Never underestimate the power of a well-crafted fan film.
Three years ago, Hollywood producer Adi Shankar teamed with Joseph Kahn to create a
so dark – so incredibly bleak – that it earned its R rating within the first three minutes. Power Rangers bootleg film
And while the subsequent reboot from Lionsgate was less than stellar, Kahn’s hardboiled fan film was a gritty, intense rendition of the hit ‘90s franchise – a slice of pure wish fulfillment crammed into a 14-minute timeframe.
Point is, Joseph Kahn’s passion project helped raise awareness for
Power Rangers, and one need only look to that famous for evidence of an online video sensation that helped stir excitement for project X. Deadpool test footage
This week, it was
Uncharted’s turn to receive the live-action treatment, and it even featured the dream casting of Nathan Fillion ( Firefly, Castle) as Nathan Drake. Sic Parvis Magna
Boasting top-tier production values and an A-list cast to boot, it should be noted that Allan Ungar’s 15-minute fan film is totally unrelated to the ongoing quest to bring Sony’s iconic PlayStation franchise to the big screen; instead, what we have here is a delightful piece of fan service, as we watched Fillion’s Nathan Drake quip, shoot, and clamber his way through yet another zany hunt for a long-lost artifact.
Flanked by Sully (Stephen Lang) and Elena (Mircea Monroe), Monday’s footage was vintage
Uncharted, and it leaves us with just one question – well, three, really. Number one: will this Uncharted project really lead to “something further” as Ungar suggests? Why on Earth has Sony favored Tom Holland over Nathan Fillion for its live-action movie adaptation? And finally, what other PlayStation franchises are worthy of a live-action fan film?
Let’s begin with the latter, shall we?
live-action video game shorts
Live-Action Video Game Shorts
What other video games would you like to see rendered IRL?
With Sucker Punch busy developing
Ghost of Tsushima, an open-world epic set against the rich backdrop of Feudal Japan, it’s fair to say that inFamous has been placed on ice for the foreseeable future. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that Sony’s superhero franchise is gone forever.
Also, we should stress that a live-action fan film of
inFamous already exists ( see here), but I want to invite your attention to Second Son, where Conduit Delsin Rowe is forced to live under the iron fist of the D.U.P. (Department of Unified Protection).
Cast out as just another Bio-Terrorist – even his older brother Reggie grimaces at the sight of Delsin’s supercharged abilities –
Second Son’s story creates an X-Men-esque scenario in which all heroes are deemed to be second-class citizens.
It’s certainly fertile ground for storytelling, and we imagine these societal undertones would make for a very prescient
inFamous fan film.
Resistance series will always have a place in our hearts.
Launched alongside the PlayStation 3 in 2006,
Fall of Man captured our imagination with its alternate history and alien threat. It even included a War of the Worlds-like plot twist – the Chimeran towers weren’t built, they were excavated.
That mass invasion spilled over into two console sequels, along with
Retribution and Burning Skies, but there's still ample material left to explore.
Supposing a live-action
Resistance film caught fire, it has the potential to dive deep into the franchise's lore – not unlike William C. Dietz’s The Gathering Storm, which explored the interlude between Resistance 1 and 2.
Think of the Cloven, Fyodor Malikov, and Nathan Hale's grim fate...
God of War
In light of Sony Santa Monica’s Nordic reimagining, there’s never been a better time to invest in a
God of War property – be it a possible Netflix series or a direct sequel.
But let’s suppose
God of War received the live-action treatment, what would that look like? Pretty damn incredible, we imagine. It doesn't have to be anything too spectacular, either. Look at how Uncharted was able to generate a convincing story with a single location and top-tier talent. Couple this with a number of venerable actors and Hollywood-esque production values and we envision a somewhat understated short film about Kratos and Atreus trying to survive a single night in the Nordic wilderness.
It's going on 13 years since we last played a new
TimeSplitters game, but it seems there’s still a sliver of light at the end of the tunnel – even if it is just a sliver.
Long-in-the-works fan project
TimeSplitters Rewind is still plodding forward, and that’s despite Crytek downplaying the chances of a fourth installment ever seeing the warm light of day. Meanwhile, Free Radical Design, the creators responsible for the PS2 classics, went belly-up soon after the launch and subsequent failure of its PS3 launch title, Haze.
Where does this leave the future of
TimeSplitters? Frankly, things are looking a little bleak, so what better way to raise awareness of a true PlayStation gem than by crafting a high-quality fan film. TimeSplitters 2 is arguably the franchise’s crowning achievement, a sequel which improved on its predecessor in every which way.
And it’s this sequel that could potentially serve as a good jumping-off point, creatively speaking, for this hypothetical short. Hopping between different time periods is undoubtedly a massive undertaking from a technical standpoint, but clever editing and a mix of locations could well offset the eye-watering cost of special effects.
The Last of Us
Naughty Dog’s magnum opus is already so cinematic, one could argue that a live-action fan-film, or indeed a Hollywood blockbuster from Sony Pictures, is somewhat redundant.
Nevertheless, similar to
God of War, this hypothetical fan film could zero in on Joel and Ellie's journey to create a set-up quite similar to Logan in that a grizzled, world-weary loner reluctantly agrees to protect a young girl imbued with incredible power.
In the grim, unforgiving world of
The Last of Us, that power just so happens to be immunity, which renders Ellie into a potential asset for the Fireflies and their military oppressors.
So much of
The Last of Us is spent hiding from enemies – human and otherwise – that a live-action fan film could draw out the horror elements from Naughty Dog's apocalyptic gem, which would certainly make for a huge departure from the quips and swashbuckling action of Uncharted's own bootleg movie.