In a busy year for video game adaptations, here’s every video game-based movie currently set for release in 2022. Once upon a time, there was a clear divide in both prestige and success between the world of movies and the world of video games. As games have gotten more advanced, though, and in many ways more like movies, the interactive art form has become an even more financially lucrative industry. Top-level video games now have budgets that rival superhero blockbusters, and their releases have become just as big of events as the latest Marvel movie release in theaters.
Yet, despite how similar video games and movies now are, Hollywood hasn’t proven very adept at translating them to the big screen. Ever since the infamous 1993 Super Mario Bros. movie debuted to harsh reviews and weak box office, Hollywood has steadily tried to make hit video games into hit movies, and sadly, most of the results just haven’t been very good. Still, fans always live in hope that the next attempt will turn out more akin to the highly enjoyable Detective Pikachu, and less like the abysmal Alone in the Dark.
2021 saw heavy hitters Mortal Kombat and Resident Evil step back into the movie realm, to mixed results. 2022’s video game movie offerings include Spider-Man’s Tom Holland going on a different kind of adventure, Mario’s attempt at cinematic redemption, the return of gaming’s favorite hedgehog, and more. This is every video game movie currently planned for 2022.
Uncharted (February 18)
Venom helmer Ruben Fleischer directs Uncharted, an adaptation of the long-running Uncharted adventure video game franchise. The Uncharted games debuted in 2007 on the PS3, and the main series ostensibly ended with Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End in 2016 on the PS4. Unlike the games, which focus on a seasoned adventurer named Nathan Drake, the Uncharted movie stars 25-year-old Spider-Man actor Tom Holland as a younger, more inexperienced Drake. Mark Wahlberg co-stars as Victor “Sully” Sullivan, a younger take on Drake’s grizzled mentor. The plot details available so far suggest that Nathan and Sully will be searching for Nathan’s long-lost brother Sam Drake, which is an odd departure from the games, where he wasn’t even confirmed to exist until Uncharted 4. Playing Nathan’s rival treasure hunter – and love interest – Chloe Frazier is Sophia Ali (Grey’s Anatomy).
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (April 8)
Considering that the Sonic the Hedgehog video game franchise has been active and mostly successful since the early 1990s, it’s surprising that it took until 2020 for a Sonic the Hedgehog movie to finally be released. Early previews of the art weren’t great, with a wave of criticism aimed at the nightmarish-looking original design for Sonic. In a needed move, Paramount actually fixed that issue, redesigning the character and coming out with a Sonic look most found pleasing. While some long-term Sonic devotees were puzzled by the decision to make him a space alien, the response to 2020’s Sonic movie was quite positive overall, and the critical response wasn’t too bad either. In Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic’s human friends Tom (James Marsden) and Maddie (Tika Sumpter) go on vacation, leaving Sonic (Ben Schwartz) without supervision in a world still pretty new to him. When arch villain Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) and his new associate Knuckles the Echidna (Idris Elba) come around looking to acquire the powerful Master Emerald, it’s up to Sonic and fox pal Tails (Colleen O’Shaughnessey) to stop them.
Untitled Super Mario Bros. Movie (December 21)
After the critical and commercial bomb that was 1993’s Super Mario Bros. movie, Nintendo wisely backed out of a planned Super Mario Bros. 2 sequel. After nearly 30 years of dormancy, though, they’re teaming up with producer Illumination and distributor Universal to finally put out a new Mario movie, one that is still officially untitled. Unlike the 1993 outing, this Super Mario Bros. film will be an animated endeavor, which is probably for the best. In a casting choice that’s still proving controversial with some, Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt will voice Mario, while It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia‘s Charlie Day will voice Luigi. Plot details are as yet unrevealed, but other Super Mario Bros. movie cast members include Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, Jack Black as Bowser, Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, and perhaps oddest of all, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong. Rogen’s DK is already being considered for a spinoff movie.
Debuting in 2009, the Borderlands franchise is a series of first-person shooter video games with action RPG elements that take place in a futuristic sci-fi setting with a Western flair. The games focus on a class of characters known as Vault Hunters, who head to the vacated planet Pandora – not to be confused with Avatar‘s blue world of the same name – in order to claim its vault of riches. Directed by Eli Roth, the Borderlands movie’s story takes inspiration from the trilogy as a whole, and does feature some of the original playable characters. However, game developer Gearbox Software has confirmed it’s set in an alternate universe to the games. The story centers on the outlaw Lilith (Cate Blanchett), who’s hired to find the missing daughter of Atlas (Edgar Ramirez), Pandora’s biggest weapons manufacturer. With her on this quest are Roland (Kevin Hart), a former mercenary, Tiny Tina (Ariana Greenblatt), a young demolitions expert, Krieg (Florian Munteanu), Tina’s burly bodyguard, Dr. Tannis (Jamie Lee Curtis), an unstable scientist, and Claptrap (Jack Black), a snarky robot.
The Division (TBA)
Hopefully heading to Netflix in 2022 is The Division, based on the 2016 video game sporting the Tom Clancy brand. The Division is a massively multiplayer online first-person shooter with action RPG elements, and was followed by simply titled sequel The Division 2 in 2019. Its subject matter is oddly appropriate for today’s world, as The Division is set in a near-future New York City where a viral pandemic has led to chaos, destruction, and uncertainty for humanity’s survival. The titular Division is a team of activated civilians who’ve been trained by the government to handle this kind of catastrophic situation. Rawson Marshall Thurber (Red Notice) directs The Division movie, and the cast is led by heavy hitters Jessica Chastain and Jake Gyllenhaal. Deadpool 2‘s David Leitch was originally set to direct but dropped out due to scheduling issues. Of the upcoming video game movies covered here, The Division has seen the most setbacks during pre-production, and seems the most likely to possibly be bumped to 2023 as it’s yet to start filming.
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