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Video game movie adaptations coming in 2022

By Kara Santos Published Jan 11, 2022 5:46 pm

Despite the success of the video game industry, it’s no secret that most Hollywood attempts at video game movie adaptations just don't translate well on the big screen and mostly bomb at the box office.

Whether or not you’re a gamer, some movies like Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li and Alone in the Dark are just some of the most unwatchable movies out there.

However, this hasn’t stopped filmmakers from trying to exploit the vast potential of video games and turn them into movies, including last year’s Mortal Kombat reboot and Resident Evil, to mostly mixed reviews. 

This year hopefully marks a change with Tom Holland starring in Sony’s beloved Uncharted franchise fresh off his Spider-Man success, and two of the most iconic Sega and Nintendo video game characters making a comeback.

Let’s take a look at some of the video games being adapted into movies in 2022 and beyond.


Release date: February 18, 2022

Tom Holland plays a young Nathan Drake in the adaptation of the long-running Uncharted video game franchise helmed by Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer.

The Uncharted games developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment first debuted with Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune in 2007 on the PS3, while the main series ended with Uncharted 4: A Thief's End in 2016 on the PS4. 

Unlike the games, which focuses on a seasoned treasure hunter, the upcoming Uncharted movie stars 25-year-old Spider-Man actor Tom Holland as a younger, more inexperienced Drake along with Mark Wahlberg as Victor "Sully" Sullivan, a younger take on Drake's mentor.

Playing Nathan's rival treasure hunter and love interest is Sophia Ali as Chloe Frazer, the star of the standalone expansion Uncharted : The Lost Legacy, released in 2017 for the PS4.

The action sequences from the trailer seem to take inspiration from the video games, particularly 2011’s Drake’s Deception. In a departure from the games, plot details show that Nathan and Sully will be searching for Nathan's long-lost brother Sam Drake, who wasn't even confirmed to exist until Uncharted 4.

Whether or not the film will break the video game movie curse remains to be seen, but so far, we're hopeful.

Sonic The Hedgehog 2

Release date: April 8, 2021

Sonic the Hedgehog, the speedy blue critter created by Sega Genesis to compete with Nintendo’s mascot Mario, just turned 30 years old last year. The video game franchise has been active and running since the early 1990s, and between home consoles, portables and arcade cabinets, Sonic has starred in almost 90 games to date.

Despite its long gaming history, the first Sonic the Hedgehog movie was only released in 2020, and the sequel is set to be released this year. 

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 

Release date: December 21, 2022

The 1993 adventure comedy film Super Mario Bros., was actually the first ever feature-length live-action film to be based on a video game. Loosely based on the Mario video game series by Nintendo, it starred Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo as the Mario brothers.

After the movie tanked and became a commercial and financial bomb, Nintendo hasn’t attempted any other films of their beloved mascot, who has spearheaded one of gaming's most successful and renowned franchises.

Mario has spawned more than 200 games of various genres and several sub-series. The Mario franchise includes Mario Golf, Mario Kart, Mario Party, Mario Tennis, Mario vs. Donkey Kong, and Paper Mario; several characters introduced in the Mario franchise, such as Donkey Kong, Wario, and Yoshi, sparked successful franchises of their own.

However, after nearly 30 years, Nintendo is teaming up with producer Illumination and distributor Universal to produce a new animated Mario film, with Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto serving as co-producer. 

The voice cast includes Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt as Mario, along with It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's Charlie Day as Luigi

Plot details have not yet been disclosed, 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 Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong. Rogen's DK is already being considered for a spin-off movie.

Borderlands (TBA)

The Borderlands video game franchise is a series of first-person looter shooter video games with action RPG elements that take place in a futuristic space Western science fantasy setting. The games which debuted in 2009, focus on a class of characters known as Vault Hunters, who head to the abandoned fictional planet of Pandora in order to claim its vault of riches. 

Directed by Eli Roth from a screenplay written by Craig Mazin and Roth, the upcoming Borderlands movie's story takes inspiration from the video game trilogy as a whole, and does feature some of the original playable characters. However, game developer Gearbox Software has confirmed the science fiction action comedy is 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)

Possibly heading to Netflix in 2022 is The Division, based on the 2016 video game developed by Massive Entertainment and published by Ubisoft for Microsfot Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Tom Clancy's The Division is a massively multiplayer online first-person shooter with action RPG elements, which was followed by simply titled sequel The Division 2 in 2019.

While the film was first announced back in 2016, it's even more relevant today given the pandemic setting of the storyline, following a viral outbreak spread via paper money on Black Friday, which decimates the city of New York.

The game, set in a near future New York City in the aftermath of the viral pandemic puts player in the role of a Special Agent of the Strategic Homeland Division tasked with helping the group rebuild its operations in Manhattan, investigate the nature of the outbreak, and combat criminal activity in its wake. 

The Division has seen a number of setbacks during pre-production, and is likely to be bumped to 2023 as it's yet to start filming.

The live action feature film adaption of the game has reportedly been in development since 2016, with Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Chastain attached to star in the movie. Deadpool 2's David Leitch was originally set to direct but dropped out due to scheduling issues, leading to Rawson Marshall Thurber (Red Notice) stepping in. Netflix reportedly purchased the distribution rights to the film, and will exclusively release the feature through its streaming service.