Hot off the perfect casting of Pedro Pascal in The Last of Us and Henry Cavill in The Witcher (yes we know they were books first), interactive entertainment seeing the move to the silver screen is bigger than ever. While some inclusions, like bizarrely cast Rihanna in the even more bizarrely conceived Battleship film, were more confusing than anything, there’s still a lot of potential left on the table. With the upcoming Tetris release pushing the envelope of what these films can do, we’re left wondering: which forms of games and entertainment should be next, and who should play the leads?
Gears of War – Dave Bautista
Now with its fifth release, the first Gears of War game was a huge hit on the Xbox 360, acting as the second biggest exclusive name that Microsoft owned, alongside Halo. Launched in 2006, this third-person shooter brought cover shooting to the mainstream, announcing itself with a now legendary trailer and hugely successful online Xbox Live Support. Gears is about big men and smaller but also large women who are built like linebackers kicking butt and fighting off alien incursion, and it’s one hell of a spectacle. Led by gruff but loveable Marcus Fenix, there’s only really one fit for the lead of Gears, but his inclusion is a little complicated.
We’re talking, of course, about Dave Bautista. The wrestler-turned-actor who saw his cinematic breakout role in Guardians of the Galaxy turned out to be a comedic genius, with his showing in the new Blade Runner also demonstrating serious acting chops. Physically, he’s also a great fit Marcus, and he knows it. Dave has been pushing for this part for years, and while there is a Gears Netflix series on the horizon, he doesn’t seem to be involved. True, he’s not as young as he once was, but if there’s any room for an older Marcus, we know who our, and the internet’s, favorite choice is.
Online Casino Games – Jesse Eisenberg and Michael Cera
The landscape of online casinos has evolved hugely over the last couple of decades, now as a wide-ranging industry that brings in billions. For those unaware, a modern example could be demonstrated by websites that offer casino no-deposit bonus play. These services, like LeoVegas and Casumo, offer a huge range of slots to play, from major developers like NetEnt and Microgaming. On mobile or desktop, these casinos act as a new stage in the world of betting, making them a perfect fit for a high-tech thriller. Of course, in real life, the bonuses here revolve around free spins and the chances to win free cash, but in the world of Hollywood, they could get weird with it.
Our big picks for the perfect casting for a film set in the world of online casino games would have to be the protagonist and antagonist team of Michael Cera and Jesse Eisenberg. Both actors are fantastic at delivering performances that combine a kind of tech-king awkwardness with a high level of intelligence, and this would make them great fits for the exaggerated world of online gaming. We’d especially love to see a film along these lines explore upcoming technology like VR or AR play, which isn’t too far from being an at-home reality in casino play.
Taking a step back and looking at the big picture, there are two major points that we think should play into an actor being cast in a movie based on interactive entertainment. The first is a role fitting within their range, and the second, perhaps even more importantly, is the inclusion of actors who care about what they’re being cast in.
The problem of the people being involved not knowing or caring about a property is one as old as time, and often the issue is in no way the actor’s fault. Actors want to act, after all, and that’s how they pay their bills. So, when a show like Halo comes along and has a great actor with a middling script, we have to remember that the face of the show isn’t often the one to blame. Ultimately, while fans of the source material can form a close connection if they become actors, anyone with proper reverence can also be a perfect fit. The last thing we need is another Super Mario Bros live-action movie, and we can only hope that the movie industry remembers the lessons that particular release taught.