Is it possible for a video game movie to win an Academy Award? According to former Ubisoft Motion Pictures CEO Jean Julien Baronnet, the answer is a resounding "yes."
Before leaving his post at Ubisoft Motion Pictures, Baronnet put a lot of ink on the page to get some video game movies off of the ground, including the upcoming Assassin's Creed flick, as well as movie adaptations of Splinter Cell, Rabbids and Watch Dogs. There's also progress for a Ghost Recon film and a Far Cry Film.
While Baronnet is not so bold as to claim one of those movies he had a hand in will bring home an Oscar, he said in a recent interview with GameSpot that he definitely believes it's possible for a video game movie to earn a top movie prize.
Baronnet said he had the opportunity to see some progress on quite a few of these projects before leaving his most recent post and they left him "astonished." From the creative angles to the production design and various artistic choices, Baronnet said he was left feeling like it is very possible for a film based on a movie to wow audiences the way typical Academy bait does.
Part of the reason for this is the fact that games have matured and, thus, the movies based on them have started to follow suit. When you're making a film based on Mario Bros. or Mortal Kombat, you're not exactly shooting for the stars when it comes to Oscar-caliber performances and deep, emotional plots.
Nowadays, we've got games like The Last of Us punching audiences in the heart on a regular basis. With a skeleton like that, it stands to reason that a film based on a more mature game could have a crack at an Oscar.
According to Baronnet, the themes of many modern games are also universal, which will go a long way in helping them strike a chord with more audiences.
Those are some pretty high aspirations but, then again, Baronnet makes some strong arguments. Sure, films like Pixels may pop up from time to time and give a bad example of how to turn video games into movies but, then again, we also have films like Wreck it Ralph arguing the opposite. Sooner or later, the right project will get matched with the right creative mind and, despite all the typical Hollywood interference, something truly magical will come out of one of these video game movies. Until then, you're welcome to make bets on how far off we are and what type of movie it would be. Is there a game or series out now that you think would make for an Oscar-worthy film? Please let us know in the comments section below.