Other big names, like Gears of War, BioShock and Halo, have had their own issues making their way to the big screen, namely massive budgets that studios balk at.

Of course, House of the Dead and Bloodrayne director Uwe Boll must share some of the blame for the video game movie's struggle to catch on.


The Jerry Bruckheimer producer Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time makes its theatrical debut next month, with adaptations of World of Warcraft, Kane & Lynch and many others still in the works. Who wants to place bets on which of these will be a "runaway success"?

Avi Arad: More video game movies on horizon [THR]


Video games are horrible source material for movies, because more often than not, story, character, and narrative are a complete afterthought to graphics, gameplay, and features.

Comics, on the other hand, are all about story, character, and narrative. And also, comic books have a completely different relationship to the culture, which is big when it comes to drawing an audience. Superman, Batman, and Spiderman, for example, are icons that transcend the comic book community. I'm not sure that the video game industry really has many of those types of icons, itself.

But what remains is that any movie coming out of video games needs to have a compelling story and compelling characters, or else it's just a game without the gameplay and features. And it will stink.