I don’t think it needed mentioning, but video game film adaptations are usually never good. The hurdle that video game movies always run into is that they try to adapt several dozen hours of gameplay and narrative into a two-hour time frame and remove nearly every aspect that fans enjoy from them either due to time constraints or because the general audience wouldn’t be able to wrap their heads around it. Even the good video game movies, like Street Fighter or Silent Hill, only pass by as a ho-hum action and horror movie respectively. So the hunt is still on for a truly good video game adaptation.
That’s why I’m cautiously optimistic about the announcement of a Just Dance movie. Sony Screen Gems announced that they were able to secure the rights to make a Just Dance movie, with the company already out searching for prospective directors and writers for the project. Apparently, there was an intense bidding war to acquire the rights for a Just Dance movie, which makes sense. It’s the most popular video game music franchise of all time with over 120 million players worldwide as of last year. That’s a lot of dancing. For the love of God, they’re still making Just Dance games for the Wii in 2019 and they’re selling like hotcakes. The Wii!
But if you’re going to make a good movie adaptation of any video game, Just Dance seems like a good place to start. There’s very little original plot to speak of, so a smart writer can make it about anything. You can make the plot schmaltzy and cheesy, maybe about some guy that falls for a girl that can dance and he wants to be a better dancer to impress her and fill it with a bunch of hit pop songs. Then you give it a summer release date, some halfway decent choreography, and you have a recipe for instant money. Plus movie musicals seem to be all the rage these days. Just look at how many musicals are releasing to theaters nowadays. In the last three months, we’ve gotten four musicals (A Star is Born, Bohemian Rhapsody, Anna and the Apocalypse, and Mary Poppins Returns) and three of them are probably going to or have already snagged a handful of awards during awards season!
Screen Gems Wins Deal To Turn Ubisoft Video Game ‘Just Dance’ Into Movie [Deadline]