Checking in on the Biggest Upcoming Video Game Movies of 2021…and Beyond

Those of us who still believe in the potential of video game movies don’t have it easy. We have lived through tough times, seen things we can’t unsee, and gone to bed dreaming of a Peter Jackson-helmed Halo, only to wake up to the cold reality of a Paul W.S. Anderson “imagining” of the Monster Hunter universe. But we’re not immune to hope either. Positive thoughts helped us stick with the genre after a “can’t miss” Assassin’s Creed project turned out to indeed miss badly, then be rewarded month’s later with a gift from the casting gods that deposited Ryan Reynolds smack dab at the center of Detective Pikachu.

It’s been a wild ride. And the next couple of years look no different, with more game adaptations hitting Hollywood than ever before. Which makes it a great time to check in with the current status of several high-profile video game adaptations that have been announced, and see how they’re shaping up.

Borderlands (Release Date: TBD)

If the movie is half as good as the cutscenes and VO work found in every installment of the hit Gearbox Software franchise, we may have a sleeper hit on our hands here. Horror-master Eli Roth is at the helm and Cate Blanchett has been called in to play popular heroine Lillith. Kevin Hart is going to be in there somewhere as well, as he moves from board game-adaptation to the video game movie space. Let’s just hope there aren’t more writers attached to the project than guns that can be looted in the games.

Mortal Kombat (Release Date: April 16, 2021)

If the game can reinvent itself after multiple iterations from the 90’s, then why not the movie version? When Mortal Kombat rebooted in 2013 across multiple platforms most of the kids who played it originally were married with children— well past their prime when it came to disembowling opponents with a well-timed finishing move. But the graphics looked great and the fighting was unapologetically brutal — and a hit was (re)born. Now it’s the movie’s turn, with a 2021 edition that sports an “R” rating and a hot young director named [checks notes]…Paul W.S. Anderson? Oh dear.

Metal Gear Solid (Release Date: TBD)

Not much intel on this one yet, except that there’s a director on board; Jordan Vogt-Roberts of Kong: Skull Island 2 fame. Oh, there may be one other enticing thing we know about the project…

Oscar Isaac. The man held an entire Star Wars Trilogy together single-handedly, so taking a Metal Gear movie to another level should be a breeze. The man can do it in his sleep. Which, coincidentally, is exactly how Ben Affleck played Batman in Justice League.

Seriously though, we love Isaac and all, but have always thought we’d see The Terminator’s Michael Biehn in this role. He is on the original NES box art after all. Wait. What the hell? They ripped off the actual Terminator movie on that box! Didn’t anyone notice this? Somebody call Jimmy Cameron.

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