Video Game Movies Will Get Better Soon, Says Former Ubisoft Boss

The new Tomb Raider and Assassin's Creed movies may usher in new era of game films that don't suck.


Video game movies don't have the best track record when it comes to quality. It may not be this way forever, however, according to the former CEO of Ubisoft Motion Pictures.

Jean-Julien Baronnet told GameSpot that he thinks the upcoming Tomb Raider movie, as well as Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed movie, could usher in a new era of video game films that are actually good.

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For the Tomb Raider film, Baronnet said producers Warner Bros. and MGM have made all the right artistic decisions so far. He praised the film's new Lara Croft, Alicia Vikander, who won an Oscar for her role in The Danish Girl. She's going to be a huge star, Baronnet said, adding that she can be a demanding person when it comes to quality. Croft was played by Angelina Jolie in the earlier Tomb Raider films.

Baronnet also lauded Norwegian director Roar Uthaug, whose latest movie was 2015 disaster film The Wave.

"I think with Lara Croft the decision they have taken recently is a good one. The decision to put Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft and choose the director they have chosen is a great thing. When I see that, I say, 'Wow, I want to see this movie,'" Baronnet said. "He's a great director and Alicia is a wonderful actress; one of the most promising today."

"I think the artistic choices that have been made are very good. That for me is promising. [The new Tomb Raider] could be the next generation, with Assassin's Creed, of good video game adaptations."

Baronnet is optimistic about the chances for video game movies to improve in quality over the years. He also told us that he believes a video game film could win an Academy award someday.

Baronnet left Ubisoft earlier this year to start his own production company, Marla Studios. He hasn't announced any projects, but tells us that the wheels are moving already with some partners. Baronnet didn't reveal which game franchises he'll be spinning into films, but teased that he's not necessarily looking at best-sellers.

"I'm not looking at the number of sales of the game because there are huge games that would make poor movies," he explained. "I'm looking more at, and am excited by, game universes that are very appealing. Maybe they are not the biggest in terms of sales but they are the highest potential."

This year's Assassin's Creed, which stars Oscar-nominated actor Michael Fassbender alongside Oscar-winners Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Irons and tells a mostly original story, opens in December. Assassin's Creed head of content Azaizia Aymar believes it could break through and become a hit.

"There is always a first," he said in May.

As for the Tomb Raider movie, it hits theaters on March 16, 2018. Like the Crystal Dynamics-developed 2013 reboot, the film also tells a Lara Croft origin story.

According to Hollywood veterans, video game movies have struggled creatively for a number of reasons, one of which is that film studios don't always work close enough with game developers. Some changes will probably need to be made to adapt a game for the big-screen, but if the filmmaking process is a collaborative effort between the film producers and game-makers, the end result stands to benefit, according to The Departed and The Lego Movie producer Roy Lee.

What video game franchises would you like to see be made into movies? Let us know in the comments below!

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