Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

70% Of People Agree This Red Dead Character Needs A Live-Action Adaptation

Historically, movies based on video games have not turned out well on the whole. While on one hand, any and all future video game films have to reckon with this troubling precedent, on the other hand, the bar to clear is still relatively low. Any new superhero movie, for example, has to compete with the likes of Logan and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, while video game movies just have to be better than Rampage.


Given the low success rate of game adaptations, and thus a relatively low number of video game-based movies overall, the canon of game characters from which to pull is still sizable.

In order to determine the next video game fans want to see on the big screen, SVG conducted a survey of more than 700 people asking which character is most in need of a live-action adaptation. The runaway favorite was none other than Red Dead Redemption's John Marston, who amassed 70% of the vote.

Like one of those cowboy pictures

Perhaps one reason video games don't necessarily make for the best source material for films is that, in more cases than not, video games don't feature stories suitable for a compelling script. While, say, The Last of Us's story progresses more-or-less like a movie might, video game history includes far more Pongs and Pac-Mans, limiting the number of stories easily translatable to the silver screen.


John Marston's journey in Red Dead Redemption, however, is exponentially more complex than whatever reason a sentient yellow circle may have for eating dots to run from ghosts. In fact, a big contributing factor to why John Marston's tale elicited such an overwhelming fan response is its primary source of influence: movies.

The Western tale, while the framework for some books and songs too, is first and foremost a genre of film. Red Dead Redemption, the premier cowboy video game, thus inevitably takes its fair share of influence from Westerns. This means a plot more viscerally compelling, given its cinematic scope, that's likewise much more easily adaptable to script format.

From one fictional world to another

In second place on the survey was Niko Bellic, eliciting 11% of fans' votes. Niko is the star of Grand Theft Auto IV, also developed by Rockstar and similarly cinematic.

In third-place, at 7%, was Metroid's Samus Aran. Metroid games resemble a Mario or Zelda, in which story provides more of a background than a primary motivating factor (though digging deeper will reveal some considerable lore). Samus, then, elicited this tempered but nevertheless present fan response primarily on the strength of her character design and general sci-fi setting.


With 4% of the vote was Yakuza's Kazuma Kiryu, whose story is cinematic, but less popular outside of Japan when stacked up against the competition.

Finally, 8% of voters selected an "Other" option, some of whom posted their picks in an attached comments section. The clear favorite among these was, unsurprisingly, Arthur Morgan, the protagonist of Red Dead Redemption 2. Arthur Morgan might make a terrible friend, but fans seem to think he'd be a terrific leading man in a film.

In short, it seems like the video games fans want to see adapted to film are the games that already resemble movies.