If 2022 was the year of dragons and over-the-top fantasy content, then 2023 might be the year of video game adaptations. After the success of Uncharted and Mortal Kombat, it seems like the 2020s will be the time when your favorite video game from your childhood will make its way to the big screen. Of course, for every good adaptation, there are bound to be some poorly-received ones in the mix. Not everything can be Detective Pikachu, but we’ve got high hopes for these upcoming new releases and returning favorites.
1. The Last Of Us
Date: January 15th, 2023 on HBO
Starring: Pedro Pascal, Bella Ramsey
Created by: Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann
An adaptation of the hit post-apocalyptic game has been in the works for years, and the highly-anticipated series finally arrives in January nearly a decade after the game was first introduced. The Last Of Us will star Pedro Pascal as Joel, the tough survivalist accompanying Bella Ramsey’s Ellie as they navigate a zombie-infested future while grappling with their traumatic pasts.
We know that there will be some integral differences between the show and the game, mostly with the amount of violence that will be portrayed. All nine episodes of the series will be co-written by original game creator Neil Druckmann, so the bar is pretty high. The series also features Marvel favorite, Gabriel Luna, in addition to Anna Torv, Nick Offerman, and known survivalist Melanie Lynskey.
2. The Super Mario Bros. Movie
Date: April 7th, 2023
Starring: Chris Pratt, Anya Taylor-Joy, Jack Black
Directed by: Aaron Horvath, Michael Jelenic
Whether you want it or not, Chris Pratt’s Mario is coming. But that also means that Anya Taylor-Joy is about to make her debut as Peach, so that’s something to look forward to! The Super Mario Bros Movie has been a long time coming, and it will hit theaters on April 7th. Alongside Mario will be Jack Black as Bowser, the main antagonist of Pratt’s plumber. Also added to the mix is Charlie Day as the arguably cooler brother Luigi, plus Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, and noted video game lover Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong. Despite the general lack of enthusiasm regarding the man behind Mario, the rest of the cast might just be able to make up for the lack of his signature Italian accent. Between the movie and the new Super Nintendo World opening up in Florida, 2023 is shaping up to be Mario’s year. Or maybe Peach’s.
Date: TBD, Amazon Prime
Starring: Walton Goggins, Ella Purnell
Directed by: Jonathan Nolan, Lisa Joy
There has been no set release date for the upcoming Fallout series, but Amazon quietly wrapped production this summer, so it’s likely that we will get a series sooner rather than later. The hit franchise takes place in the late 2100s, when mutants run rampant and the threat of nuclear war is always lurking. You know, classic video game stuff.
The series is known for its signature 1950s-esque aesthetic and retrofuturistic design, which makes it distinguishable from the other (many) post-apocalyptic franchises out there. Fallout art director Istvan Pely has assured fans that the Amazon series will live up to the game’s legacy, including its signature art design. “I’ve been blown away by how much they’ve stuck with our original video and designs, directly translating that to the screen,” Pely recently recalled. “It’s reassuring.”
The upcoming series will be written by the Westworld showrunners and feature an aptly quirky cast: Walton Goggins of Justified and The Righteous Gemstones will be the unnamed lead. Also rounding out the cast will be Yellowjacket’s Ella Purnell and Twin Peaks’ Kyle MacLachlan.
4. Borderlands Movie
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Jack Black, Jamie Lee Curtis
Directed by: Eli Roth
There haven’t been many updates on the Borderlands adaptation since filming wrapped in the summer of 2021, but rumor has it the movie was going through some test screenings last month, which is a good sign! The other good sign is that the film will be led by Lydia Tár herself, Cate Blanchett. If the idea of an Oscar winner isn’t enough to pull you in, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Jamie Lee Curtis (!) also round out the cast.
Borderlands will follow Blanchett as Lillith, an infamous alien/siren who enlists the help of various beings and an annoyingly cute robot sidekick to help find a missing girl who may or may not be extremely powerful. The final indication that this movie will be worth the wait is that it will be written and directed by Eli Roth, who is known for his seamless blend of horror and humor.
5. The Witcher
Date: Summer 2023, Netflix
Starring: Henry Cavill
Created by: Laura Schmidt
There is a lot riding on season three of The Witcher. Henry Cavill had already filmed the upcoming season before exiting the series and passing the torch to Liam Hemsworth so that he could get back into Superman mode. That didn’t work out.
Still, the upcoming season will be a nice send-off for Cavill, who has portrayed Gertalt on his various medieval adventures since season one of the hit Netflix adaptation of the popular series, which includes books and video games, so the lore is pretty expansive. There will be one more final fourth season after Cavill’s exit, so now is the time to catch up on the rest of the epic series.
6. Twisted Metal Series
Date: Early 2023, Peacock
Starring: Anthony Mackie, Stephanie Beatriz
Created by: Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick
Not every video game adaptation has to be a big-budget film or gritty TV series: Twisted Metal is an upcoming half-hour comedy based on the long-running video game of the same name. The series is expected to drop on Peacock in early 2023 and will be penned by Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, so there will likely be some crude comedy to feast upon.
Anthony Mackie will star as a smart-ass outsider who is offered a chance at a better life… but only if he can deliver a mysterious package across a deserted post-apocalyptic wasteland while also being pursued by the bad guys. He will be joined by Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Stephanie Beatriz as Quiet, a new character with a mysterious past and a certain skill for carjacking. Will Arnett will also be lending his voice to the series, while Neve Campbell and Chloe Fineman will be recurring stars.
7. Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves
Date: March 23rd
Starring: Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez
Created by: John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein
Dragons had quite the year in 2022, so it’s only natural to bring them back into the mix in the new year. The upcoming movie adaptation of the world-famous roleplaying game will arrive in theaters in March, jam-packed with a splash of violence, sorcery, and a little self-serving thievery.
Chris Pine leads the gang in this adventure film, which is shaping up to be a Guardians of the Galaxy-type quest, but with dazzling creatures and an even more dazzling Hugh Grant. Pine will work alongside Michelle Rodriguez, Justice Smith, and Sophia Lillis in order to retrieve a coveted lost relic before the bad guys can get to it. Oh, and if you ever wanted to see Chris Pine play the loot? He does that too.
8. Gran Turismo
Date: August 11th, 2023
Starring: David Harbour, Orlando Bloom
Directed by: Neill Blomkamp
District 9’s Neill Blomkamp will be directing the upcoming film adaptation of Gran Turismo, the fast-paced racing game, which is expected to hit theaters on August 11th, 2023. This fast-paced tale will be based on the true story of a young Gran Turismo player who aspires to be a real-life racecar driver.
Archie Madekwe will star as the unnamed teen, while Stranger Things’ David Harbour will portray his trainer. Orlando Bloom will also appear as a motorsport marketing exec, while Darren Barnet will star as his rival at the coveted GT Academy. While unconfirmed, many fans believe the plot is modeled after the life of Jann Mardenborough, a teen who eventually made his way to the Dubai 24-Hour Race.
Date: TBD, Paramount+
Starring: Idris Elba
Thanks to the success of Ben Schwartz and Jim Carrey’s live-action Sonic movies, a live-action TV adaptation starring the anthropomorphic short-beaked echidna Knuckles is heading to Paramount+ in 2023. It might not be for everyone…but Idris Elba’s voice might make it worth a watch!