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 MULTIFORMAT FEATURE

Top 10 impossible movie pitches based on smartphone games

Hollywood has our number
 
Top 10 iPhone charts Multiformat, thumbnail 1
We all know that movie tie-in games are generally as lovingly crafted as a budget B&Q shed, yet the pain caused by these spin-off titles are nothing compared to the horrors that films based on games regularly inflict on their unsuspecting victims.

From the agony of Super Mario Bros. to the Max Payne misfire and the excruciating celluloid calamity that was Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Hollywood just can't seem to find a way of converting video game gold into box office hit.

So, we've compiled a list of ten supposedly 'unpitchable' smartphone games and turned them into sure-fire cinema success stories - these are concepts that will have the studios whipping out their cheque books quicker than you can say, "I'd like an executive producer credit in the contract, thank you."

Temple Run



Rather than worry about story and magical MacGuffins, Steven Soderbergh's avant-garde Indiana Jones reboot will be a 90-minute version of the opening of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Harrison Ford will be relentlessly pursued by angry tribesfolk, and while audiences will get to watch the first 75 minutes for free, they'll have to make a series of micropayments to power-up Indy and see if he can ever escape.

Cut the Rope



Instead of going down the dead-obvious animation route with ZeptoLab's monster hit, we'd sign up Brad Bird (Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol) to write and direct a live-action tragicomedy.

Zach Galifianakis will play Norm, a hapless yet lovable drunk who tumbles into America's deepest well. As rescuers work around the clock to rescue him - and precariously dangle supplies down to him - a media frenzy descends on the town and Norm becomes an unlikely overnight celebrity.

PathPix



A puzzle game based on the Japanese Picross pastime might seem like unusual source material, yet our futuristic love story starring Scarlett Johansson and Adrien Brody is a definite money spinner.

Directed by Christopher 'Inception' Nolan, the film will depict a society in which everyone is assigned a number and can only fall in love with a numerical match living a specific distance away.

Brody, a.k.a. a 6, has fallen for an out-of-his-league 11 (Johansson) and risks destroying civilisation by pursuing her through a giant maze that is - as we discover at the end - shaped like a huge heart. Awwwww.

Hard Lines



Spilt Milk Studios's neon-drenched take on vintage Nokia title Snake has all the hallmarks of a cyberpunk adventure, complete with satirical nods at our computer-obsessed society.

In the film, the son of missing cyber scientist Jeff Bridges will be sucked into the internet via his Android phone and forced to risk his life in a series of races involving beams of light (possibly taking place on motorbikes... for budget purposes).

This is an entirely original concept, of course.

Draw Something



The 21st-century equivalent of You've Got Mail, this rom-com starring Amy Adams and Joseph Gordon-Levitt will see a couple unite over a game of mobile Pictionary.

While they never speak at the box factory in which they work due to status issues - she works on the production line and he's in charge of folding - by night they're fierce online competitors at the top of the Draw Something leaderboards.

The unlikely pair only come together when she sees an unfinished sketch of Rasputin on his blower.

Bridge Constructor



Tony Scott will reunite, again, with Denzel Washington for this tense thriller based on Headup's ultra-hard bridge-building sim.

With the President fleeing San Francisco in the wake of a terrorist threat on Fisherman's Wharf, retired bridge architect Washington is drafted in to consult on a slight crack in the Golden Gate Bridge that quickly turns into a gaping hole.

Can Washington repair the damaged structure before the President's motorcade arrives at the crossing? Spoiler alert: yes. Yes, he can.

Flight Control



When New York's airports are shut due to freak weather, the last remaining planes are diverted to a tiny landing strip in Pennsylvania run by failed air traffic controller Jack Black and his tiny team of misfit staff.

In this comedy thriller, it's up to Black to safely land every aircraft, including the 747 carrying his estranged wife (Gwyneth Paltrow) and their troubled daughter (one of the Fanning sisters - either will do).

A sequel set in space is an obvious follow-up.

Words With Friends



A legal thriller from the pen of John Grisham, Words With Friends will pitch mega-freemium corporation Zynga against the mighty boardgame empire of Hasbro in a gritty courtroom tussle over the use of Triple Word Score tiles.

With the jury unable to agree on a verdict, rival lawyers John Cusack and Gene Hackman make legal history by deciding the fate of the trial on a single game of Words With Friends. Expect tension, paranoia, and occasional online connectivity problems.

Pocket Clothier



While backpacking through Asia, slacker fashion school drop-out Ellen Page finds work in a failing clothes store in a small Japanese town.

Using her Western eye to identify some hip new looks and demonstrating commendable patience in training up existing staff in small increments, Page turns the fortunes of this underperforming store around in this inspirational comedy-drama.

Think The Devil Wears Prada, only watchable.

Mr Legs



Surreal endless-runner Mr Legs is the perfect vehicle for Monty Python alumnus Terry Gilliam to bag that elusive Oscar statue.

In a stark, almost monochrome, world, a man with giant legs (Damian Lewis... on stilts) decides the only way to cure his existential ennui is via a bowl of cherries.

Catastrophically, they're out of season and he must trudge the length and breadth of the UK to find a well-stocked supermarket. Meanwhile, a flock of cherry-obsessed crows is waiting for the right moment to strike. Gripping stuff.
 

Reviewer photo
Paul Devlin 23 July 2012
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