Personally, I think it’s only a matter of time before Hollywood makes a full feature movie based on the Skyrim video game. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Bethesda was already having preliminary discussions with Twentieth Century Fox or Universal to do this very thing. Think about it — a movie version of Skyrim makes perfect sense, and I don’t think you could ask for a better time to launch such a project. Not only has Skyrim recently been awarded top game of the year honors, but fantasy movies in general are hotter than a dual cast Flame spell with the second installment of The Hobbit scheduled to be released later this year. True, movies based on video games have traditionally flopped (Super Mario Bros. and Mortal Kombat anyone?), but there have been some limited Hollywood successes (Resident Evil and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider come to mind). A highly anticipated Mass Effect movie is already in the works, so Hollywood hasn’t completely turned its back on the genre.
The timing couldn’t be better, and a Skyrim movie is just begging to be made. In order to turn the Skyrim video game into a successful movie however, Hollywood needs to be cautious when telling the story of the Dragonborn. I’m sure Hollywood could churn out a sword and sorcery flick called “Skyrim” with very little thought given to the game itself and still make a profit, but how much better would a movie be if it faithfully drew on the storied history of the Elder Scrolls franchise? Basically, if Bethesda is going to allow a movie version of Skyrim to be made, the game’s massive fan base wants to see the film made in the right way. In part this means staying true to the game’s striking visuals, costumes, weapons, characters, and setting — not to mention the storyline itself. If I’m fortunate enough to be able to go to the theater in a few years to watch a movie based on my favorite video game, I want to be able to recognize it. I feel Bethesda did a wonderful job with the game’s live action commercial (the best commercial ever made for a video game in my opinion), so I know that it’s possible for a movie to stay true to the game’s roots as well.
Some things I definitely don’t want to see in a Skyrim movie:
- Johnny Depp. Don’t get me wrong — I’m not a Johhny Depp hater, but the movie industry is over-saturated with this guy. I still can’t believe they pegged him to play Tonto in the upcoming Lone Ranger movie. To me, signing Johnny Depp is a sign of desperation and tells me that Hollywood doesn’t think that a movie can stand on it’s own merit.
- The neglect of character development. By it’s very nature, a Skyrim movie would be loaded with special effects (flying dragons, exploding fireballs, enchanted weapons, etc.). Special effects are important — especially in a fantasy movie, but a strong, character driven story would be even more crucial to the film’s overall success.
- Gratuitous violence. All right, I completely understand that the Skyrim video game is rated “Mature,” but the violence isn’t overwhelming by any means. Sure, the Dragonborn runs his sword through enemies in the game’s cinematic closeups, but the violence is tame compared to the vast majority of “Mature” games on the market (seriously, with a bit of tweaking Skyrim could easily have been rated “Teen”). I think it would be a mistake if a movie “cheapened out” by having an overwhelming amount of blood and gore. Violence for the sake of story telling can be a good thing, but violence for the sake of violence isn’t. I believe a Skyrim movie would have wider audience appeal if it were rated PG-13 as opposed to R.
So what do you think? Is a Skyrim movie in the works? Stay tuned fellow travelers! I believe all signs point to yes.