With The Last of Us recently getting prepped for a television adaptation on HBO, it made me think about what other franchises would make for good (or decent) television. The five below are the first that came to mind, but as a disclaimer I won’t be speaking about titles like Splinter Cell, Halo, or Vampyr, which are supposedly in the works.
Developer Remedy Entertainment has a penchant for crafting sprawling, engrossing, and mind-bendi g narratives. Alan Wake, the action-adventure thriller set in the sleepy town of Bright Falls is perfect for a television adaptation. It would look something like a cross between Castle Rock and Twin Peaks with the titular protagonist constantly trying to determine whether or not hes going insane due to his current state of mind. With all of the different supernatural shows currently on TV, this would fit right in.
Forget the movie, that was a waste of Michael Fassbenders formidable talent. What Assassins Creed could be is an anthology series that chronicles the different adventures of the Brotherhood of Assassins as they battle with the Templars. Every protagonist would have their own motivation and there is potential for a number of twists to be thrown in to help change things up. While the Desmond Miles plot wasn’t handled well in the games, see Assassins Creed 3 (yeesh), there is enough potential to create an engrossing narrative arc.
Look, the movie adaptations weren’t great and to be fair, this is a series that may be best suited for television. There is so much creative flexibility in creating a series that centers around a sleepy town with a hidden dark side, that it would be crazy not to develop Silent Hill into a television show. The franchises different narratives proved that as long as the town was central to the plot, the series would always have legs. With the horror genre surging in television, it would be a mistake in passing up this franchise. TV needs pyramid head.
The Legend of Zelda
As long as this isn’t live action, then there is no reason why the Legend of Zelda series wouldn’t thrive as an animated series. There are a number of stories you could adapt, Link kicks a ton of ass, and the worlds themselves are fantastical and begging to be explored. Make it in the same vein as Castlevania, with its kick-ass animation, action, and humor, but turn down the gratuitous gore. Call Adi Shankar, the man just makes magic and while you’re at it, make sure he oversees the other video game adaptations as well. Just no Navi please.
God of War
This one would have a budget that rivals Game of Thrones, but it would make for a killer series. Greek Gods, gratuitous violence, and a narrative centering around revenge should be an easy sell. Think Spartacus, the later seasons, but throw in the supernatural. The series would also have the potential of developing series protagonist Kratos and show him wrestling with his inner demons throughout his campaign of revenge to add much needed depth to his character. This has the biggest boom or bust potential, but God of War definitely deserves a shot.
Now, as with all video game adaptations, there will be a heightened level of caution with fans as most franchises aren’t treated with care. But Sonic, Castlevania, and in some respects the recent Tomb Raider show that in the right hands it could be done. Studios should realize by now that gaming is a multi-billion dollar business and they are leaving money on the table by overlooking certain video game franchises. Fans will always have something to complain about, but that can be changed if a property is given the respect it deserves.