How a movie based on Battle Royale games could work

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As video games have evolved to such an extent that single-player open-world campaign adventures have become immensely popular, the online and multiplayer side of the industry has also progressed. The Battle Royale format has become arguably the most popular mode or game type for multiplayer shooters, demonstrated by the immense popularity and popularity that Call of Duty: Warzone, Fortniteand more have all collected.

On the movie side, Hollywood has always been interested in developing video games into movies. These attempts have yielded mixed results to say the least, with some interesting and unique stories like Assassin’s Creed not translated well enough on the big screen. Things have arguably taken a turn in the video game movie market, at least in the past few years. movies like Mortal Kombat, Tomb Raider, Sonic the Hedgehogand Unexplored all received, at the very least, better reviews than some previous adaptations. Still, one particular challenge remains for Hollywood in the form of adapting a multiplayer game into a film series. Rumors have been circulating for years about a possible Call of Duty movie, but nothing materialized. While it might not necessarily seem like it, the rise of the Battle Royale format and the incredible popularity that comes with it is an opportunity for a unique and engaging film adaptation. Here’s how it might work.

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A battle royale movie should carefully choose which game to adapt to the screen. For instance, Fortnite is arguably the most popular battle royale game, with an instantly recognizable name – something Hollywood executives might be interested in, given the current state of the film industry and the desire to capitalize on the property existing. However, would be particularly difficult to adapt to the cinema. It has an added degree of whimsy in its gameplay with the inclusion of well-known fictional characters to players (Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader were recently added). Most other battle royale games, on the other hand, are more grounded (to varying degrees). A simpler approach would make more sense for a battle royale movie and also benefit the potential story. Call of Duty: Warzone, APEX Legendsand others have a blank slate to work with and could provide the basis for a potential movie.


The premise of a battle royale game is extremely simple at its core, and that’s one aspect that could work well for a movie. A group of enemy soldiers are all fighting to survive in a place that is getting smaller and smaller. In the case of war zone, for example, a toxic gas begins to invade the map, forcing all remaining players to move inwards. In Fortnite, a storm essentially serves the same purpose. There are paths that are more realistic for a film like this, as well as others that are a bit more fantastical in nature. If a film were to take the approach of realism, this concept of the games could be translated into something as simple as a nuclear bomb exploding in the distance. Thus, the soldiers in the area would only have a limited time to get to safety, while having to defend themselves against enemy threats. Such a concept would make for an action-packed movie with high stakes and plenty of tension.


While it lacks many features of a battle royale game, there have been a few confined space war action movies in the past that would-be creators could look to. Suzerain, for example, was a 2018 World War II zombie action film. American soldiers crash into a Nazi-occupied village and fight to get out and survive, amid the discovery of science experiments at proximity. In many ways is an unofficial adaptation of Call of Duty zombies, but the fact that it takes place in an enclosed space and area might show how to make an action movie that only has one set location to work with.

This could be particularly useful because John Wick, Mission Impossible, James Bond, and many other action franchises rely heavily on location hopping and moving from one distinct environment to another. This wouldn’t be possible in a battle royale movie, but the forced hand in this regard could end up being an advantage. This could make the film more intense and more pressured, especially as the characters get physically closer to each other. In doing so, they would mimic the card’s encasement in a video game, meaning it would be, at the very least, a faithful adaptation.


Having different soldiers or people fighting to stay alive in a place like this, all on opposite sides of a given conflict (if that aspect were carried over from the games), gives the filmmakers the opportunity to provide social and political commentary on war as a good. Nowadays, with the current state of the world, a comment like this in art is more important than ever. Having a resolution (of sorts) that results in the characters coming together could make the movie even more emotionally resonant. Even if it doesn’t seem like it at first glance, an action movie based on the battle royale formula could have a strong impact on audiences.


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