The record of game-to-film adaptations is checkered, to say the least. Besides the myriad Uwe Boll debacles--Alone in the Dark, House of the Dead, and BloodRayne--many high-quality games have been turned into bottom-scraping offerings at the box office.
The list of critically lambasted game-based movies is long: Besides the so-so Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, there is its questionable sequel and both of the Resident Evil movies--which themselves have two sequels in the works. Then there's the list of 1990s game adaptations, which include Mortal Kombat (and its sequel), Street Fighter, Double Dragon, and the infamous Super Mario Bros.
This week brought news of a different sort--that a critically pilloried game series is getting the chance to become a decent film. Hollywood trade magazine Variety is reporting that Roger Avary, the Academy Award-winning cowriter of Pulp Fiction and The Rules of Attraction, will write and direct the film adaptation of the Driver games. The franchise, published by Atari, was once one of gaming's more esteemed offerings, but has since fallen on hard times from a critical standpoint.
According to Variety, the Driver film will be distributed by Rogue Pictures, the low-budget horror and action subsidiary of Focus Features. Focus is the art-house/independent division of Universal Studios, which is the film division of media conglomerate NBC Universal. No release date or attached stars were announced.