According to numerous sources (Deadline, The Verge, Polygon), EA’s Dante’s Inferno is hack-and-slashing its way towards the silver screen. We’re surprised too, so we decided to posit some other potential book-to-game-to-movie adaptations based on classic literature.
Based on Dante Alighieri’s Inferno, the first canticle in the Divine Comedy, Dante’s Inferno (the game, not the book) re-imagines Dante as a Templar Knight, who goes on a God-of-War-esque button mashing, demon slaying adventure through the depths of Hell. He can use magic, fights using a scythe shaped like a cross, and can change his outfit into 1970’s themed disco attire. You know — just like in the book?
English teachers everywhere probably can’t wait to start getting papers about Inferno (the book) written by students who have clearly only seen a movie based on a video game whose only real similarity to the original work is the title and the fact that it happens in Hell.
Now unsurprisingly, there are a number of books that have been adapted into video games. And not the sort that happens after a book is a movie and then gets adapted into a video game (ie: the many Lord of the Rings titles, that awful The Golden Compass game, or the surprisingly charming Hunger Games iOS title), but book to video game to movie.
So it’s not like this is unusual. Still, we disapprove. And what if Hollywood gets more ideas, and decides to adapt other book-to-video-game titles? What might they look like, based on the loose (and sometimes nonsensical) plots pulled from the original?
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: In this platformer of the classic Nintendo era, Dr. Jekyll is on a stroll to a church to get married, when the town rises up and attacks him. So of course, he transforms into Hyde and has to fight monsters in some horrible dream world, which we can only assume is what Hyde sees the real world as. All those monsters he’s killing? Probably the townsfolk. Hurry and kill everyone you see so you can become a normal person again and get married!
The Book To Video Game To Movie Adaptation: Murderous character from classic literature goes on a rampage, battling between his dual personalities, all while trying to maintain a relationship with his gal. They get married in the end, and the audience can’t figure out why she sticks with him, especially after he killed the entire town.
Note: My Mom bought this game for me when I was a kid, after I begged her for it at a Funcoland. The customer service guy assured me the game was true to the story, which as a child, I’d read the adapted-for-children version. That day, I learned Funcoland was a den of lies. – Eric
Heart of Darkness: Fun fact, Far Cry 2 took inspiration from Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. The protagonist ventures into a war torn landscape on a hunt for The Jackal, and has to play multiple sides in Central Africa’s civil war. Unlike the previously mentioned title, it’s an intense, awesome game… but I’d worry about it being adapted as a Heart of Darkness film. Especially after who adapted the first Far Cry film.
The Book To Video Game To Movie Adaptation: Mercenary drops in to assassinate the antagonist, is caught and spared, and somehow gets shot hundreds, possibly thousands of times through the movie’s narrative… and survives by wrapping up his hands now and again. At some point someone says “the horror, the horror.” Slammed by critics, bros everywhere love the movie.
Frankenstein: Mary Shelley’s classic work has been adapted numerous times, including this instance when Robert De Niro played Frankenstein’s monster. Well, there’s already a video game adaptation of that movie. Which means this book went book-to-movie-to-video-game-based-on-movie-based-on-book. The Creature runs around, clubbing people with a stick in the game. Thrilling. But what would happen if it returned to a movie, based on that video game based on the film based on the book?
The Book To Video Game To Movie Adaptation: Frankenstein’s monster beats up peasants with a branch, and for some odd reason, he can use magic! The clubbing of humans continues for 90 minutes, until he finds his creator. Audience falls asleep, film wins an Oscar for Best Makeup.