From 'The Lord of the Rings' to 'Jurassic Park': 10 Iconic Movies That Would Be Perfect For VR – Collider

Experience movies like you never have before.
Beyond video games, Virtual Reality (VR) has given its users the experience of sitting on relaxing beaches and adrenaline-inducing roller coasters from the safety of the couch. Within the cinematic world, the 3D phenomenon has divided filmgoers with its application and purpose, as with 4D bringing the whole cinema into the immersive experience. But how could VR and cinema work together? In epic worlds like Lord of the Rings and Sin City, VR technology has endless immersive potential.
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At this point, 3D or 4D films and video games are the limits of the cinematic immersion audiences have. While some strides have been made in experiencing films in VR, we still have a long way to go. From open worlds to maze-like spaces, from the realistic to the more cartoonish, which epic universe would be the best to participate in the fully immersive VR experience?
Starring comedy's "it" man, Ryan Reynolds, Free Guy is an insight into the universe of open-world online gaming. When Guy (Reynolds), a bank teller, discovers his everyday life of bank robbers and daily chaos is repetitive, he deviates from his programming, putting on a pair of glasses that ultimately unlocks the world around him.
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With VR being a gaming experience up to this point, the video game concept is the most likely to fit the VR medium best. Unlike other video game films, Ready Player One and Wreck-It Ralph, Free Guy visually explores the world in more chaotic games like Grand Theft Auto. While the world itself is a city like any other, Free Guy's random and crazy characters make it one of the more wild yet most visually cool places to immerse in—almost making it a free-for-all Matrix-inspired VR experience.
Based on the comic strip Little Nemo in Slumberland, Netflix's Slumberland takes dreaming to a whole new level. Starring Jason Momoa as Flip and Marlow Barkley as Nemo, the audience is thrown into an adventure through dreams and nightmares so that Nemo can see her late father again.
If VR could record dreams and play them back, would it be cool or terrifying? The possibilities could be endless and in Slumberland, on top of being visually stunning. Breathing underwater, traversing glass cities, and flying through epic mountainous landscapes. This would be a VR experience to have fun with!
The Steven Spielberg classic, Hook, was a modern twist on the Disney animated film Peter Pan. Shifting to live action, Robin Williams plays Peter, a middle-aged lawyer with two small children in London. One night he finds out that his children have been taken by Hook (Dustin Hoffman), and he must return to Neverland to save them.
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Hook is visually immersive in its switch from animation to live action with its epic sets, and colorful costumes, a VR experience in this would be equally scary, exciting, and nostalgic for fans of the film. Spielberg's visual style is reminiscent of theme park rides that immerse all your senses with its distinctive warm atmosphere and potential for discovery.
This Robert Zemeckis classic combines animation and live-action to bring a whole new experience to the genre of a detective film. Living in the Toon world, detective Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) is hired to defend Roger Rabbit (Charles Fleischer) from a murder charge.
How can this mixture of live-action and cartoon world of Who Framed Roger Rabbitnot be included? The innocent world of Roger Rabbit meets film noir's murder, adultery, and mayhem with this ultra-colorful film. Like living in Looney Toons, the fun that could be had would be boundless, with ACMI products to live out childhood dreams in VR.
This neo-noir comic book adaption follows an ensemble cast in an anthology-style film. The cast of unusual characters is emphasized with the dramatic and visually stunning comic book style, from camera angles to deep shadows, to create a dynamic atmosphere of crime thrillers.
A dark and brooding film, Sin City, is, fittingly, in black-and-white with some flashes of color: it's a stunning way of telling a comic book story. Each character had their own style and unique visual signatures that made this world so engaging. Walking around the film-noir-inspired comic book world would be an incredible experience. While it may not be the best place to live, the beauty of VR is that you can leave at any time!
Another incredible Spielberg film, Jurassic Park, was a fantasy for many children and adults alike. An eccentric billionaire, John Hammond (Richard Attenborough), brings dinosaurs back to life using DNA found in prehistoric mosquitos preserved in amber. With plans of opening a theme park, he brings a few experts in their field to experience the park before its opening.
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Jurassic Park was a special effects revolution for many audience goers; with the incredible detail in the dinosaurs, fans could easily suspend belief in this classic film. Using both digital and practical effects, this world would be perfect for walking through with a VR headset as the dinosaurs escape their cages and roam free. To experience the share scale of these Dinosaurs through VR would be truly awe-inspiring!
How can you go wrong with one of the most popular game and cartoon franchises on the planet? Detective Pikachu follows Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) as he settles his suspected late father's remaining affairs; he meets a Pikachu (Reynolds) who helps Tim discover what his father was working on when he went missing.
Out of all the Pokémon-themed games and television shows, this is a live-action film set in Ryme city. This epic city is an incredible Japanese-inspired metropolis with cute and strange Pokémon running amuck! With 905 Pokémon and counting, the possibility for an immersive VR world with weird and wonderful character interactions is boundless!
Set in the American wild west, it follows a group of men hunting for the fur trade when Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) gets attacked by a bear. His betrayal comes from fellow crew member John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy), who uses this as an excuse to get rid of him. He doesn't know that Glass survives his wounds and is out for revenge.
The Revenant's visual style is iconic, with director Alejandro G. Inarritu only using natural light to film its entirety, creating the harsh landscape as a character of its own. For survivalist fans, this VR experience would be perfect for exploring this otherworldly pre-industrial America—if not only to live in a documentary-style film, VR could bring The Revenant to life with its epic, looming landscapes.
This late '80s classic brought the tiny world of your backyard to life! Following Wayne Szalinski (Rick Moranis), a scientist and father who invented a shrink-ray accidentally shrinks not only his kids but the neighbor's kids too. Being thrown out into the backyard, the kids must figure out how to get their father to change them back.
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This epic world created a doorway to young kids' fascination with their backyard. Giant ants, cookies, and Lego were all made into epic proportions, even though with all the excitement, it was equally a terrifying place. However, exploring this in VR would make this experience all the more real with ant friends and giant dogs—just try not to get eaten!
This epic trilogy follows two hobbits, Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin), who take Lord Sauron's powerful ring to be destroyed at Mount Doom. With epic wars, unusual characters, and beautiful fantasy lands, Lord of the Rings is an incredible world to explore.
The Lord of the Rings franchise has become a massive success since Peter Jackson's original trilogy. With the recent release of the streamed television show, The Rings of Power, being the most expensive TV show in history, it hasn't shown signs of slowing. The original book by J R. R. Tolkien was already incredibly detailed, and there is no doubt that this would be a perfect world to explore through VR technology, whether the beautiful Elvin village or sitting among the terrifying Orcs.
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Samantha is a list writer at Collider. Having worked in the art department on film and TV, she has always been passionate about the film and entertainment industry. In her free time, you'll find her painting, watching the newest thing on streaming, or participating in her annual attempt at Bloodborne… she has accepted that she will never finish Bloodborne… and that is ok. 


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