We all know a few game directors who admire the medium of film and its huge impact on modern gaming for the last ten years. Big time designers including Hideo Kojima and Ken Levine, or in manner of fact their games, wouldn’t be what they are today without the influence of the silver screen. But we also ask what impact the gaming industry has had on film and for those who are already make them. The visionaries who rule the film world, and have created some of cinemas finest work, must surely owe something to gaming or even perhaps admire it? In fact there are even those who love gaming and consider it an art form. So I ask, why don’t they make video games? Some have tried while others would do it, but they may be caught up in too many projects or feel they are just too old for the job.
Still, we have a list of twelve of films finest who would be ideal at directing a video game whether it be for the visual aspects, narrative tweaks or to even to enhance the overall experience depending on their field of expertise. The list is comprised mostly of living directors, but there are two who’ve sadly left this world but are worth a mention. So, here’s part one of our Top Directors who should make a game.
1) John Carpenter
The king of cult would be a number one choice to make a video game and it seems the legend himself wouldn’t pass on the idea either. John Carpenter’s works include They Live, Halloween and his masterpiece Sci-fi body horror The Thing. He has offered his skills to create films in other genres, but horror is his bread and butter. Carpenter is brilliant at creating unnerving horror scenarios with a great deal of tension, such as Halloween, and introduced new ways of showcasing violence and gore with The Thing; bringing us a disturbing and exciting body horror shocker that influenced games such as Dead Space. He is a mastermind behind some of films most creepiest and frightening concepts, playing with subject matters and themes around the paranormal, science and even the more grounded horrors such as Assault on Precinct 13. Not to mention he is an avid supporter of ‘gaming as an art form’ and helped as a creative consultant for F.E.A.R 3.
What kind of game should Carpenter make? Well you could say the obvious choice is horror. He’s taking a liking to Dead Space, so much he’s been interested to make a film adaptation. But Carpenter would be a fantastic choice if a developer where to make new IP for a horror game, something Call of Cthulhu related or even a Resident Evil title that goes back to its original roots. His manner to keep things simple yet bizarrely energetic could be the key to bring back survival horror to its former greatness. Besides, wouldn’t Kurt Russell make a perfect Barry Burton in a new game?
Games he could direct: The Evil Within sequel / Dead Space reboot
2) Kathryn Bigelow
This acclaimed director won an academy award for The Hurt Locker, a film that delivered a brutal and thought provoking look at modern warfare and its effects on the men and women who fight. Her efforts have created some of cinemas most intense moments in action films from Point Break to Zero Dark Thirty. It would be only fitting if Kathryn Bigelow was to take the helm of a Call of Duty or Battlefield title to develop quite possibly one of the best games the series has to offer.
She has a keen eye when it comes to producing highly intense action segments that would be a thrilling experience in any FPS. Her action is focused, grounded yet still engaging and nerve wrecking. But Bigelow is also fantastic at examining the aspect of war on a more human level, which can bring us a disturbingly honest reflection of the impact of war. You can see that the developers of Spec Ops: The Line took some pointers from the Hurt Locker, by applying themes of war and PTSD which worked brilliantly to deliver one of gaming’s most memorable war time shooters. What Bigelow could focus her efforts on is something grand in scale of warfare or something more grounded and on a smaller scale. Perhaps the next title for Rainbow Six would be a great choice? All I know is that Kathryn Bigelow has the knack for creating some of cinemas most intense military action on the big screen, which can surely work on the small one too.
Games she could direct: New Battlefield / Rainbow Six / Splinter Cell
3) Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino has been moving more towards character epics lately– and it’s fantastic work he produces. But we all know and love his goofy and insanely brilliant work including Kll Bill, Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. He is king of modern cinema, dark humour and insanely high levels of gore. So a game similar to Shadow Warrior, or even to produce a great Western like Red Dead Redemption, wouldn’t be out of the question. He is skilled in bringing us such wonderfully crafted identities and absurdly wild situations that we can’t pull ourselves away from looking at them.
Dialogue, pacing, and characters are often flawless with his works and how much impact it’s had in modern gaming and their narratives. You can see a great deal of influence in Rock Star’s GTA 5 as elements of Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown and Reservoir Dogs are implanted in the story, characters and situations at hand. The wit and pacing of the action and levels of gore would entertain any gamer but Tarantino also has a means of emoting his characters to viewers so strongly and using violence to create an emotional connection is what he’s brilliant at doing. It could be also something we need a little more in gaming now days. Besides, wouldn’t Christopher Waltz be perfect in a game?
Games he could direct: Red Dead Redemption Sequel / New GTA / Reboot of Tenchu
4) Steven Spielberg
He’s the man who has delivered some of the most timeless and inspiring movies of all time– Indiana Jones, Jaws and Tin Tin to name a few. Steven Spielberg’s knack for showcasing epic journeys and adventure with lovable characters, fantastic pacing and grand scale action is accessible to everyone of any age to enjoy. Whether you love or hate Spielberg you’ll find at least one movie of his that you’ll love, and his outlook on certain themes within many of his films has also inspired much in gaming. One of his most used subject matters where a parentless child goes onto great adventures with self discovery sounds eerily familiar to Lara Croft, right?
Spielberg has in fact handed his talents to game design before with his directing skills being used including Medal of Honor. But his film making skills are excelled when it comes to good old fashioned action adventure and what better game could he direct? Well Broken Sword comes to mind pretty quickly, and in fact Broken Sword itself has taken many notes from Steven Spielberg and replicated something he would make in film form. But among his tales of adventure, he captures pure emotional struggle whether it be personal or the pain and suffering of the masses. He would be the ideal director for creating one hell of a grand action, adventure game with a lone hero fighting evil while on an epic journey. Come on, it’s got to be Tomb Raider right?
Games he could direct: New Broken Sword title / Reboot of Medal of Honor / Tomb Raider
5) Guilermo Del Toro
Guilermo Del Toro is a legendary director with an imagination that not many can understand nor duplicate. We know and love him for his gothic horror and surreal fantasy films such as Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy and Cronos but what many may not know is that he is also huge fan of gaming. So much so that Del Toro has attempted– twice — to produce his own game, most recently was the disturbingly brilliant yet sadly unfinished Silent Hills. One thing is for sure from looking at “P.T/Silent Hills” alone is that his imagination is a scary place to be and with the right guidance, the knack for visual flare and interesting set ups/concept could provide some thrilling and engaging gameplay.
His surrealistic look on classic horror and mind binding concepts would be great for a twisted and gothic fantasy epic, something similar to the many retro titles we played during the late 80’s/90’s. Yet Del Toro would also excel at creating a grand scale sci-fi epic where Mech warriors would fight to the death in a visually stylish and eye melting display. We can see this level of creativity in his fun filled 2013 hit Pacific Rim. And as we’ve seen from P.T, his visual style and unusual methods to create such dynamic game mechanics has no boundaries to disturb or amaze us. His style would be perfect for a new Castlevania title that would much darker and surrealistic than ever before. Imagine a cross between Bioshock and Castlevania with the director of Hellboy calling the shoots, with a Ron Pearlman cameo too.
Games he could Direct: New Castlevania title / sequel to Titanfall / MechAssault Reboot
Bonus) Akira Kurosawa
Sadly, Akira Kurosawa has passed away, but he left a legacy of great films and influences behind him. What his talents could have given us if he was alive and interested in making a video game, would be a samurai epic that delivers spell binding sword fights, epic battles and thought provoking narratives that bring in a great amount of humanity.
Kurosawa is renowned for his slow pacing and incredible build-ups before an ultimate climax, but also his views and stories on people and relationships. Something that would be close to Way of the Samurai meets Shenmue would be the ultimate war time Drama.
Games he could’ve directed: Way of the Samurai / Shenmue
Well, there you go! The first part of this list of directors who should make a video game. Stick around as we’ll reveal our next six directors who should bring us a video game. Any recommendations? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below and let us know what you think of our choices so far?