Live-action remakes of PlayStation and Xbox games are clearly a recipe the public is keen to try more of. The Last of Us, which premiered on HBO in the U.S. on Jan. 15, has broken a slew of records since it hit screens.
The adaptation follows the story of Joel (played by Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey), who travel across the U.S. after a pandemic has destroyed the world in hopes of saving humanity. It’s been given a record-breaking 97% positive review score for a “fresh” release on Rotten Tomatoes.
It follows similar success seen by Henry Cavill’s The Witcher—also a popular game— which brought Netflix its biggest TV series opening when it debuted in late 2019 with 76 million member households watching it in its first four weeks.
And those with a stake in the game are pushing the success of The Last of Us as a reason to approve deals to increase the number of similar releases in future.
Lulu Cheng Meservey, CCO at Activision Blizzard, took the opportunity to tweet about positive reception of the show to the Federal Trade Commission—which recently opposed Microsoft’s deal with Activision.
She claimed the FTC was trying to “protect” rival Sony—which produced the show—but added the commission has no cause for concern as Sony has an “unrivaled war chest of IP.” She finished: “In gaming, Sony is ‘the first of us’—and they will be just fine without the FTC’s protection.”
Blocked deals aside, what can viewers expect to see from the game-turned-live-action genre this year and in years to come?
God of War
Release date: Unknown
On Dec. 14 last year Prime Video, from Amazon, announced that God of War is coming. Based on the PlayStation franchise, the story follows a Spartan warrior Kratos who is tricked into killing his family by his former master, the original Greek god of war, Ares.
Within days of the tweet confirming the series had been ordered it had gained near 90,000 likes from users. According to reports from Variety, Wheel of Time boss Rafe Judkins is set to be showrunner with writers Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby of Iron Man and Children of Men fame to also join as executive producers.
The series will be a collaboration between Sony Pictures Television in association with PlayStation Productions and Amazon Studios, meaning a raft of PlayStation staff will also be involved, alongside colleagues at Santa Monica Studio.
Release date: 2023
This one has been in the making for a long time with Amazon Studios confirming back in the summer of 2020 that Fallout would be getting a series. The game—available on both PlayStation and Xbox—is set in a postapocalyptic world with players challenged to battle across the U.S.
Amazon Studios confirmed it would be working with Kilter Films and Bethesda Game Studios on the project, asking fans to “please stand by” for its release. According to IMDb the first episodes are set to stream sometime this year.
The cast includes Walton Goggins, Ella Purnell, and Aaron Moten. It is produced by Jonathan Nolan—a writer known for his work on Westworld, The Dark Knight, and Interstellar. He is joined by producer Lisa Joy, another Westworld alum.
Horizon: Zero Dawn
Release date: Unknown
Speaking to Netflix’s Tudum, Umbrella Academy creator and showrunner Steve Blackman confirmed he’d be taking on a Horizon: Zero Dawn adaptation as part of his ongoing partnership with the company.
He said: “Horizon Zero Dawn is an exceptionally well-crafted game with wonderful characters not often seen in the rank-and-file of the gaming world. Guerrilla Games has created an incredibly lush and vivid world of man and machine who find themselves on a collision course to oblivion.
“Their salvation comes in the form of a young female warrior named Aloy, who has no idea she’s the key to saving the world. Suffice it to say, yes, Aloy will be a main character in our story. My writing partner on this, Michelle Lovretta, and I are thrilled to be able to expand this remarkable IP into a series for all types of viewers.”
Ghost of Tsushima
Release date: Unknown
It seems that the game—which is heavily inspired by classic Japanese samurai films—has already got a director in place for its adaptation to film.
In a post on PlayStation’s blog, the company wrote: “We are happy to partner with Sony Pictures to make this happen. And [protagonist] Jin is in very good hands with the film’s director. Chad Stahelski created something special with John Wick. His vision for what could be, backed up by years of experience, combined to create some of the finest action scenes ever created.”
Speaking to Collider, Stahelski said it was a “chance to push technology and people in a story that’s timeless,” and added that he’d love to shoot the film in Japanese with a Japanese cast. He noted: “I’ve been going to Japan since I was 16. I have a love of the country, love of the people, love of the language. To try to direct not only in my language, but someone else’s and culturally shift my mindset to bring apart that in a cool way that still entices a Western audience.”
Season three: Summer 2023
Season four: Unknown
Fans of the first three seasons of The Witcher will see Henry Cavill replaced as Geralt in season four by Liam Hemsworth.
In a statement Cavill said: “As with the greatest of literary characters, I pass the torch with reverence for the time spent embodying Geralt and enthusiasm to see Liam’s take on this most fascinating and nuanced of men. Liam, good sir, this character has such a wonderful depth to him, enjoy diving in and seeing what you can find.”
The Super Mario Bros. Movie
Release date: April 7
The beloved Nintendo game has been adapted with Illumination and Universal Pictures for a release in U.S. cinemas this spring. Fans of the adventuring plumber will see the brand be brought to life by Chris Pratt as Mario and Jack Black as Bowser. Anya Taylor-Joy joins as Princess Peach, and Charlie Day voices Luigi.
Sonic the Hedgehog 3
Release date: Dec. 20, 2024
Paramount and Sega’s blue blur has already proved a hit with families with his first two films. Sonic will be returning to screens late next year with fan favorites from the original cast still on board. Ben Schwartz will once again voice Sonic while James Marsden plays Sonic’s best friend, Sheriff Tom.
The franchise has already seen success with its previous two films, with the first in the top 10 performers for 2020. It bought in $320 million worldwide. The second film was even more successful, grossing $402 million after it was released last year.
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