"As a gamer, I’m saying ‘put the camera down and fucking run’."
These are the words of Valve's Gabe Newell, creator of Half-Life and Portal - a man with a passion for gaming and an interest in the parallels his industry has with the world of cinema. This eloquent statement was uttered during a discussing with J J Abrams on the respective merits of storytelling in video games and film at last year's DICE festival, a keynote speech that highlighted just how close the two mediums have grown in recent generations.
As video games get bigger budgets, richer graphics and more fans, Hollywood is starting to snap up greater numbers of IP and stories to pump through the blockbuster machine, some to the excitement of fans, others... less so.
Here are eleven video game titles that'll be making the switch to cinema in the near future.
When a Kickstarter-funded fan-made film fell through earlier this month, Minecraft fans (all 100 million of them) hug their heads and returned to their brick building work. But it would appear there's life in the blocky beast yet, with Deadline reporting that Warner Bros. have acquired the rights to make a live-action film based on the open world game. Roy Lee, buoyed by success of his similarly angular The Lego Movie, has been signed to produce, with further details yet to emerge.
Need for Speed
Due: 14 March
No doubt you're still trying to work out how director Scott Waugh is going to squeeze an interesting film narrative out of a game about driving cars very quickly. Aaron Paul stars as Tobey Marshall, a man who's just been release from prison for serving a crime he never committed. He's looking to settle a score with Dominic Cooper - not via the US penal system, but via the justice-burning wheels of an American muscle car.
Due: Summer 2014
Essentially an in-game cut scene extended into a feature length film, all but the most die-hard of Heavenly Sword fans will be forgiven for missing out on this one. Nariko has to take an ancient magical sword to the individual destined to wield it, manages to slice some nasty looking types to pieces during the process.
Resident Evil 6
The sixth instalment of the most ridiculously successful video game film franchise of all time isn't going to change its winning formula any time soon: the series has taken £550,144,250 worldwide, made on a total budget of £148,904,160. Milla Jovovich returns as Alice, back to her super-human self at the conclusion of 2012's Retribution. She and a band of survivors are set to destroy the malicious computer intelligence The Red Queen and presumably kill a lot of zombies along the way.
Due: June 2015
The film adaptation of Ubisoft's sneak'n'stab stealth game gained some serious credibility back in 2012 when the studio announced the involvement of a certain Michael Fassbender. "I met up with the guys from Ubisoft and they told me the story behind it. I thought it was very interesting — the idea of reliving memories," said the Oscar-nominated actor, set to produce and star in the forthcoming film. Details of the plot are yet to emerge, with Scott Frank (Minority Report, The Wolverine) helping rewrite a script initially penned by Michael Lesslie. Expect sci-fi memory tech, hidden knives and the meddling of those pesky Illuminati.
Due: March 2016
Despite losing several million in the last year, the World of Warcraft still attracts more than 7 million subscribers to its virtual realm - more than enough wallets to interest Legendary Pictures in making a film about the series. Set to be written and directed by British talent Duncan Jones (Source Code, Moon) after Sam Raimi dropped out, the cast includes Ben Foster, Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell and Rob Kazinsky. The fantasy epic showed off a teaser trailer at 2013's Comic-Con, depicting a human soldier clashing with a hammer-wielding Orc.
Due: July 2016
Two billion downloads have given Sony Pictures and Rivo Entertainment two billion good reasons to make an Angry Birds film. With veteran animator Clay Kaytis (Frozen, Tangled, Wreck-It Ralph) and seasoned artist Fergal Reilly (The Iron Giant, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) set to direct this animated comedy, we're curious to see how the stupid-simple game narrative of protective birds and hungry pigs can be stretched into a feature length film - but with such talent on board, we're keen to see the outcome.
Agent 47 (Hitman)
While it was never going to romance the pen of critics, the 2007 film Hitman was by no means a flop: made on a $24 million budget, it brought in just shy of $100 million at boxoffices worldwide. Plans for the sequel fell through after the Timothy Olyphan distanced himself from the project.
Paul Walker had been slated to play the reboot's titular Agent 47, Rupert Friend (Homeland) replacing the Fast & Furious star after his untimely death. Aleksander Bach will be making his directorial debut, while Zachary Quinto (Star Trek, American Horror Story) and Hannah Ware (Oldboy) have also joined the cast.
Half-Life and Portal
Remember that DICE panel discussion between Gabe Newell and J J Abrams we mentioned? They dropped a sizeable nerd bomb when Newell told Abrams he'd like to "find out if there's a way we can work with you on a Portal and Half-Life movie." Abrams went on to confirm that the on-stage remark had some serious legs to it, but given his busy schedule working on just about every major sci-fi film going, further details are yet to emerge. For an idea on what the project could look like, check out the short film above.
The rich game lore of Square Enix' sci-fi-heavy role playing hit is apparently what drew Sinster writers Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill to take on this ambitious adaptation of Human Revolution. Having promised fans that they won't be making a 'video game movie' but a true cyberpunk noire, the duo are yet to cast or start shooting their script.
The names associated with this title deserve a list of their very own. David O. Russell was initially brought in by Sony Pictures to tell the story of tomb-raiding Nathan Drake, but having turned in a script with a score of new characters and mob-family overtones, Sony said no. His departure also ended speculation that Mark Wahlberg, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci might join the project. Next up to write and direct was Neil Burger (The Illusionist, Limitless), followed by another new script written by Marianna and Cormac Wibberley. Earlier this month, Sony announced that actually Seth Gordon would be directing a script written by David Guggenheim. Despite the adaptation's revolving door, Sony look like they're keen to make something, at some point.
Do you think there are any video games that deserve a film? Let us know in the comments below.