Why a Red Dead Redemption Movie Isn’t a Good Idea

Video game adaptions are becoming more and more common, with some of the most well-known IPs in the industry finally reaching the big screen. With movies like Mario and Uncharted set to release by the end of 2022, many fans speculate what game could be next.

During a recent interview about The Witcher, Gamereactor asked Henry Cavill about what video game franchise he would like to get an adaption starring himself. Cavill answered, "That's a tricky one because you're tying both an IP and a company together, which is a tricky thing to do, so I certainly don't want to put myself in any corners with that." Still, he went on to say that he's "been playing through Red Dead Redemption 2" and thinks it would be "fun to turn into a movie."

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The idea of a movie based on Red Dead Redemption 2 isn't uncommon, as the expert storytelling from Rockstar Games is something many fans want to see more of. And the idea is even more appealing to people if a star like Henry Cavill, who's very passionate about games, is onboard. However, just because seeing fan-favorite characters in live-action would be entertaining doesn't mean a movie would be able to do the story justice.

While the idea of a Red Dead Redemption movie sounds appealing, it's easy to forget what makes the storytelling work so well. Red Dead Redemption 2 follows Arthur Morgan as he travels with a group of outlaws run by Dutch van der Linde. What makes Arthurs story so compelling is the slow burn. Over the course of 50 to 100 hours of storytelling, the gang slowly declines, and Arthur's loyalty is pushed over time. As such, condensing the story into a two-hour movie feels like it would do the character a major disservice.

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Problems caused by long video games being condensed into a single movie have happened many times, such as with the Warcraft and Mortal Kombat movies, which were criticized for trying to condense huge amounts of lore and worldbuilding into a couple of hours. This is why upcoming TV adaptations like The Last of Us have fans more hopeful, as multiple episodes allow more time for world and character development.

But even with the chance of a game adaption becoming a series or ongoing movie franchise, some games are best left untouched. The gameplay usually plays a huge part in the storytelling, and that's difficult to translate to screen. In the case of Red Dead Redemption, losing all the traveling and time spent playing as Arthur Morgan would likely remove the connection fans have with him.

Whether a Red Dead Redemption movie happens or not, game-to-movie adaptations have an ongoing stigma that will hopefully one day be removed. However, if Red Dead ever does see the big screen, having a passionate actor like Henry Cavill would definitely please fans.

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Ben Hardwick (101 Articles Published)

Ben has taken a 'Film Production & Cinematography' university course, and recently completed a 'Scriptwriting' masters course, both completed at Bournemouth University. Throughout the courses, he has worked on a number of short films and documentaries. And found that his passion lays in scriptwriting, where he can combine his love of movies, writing, and storytelling. With taking courses involving film, Ben has extensive knowledge of movies both new and old, and keeps up to date on all the latest goings-on in the film industry. Especially within his favourite franchises, such as Star Wars. In his spare time, Ben is usually watching movies, playing games and running D&D games for friends (and hopes to one day actually be a player).

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