A reader makes some predictions about what franchises will try and cash in on Sonic’s cinematic success, including Crash Bandicoot and Kirby.
Hollywood has been trying to make video game movies a thing for almost 30 years now but if you’d told anyone ahead of time that it would be Sonic the Hedgehog that finally made the idea work, I don’t think they’d ever have believed you. Heck, I don’t believe it and I’ve seen the sales figures (and the movie).
The films aren’t terrible and the second one does make a surprising effort to be more like the game, but the most obvious takeaway from the success is that… everyone’s going to copy it now.
Hollywood likes to jump on a bandwagon even more than the games industry does and while I expect we’ll see a general increase in video game movies, especially as Uncarted did okay too, I think it’s obvious that mascot platformers and other games with cute heroes are going to be pushed to the front of the queue.
The following are the games I would bet good money that Hollywood is sniffing around right now. Whether there’ll ever make decent movies is another thing entirely but since there’s no way that Sonic should have worked I don’t think we can rule any of them out, especially as half of them were trying to copy Sonic games in the first place anyway.
The most obvious one and if this isn’t already in intense negotiations at Activision (now Microsoft?) then a lot of people are not doing their jobs right. The set-up is very similar to Sonic but with the benefit that it’s not quite as abstract and weird, so you can just have the Bandicoots be on a secret island or something and that’s all you really need. Make it so Crash is a loveable fish out of water, that just wants to help his new human family and… c’mon, never mind Sonic. If you’ve ever seen a family movie before this stuff writes itself.
Spyro the Dragon
While they’re having that Crash conversation with Activision this is probably being readied as film #2. Again, it’s a lot simpler than it first seems. Family with cute kids befriends real baby dragons and… some CGI happens. Seriously, I have no idea what the story is of the Spyro games, even though I know I’ve played at least the first one all the to the end. I don’t think canon is really important though. As long as you have a cool purple dragon flying around it’s job done.
Once Microsoft finishes buying Activision they’ll have Crash and Spryo under their belt, but if they want to go for a hat trick then Banjo-Kazooie seems an obvious bet. They’ve tried and failed to resurrect the games before, so why not go the other route and try to make a film first, and let the games come after? I think this one might be better live action though, because the characters need to be in their world for it to really work and I don’t see that happening with human characters as well.
I think one other side effect of Sonic’s success is that we’ll probably see a second Pokémon film but with a Mario CGI movie out this year I think they’ll also try and give Kirby a go, especially as the most recent game was a big hit. He’d fit the Sonic formula almost perfectly – the new game literally has him mysteriously appearing in an Earth like world out of the blue – which is all the set-up you need, as our wacky human family discovers the little pink blob is actually a highly effective killing machine.
I’m pretty sure Capcom has been trying to get a Mega Man movie made for a while now, so the success of Sonic has probably already put this in turnaround. Again, I’m not really sure what the Mega Man plot is, but isn’t it basically Pinocchio meets Blade Runner? This one might be better for a CGI movie too, as all those future cities are going to cost a lot to make, but play up the Pinocchio angle and you’ve still got plenty of scope for human drama and schmaltz.
Jak And Daxter
I would say Ratchet & Clank was the more obvious choice here but they’ve already had a CGI movie and it was a flop. You could try again with a live action attempt, but I can see them going for Naughty Dog’s Jak And Daxter instead. Its post-apocalyptic fantasy setting (am I remembering that right?) is another expensive one but I imagine they can tweak it quite a bit, maybe even make Jak just an ordinary human that runs into Daxter the talking ferret, or whatever he is. That sounds like something Hollywood would do, doesn’t it?
By reader Winston
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