10 Upcoming Video Game Movies (And When You Can Watch Them)

Thanks to stinkers like Super Mario Bros. and Street Fighter, video game films don't exactly have the best reputation. However, whether their production is motivated by money or sheer force of will, movie studios continue to pump them out, which results in flicks that range from halfway decent (Tomb Raider 2018) to just not very good (Assassin's Creed). But if you're still eager to see what Hollywood has planned for the video game world, here's a list of the biggest gaming films currently in development — and everything we know about them.

Pokémon: Detective Pikachu

Starring Ryan Reynolds as a gruff, fully talking Pikachu, Pokémon: Detective Pikachu is the Pokemon movie you didn't know you wanted. Based on the Nintendo 3DS game of the same name, Detective Pikachu sees the iconic yellow Pokémon form an unlikely bond with Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) as the two go on a search for Harry Goodman, Tim's father and Pikachu's former detective partner.

Credit: Warner Bros.

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Based on the trailer, Detective Pikachu looks like a hilarious, off-beat buddy cop comedy that also promises to bring iconic Pokémon like Charizard, Jigglypuff and Mr. Mime to life with some absolutely striking (and occasionally creepy) visual effects. — Mike Andronico

Release date: May 10, 2019

Sonic the Hedgehog

Sega's blue blur has taken on many different forms over the years — cute, gritty, Nathan Drake, werewolf — but none quite like what has been previewed in the teaser poster for the upcoming Sonic live-action film, due out next November. The fur is one thing, but Sonic's full-size limbs, which paradoxically seem both lanky and sculpted while possessing the worst qualities of both, are definitely going to take some getting used to.

Credit: Sony Pictures

(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

At least we can take solace in Parks and Rec's Ben Schwartz lending his pipes to Sonic. It's an inspired choice and definitely not as puzzling as Jim Carrey playing Dr. Robotnik. Like Detective Pikachu, this will be a buddy cop flick, with James Marsden serving as the straight man to the hedgehog antics and attitude. Honestly, we're a little scared but also a little curious. Disaster or not, you can't deny they've already mastered the Sonic hype cycle. — Adam Ismail

Release date: Nov. 8, 2019

Monster Hunter

You'd think a project like this wouldn't be hard to make a film out of, considering no one plays Monster Hunter for the story. However, Paul W.S. Anderson (butcherer of the Resident Evil film franchise) is slated to direct this film, so what should be a fun, campy adventure that's as intense as it is adorable will likely be turned into the edgiest, cringiest adaptation of Monster Hunter yet.

Credit: Capcom

(Image credit: Capcom)

To be fair, I could be wrong. We actually have seen a few shots of Milla Jovovich and Tony Jaa on set already, and Jaa looks like a complete badass with Field Team Leader's armor and a Giant Jawblade. However, Jovovich looks like she was geared with some discount cosplay found for her on Etsy. But hey, if they get Palicoes right, then it's an instant 10 out of 10 for me. There's no word on a release date as of yet, but to scratch your Monster Hunter itch in the meantime, sometime in 2019, Monster Hunter: World will get a Witcher 3 collaboration as well as major Iceborn expansion. — Rami Tabari

Expected release: TBD

Gears of War

The Gears of War movie was officially announced back in late 2016, but we haven't learned much more about it since then. A film about burly guys and gals shredding nasty aliens to bits with chainsaw guns seems like it would lend itself well to at least a decent sci-fi B movie, but it could just as easily go the way of so many other gaming films. In November 2018, The Wrap reported that Universal and Microsoft tapped writer F. Scott Frazier (xXx: Return of Xander Cage) to pen the film, with Dylan Clark and Gears co-creator Rod Fergusson to produce.

Credit: Microsoft

(Image credit: Microsoft)

We also know that Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy) really wants to play series protagonist Marcus Fenix, a role he seems like a perfect fit for. Gears of War 5 is slated to hit Xbox One and PC in late 2019, so perhaps we'll hear more news on the Gears film front closer to that time. — Mike Andronico

Expected release: TBD

Uncharted

It's easy to get cynical about a movie based on Sony's Uncharted series — after all, these action-adventure heist romps are practically playable films in and of themselves. But Sony seems to be going in an interesting direction with the movie, casting Tom Holland (yes, Spider-Man himself) to play a young version of wisecracking series star Nathan Drake in what looks to be an origin story for the character that we haven't seen before.

Credit: Sony

(Image credit: Sony)

In August 2018, director Shawn Levy told The Playlist that the movie was "close to the starting line" and "has a very good script." — Mike Andronico

Expected release: TBD

Metal Gear Solid

The storylines of the Metal Gear Solid games may be the most convoluted in video game history, but they could make for one hell of a movie. Right now, it's still in the pregreenlight stages, though, as a passion project for director Jordan Vogt-Roberts (Kong: Skull Island). The filmmaker's already got the nod of approval from MGS creator Hideo Kojima, with whom he's been fervently discussing what the adaptation should contain.

Credit: voteroberts/instagram

(Image credit: voteroberts/instagram)

Of his many ideas, Vogt-Roberts is keen on nailing one of MGS' cooler early characters, saying, "There is not a scene in cinema to this day that captures the badassery of Cyborg Ninja." Rights holder Sony has yet to make a formal announcement about the film. — Henry T. Casey

Expected release: TBD

Minecraft: The Movie

A kids' movie about Mojang's wildly popular world-building game seems like it would print money, though the project seems to be in bad shape right now. In August 2018, The Wrap reported that the film was delayed from its May 2019 launch window because director and co-writer Rob McElhenney (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) left the project.

Credit: Mojang

(Image credit: Mojang)

The Wrap also reports that Aaron Nee and Adam Nee are now set to write the film. We're not sure what kind of film Warner Bros. is trying to create, but a live-action flick — that's either fully or partially animated — that brings the blocky worlds of Minecraft to life seems like a safe bet. — Mike Andronico

Expected release: TBD

The Last of Us  

The PlayStation 3 and PS4 classic The Last Of Us makes total sense as a movie, given its filmic vibe and weighty story, focusing on the grizzled character Joel, who sets out to protect the young Ellie during a post-pandemic situation. But while everything seemed perfect, with Sam Raimi tapped to produce the film, the adaptation process was as troubled as the reality in which the game takes place.

Credit: Sony

(Image credit: Sony)

How bad? The game's writer, Neil Druckmann, who worked on the script, described the process as "development hell."Raimi has noted that the dispute lies in a creative differences, saying, "I'm not trying to be political, [but] Neil's plan for it is not the same as Sony's." The only good rumor anyone has heard about the film since the announcement is the possibility of Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones) playing Ellie. — Henry T. Casey

Expected release: TBD

The Division

The bleak world of Tom Clancy's The Division might not seem like the most obvious video game film backdrop, but at the very least, the film, based on Ubisoft's 2016 near-future online shooter, has some top talent attached to it. Director David Leitch (John Wick, Deadpool 2) knows a thing or two about making interesting movies about guys with guns, and with Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Chastain set to star, the film could be an interesting take on life in Ubisoft's post-apocalyptic New York City.

Credit: Ubisoft

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

In May 2018, Leitch told Collider, "We're still developing the script and the producers are looking for writers and it's sort of like we're aggressively moving forward. We're all fired up to do it, but it's just getting on the same page … It could be [in the immediate future]." — Mike Andronico

Expected release: TBD

Firewatch

Announced in 2016, a film based on the PS4/PC/Xbox game Firewatch is hopefully still coming someday soon. An ideal title for adaptation, Firewatch is a game with two major characters, neither of whom you ever really see. In the 1980s, Henry is dealing with a bad breakup and has taken up a new job working at a forest watch station dealing with no-good, littering kids and talking to Delilah, his supervisor, via a walkie-talkie.

Credit: Campo Santo

(Image credit: Campo Santo)

Good Universe, the production house signed to bring Firewatch to the big screen, has since been acquired by Lionsgate, and little news has come up about the movie since the initial announcement. Mad Men's Rich Sommer voiced Henry in the game and would probably be a good fit for bringing the character to life, though the movie would be more interesting if it were made in his point of view, so you never saw Henry. — Henry T. Casey

Expected release: TBD