For a long time, the video game industry has struggled to turn box office juggernauts into quality video games. Most often, this is because the games are used as a tie-in to capitalize on a movie’s success by coming out at the same time as the film. Given the secrecy surrounding most blockbusters these days, the games have little to do with the actual plot of the film. In addition, quality video games are born from an original game mechanic. Shoehorning a film concept into a video game concept is unlikely to work in most cases. For these reasons, it makes sense to revisit films years later as a way to rejuvenate the franchise and rekindle our imagination with a film or franchise we fell in love with. Ghostbusters attempted this when the makers of the films came together to make a video game in 2009 featuring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Harold Ramis. While the game may not have sold as many copies as they would have liked, it inspired the filmmakers to revisit the idea of another sequel and Ghostbusters 3 continues to be discussed as a film in the works. But what other films deserve the video game treatment? The first franchise that comes to mind is Kill Bill.
Kill Bill was originally intended to be one film, but Quentin Tarantino shot so much footage that the studio decided to turn it into two movies, Volume 1 and Volume 2. While it is unlikely that we will ever see a Volume 3, Tarantino has at least kicked the idea around. Regardless of the film future for the Bride, a video game adaptation of Beatrix Kiddo and her list makes sense for a variety of reasons.
First, gamers more and more are drawn to the story of video games. Games like Halo 4 even come with entire episodes of story without gameplay. Whether the game would focus on Uma Thurman‘s character and her list or another vengeful woman (perhaps Nikki, Vernita Green’s daughter?) is up for debate, but the story lends itself well to the video game genre. The Bride hunts down each of the people responsible for the death of her friends, fiancé, and unborn baby and each culprit represents a different stage of the game complete with their own obstacles: the Crazy 88, unique henchmen, and boss battles galore.
Second, the gameplay seems pretty obvious. Samurai swords, hand to hand combat, endless hordes of henchmen, stealth missions – all of which are staples of the video game industry. Add some interrogations, loot/clue gathering, and in-depth training from a ninja who wipes away his crazy-long beard when he is disgusted or intrigued.
Third, thanks to Quentin Tarantino’s choice of washed-up actors for this franchise, getting most of the stars to do the voice acting seems pretty darn easy. Thurman would likely be the most difficult. Okay, David Carradine would be the hardest (too soon?). But Vivica A. Fox, Lucy Liu, Darryl Hannah, and Michael Madsen could all be had on the cheap. And if not, they’re pretty replaceable.
Many films have failed to make the transition into video games, but Kill Bill would work easily because the story easily moves from one “level” to another, the gameplay mechanics are proven to be popular and engaging, and getting the band back together would be easy. If there is any concern about rehashing the same story, then maybe go the vengeful daughter route and have Tarantino write the video game script? That may be a stretch that an Oscar winning writer and director would attempt writing in a “lesser” medium, but given his love of his characters and their story, he can make an unofficial sequel without going through the entire filmmaking process. Ghostbusters attempted this, and while it was not as successful as they had hoped, it created this interesting idea of video games as sequels. Will it take off? Who knows. But if it does, Kill Bill (or Kill Beatrix) is a great place to start.