With The Hobbit now playing in theaters around the world, I’ve been having flashbacks to my time in college when The Lord of the Rings movies began releasing. A world that had felt like an ideal movie setting for my whole life was finally coming true, and the movies did not disappoint. I couldn’t imagine ever hoping for another fantasy world being made into a movie as much as this one.
But as time went by, I discovered Tamriel, thanks to The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. I didn’t play it a ton at the time because my Xbox died and I simply never got around to having it fixed. But when The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion came out and I had an Xbox 360, I didn’t leave my house for days. I let myself get lost in the story, the guilds, the arena, and the exploring. I explored every corner of that map multiple times, completing quest after quest, never tiring of the array of different adventures the game was able to provide.
The highly polished and beautiful The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim just threw me over the top. This is no longer a game, Tamriel is actually a part of me now. A place where my free time is spent chopping wood, chasing vampires, stealing silverware, and hunting dragons. My characters actually live in this world, and an incredible story has played out before my eyes. It’s a story so enthralling, so cinematic… it simply must be shared with the world.
I know I’m not the only one to think this would make an amazing film franchise. If the world was ready for The Lord of the Rings, The Avengers, and The Smurfs, the world is ready for The Elder Scrolls. And with The Elder Scrolls Online coming soon, the possibilities open up even more.
There’s enough lore, moodiness, visual detail, and action in any Elder Scrolls game, that a film director would have the world at his feet with everything he needed to make this movie work. By putting together a good cast (preferably unknown, or at least lesser known actors), working with a company like Weta to create the scads of different races, monsters, spiders, and draugrs that the series is known for, and getting the right soundtrack (**cough** Jeremy Soule **cough**), this could be almost as big as The Lord of the Rings.
Picking a storyline might truly be the toughest part, as Elder Scrolls games have become increasingly vague as to what the main story is supposed to be (which I view as a good thing). Would the movie be about fighting between the Aldmeri Dominion, Daggerfall Covenant, and Ebonheart Pacts? Would it be based in Skyrim’s timeline and center around Nords trying to slay dragons? Or would it be a darker, more sinister movie and focus on the Dark Brotherhood? Whoever was tapped to write this movie would have a lot of decisions to make, but there are certainly a lot of excellent story lines to choose from.
Personally, here’s what I’d like to see – and I’ll keep it in the Skyrim era since that’s what is most fresh and what I know the most about. I’d love to see a movie focusing on one main character, some sort of dual wielding Aragorn-ish leader, or someone more inclined to lurk in the shadows and be wary of other people. He resides in Solitude, but is incredibly spiteful of the Imperials. People keep assuming he’ll join up with them to take down Jarl Ulfric, but he has other plans. While he secretly works his way up the ranks of the Thieves Guild in Riften, he is also preparing himself to assist Jarl Balgruuf in a plan that will get rid of the dragons. Along the way he could group up with a few companions that would help expand the film into a franchise, developing each character’s story a little more in each film.
Ok, so Bethesda won’t be calling me anytime soon to write a movie script for them, but you get the idea. There’s a lot that has already been done in the game that just needs to be adapted for the big screen. Changing it up would be good, we don’t need to see the same ending to the movie that we see in the games, but the point is there’s already an incredibly strong backbone to get started with.
Maybe you’ve noticed I haven’t named a director yet? The easy answer is Peter Jackson, which probably means he’d be the wrong choice. It just seems too obvious; TOO similar to The Lord of the Rings. I’m sure he’d do an amazing job, but who else might do it justice? I won’t even pretend to be a film expert and list off who I think should direct, that’s where you come in. Who do you think could do this series justice on the big screen? Would you even want to see this game turned into a movie? Is there a choice better than Jeremy Soule for music? What kind of characters would you like to see featured, and who should play them?
Elder Scrolls games are all about putting players in the middle of something big. Whether it’s fighting dragons, closing Oblivion gates, or ridding the world of Argonians (that one’s for you, Shank), Bethesda has made its living on dreaming big. Why not dream a little bigger, and see just how far this fantasy world can go?