Why Isn't This A Film? - The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

What have we got here then?

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is a console and PC game released in early 2006, which means that, by now, you might just have had time to finish it.

OK fine. What’s it about?

At its core, Oblivion is concerned with the invasion of your homeland - Cyrodiil - by Daedra from the evil land of the titular Oblivion. Having killed the Emperor, the Daedra and their leader, Mehrunes Dagon, look set to take over the land... that is, unless you can find the rightful heir to the throne and bring peace to Cyrodiil.

Interesting. Is there something more?

Oblivion is an open world RPG, so you're free to wander around doing whatever you want. And wow, is there plenty to do. Join a guild (warrior, thieves, mages, etc.) and complete tasks for them, trade items in the market, pick up any number of side quests from non-playable characters, kill the guy in the street because you don't like his face. The world of Cyrodiil is your lobster.

Save me the trouble then – is it any good?

The world is vast and developed, the quests are varied and enjoyable, the guilds are unique and full of personality. The main quest too might be straight from the pages of standard dungeons-and-dragons-alike lore but its still an enjoyable story. Oblivion is an easy game to sink incredible amounts of time in to and still come out the other side wanting to spend more. Still one of the very best open-world RPGs going.


It needs dedication. To do the main quests, a handful of the side quests and the guild storylines took me upwards of one-hundred and ten hours. And, if you decide to take a break for a month or so, you'll likely come back confused as to who you are, where you've been and why exactly you're wearing that damn silly purple armour. It's a game that requires dedication, and lots of it.

What are its chances of being made as a film?

At some point someone, somewhere, will make some sort of film out of either this or its sequel, Skyrim. Now, it might be Asylum, or someone similar, but the game's got a huge following (a year after release it had sold 3 million) and the sequel even more so (7 million in its first week along). The only thing holding it back is the similarity of the world to the Lord Of The Rings franchise, but if The Hobbit goes supernova (surely it will) then that perhaps makes a big film version even more likely.

But who'd star in it?

The main character is created by the player at the start of the game so it's difficult to pluck an actor to play someone who can be any of several different in-game races. Patrick Stuart and Sean Bean lend their hand to the in-game voice work so lets pick those two to keep their roles and go from there.

Will it be any good?

Erm. The game's so good it's tempting to say yes but the plot is amazingly stock and that doesn't bode well for a game-to-film adaptation. Especially if Asylum take it.

Anything else I should know about it?

The add-on for Skyrim has just been released. Dawnguard is a very pop-culture friendly tale about vampires invading the land and those who stand up to fight them. Potential there too, and lots of it.

Why Isn't This A Film? is a regular Film Intel feature which takes a book (you know... one of those things with pages in, doesn't project on to a screen, makes small rustling noises), comic, video game or graphic novel and assesses its adaptation prospects. One day this feature will get something right and we will win something major and valuable. Possibly.


  1. Stil haven't finished it...

    I fear this, much like the other video game movies announced in the last week, will suffer from unimaginative producers, a generic story made weaker and hiring directors who have done music videos a la Snow White and the Huntsman.

    I guess the biggest worry would be, how expensive will this film be considering how big the world is?

    1. Yes, if you do it properly you'd have to spend a lot of money on it and without a doubt the generic story will hamper it; the Oblivion section is very much go here, kill that, progress to next stage, go here, kill that, repeat to fade.

      Wouldn't worry, you're not the only one! Took me over two years of elapsed time.