Joe and Anthony Russo, the directors of Avengers: Infinity War, will executive produce an adaptation of the 2017 horror video game Little Nightmares for television.
Following their big tentpole directing breaks with the last two Captain America films and the upcoming Avengers sequels, the Russo brothers are looking to expand their reach to other ventures with their up-and-coming production company. Their growing brand has now landed this video-game-to-tv adaptation with a few big names involved.
According to THR, the Russo brothers were the highest bidder for the TV rights of Tarsier Studios’ Little Nightmares, which was released on Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 this past April. The acquisition is the result of a partnership between the Russos and DJ2 Entertainment, who took notice of the game ahead of its release. DJ2 Entertainment has also adapted games like Sonic the Hedgehog and Life is Strange for various forms of media.
On top of this development, the project has landed The Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline director Henry Selick to helm the pilot episode, with possibilities for him to come back for future episodes as well. Game publisher Bandi Nanco Entertainment will also be involved in some capacity as well. No release date or airing network or streaming service has been announced at this stage.
The game is a puzzle platformer adventure, originally announced in 2014 under the title Hunger. It follows a nine-year-old girl named Six as she’s trapped at the bottom of an accursed ship known as the Maw. The object of the game is to get Six up to the top of ship, traversing through levels and levels of nightmarish foes.
The premise of the game sounds like what amounts to effective horror gaming experience, but as a straight adaptation, it’s difficult to see how this could work as a long-form series. Reviews have reflected that positivity, as the game is certified on Metacritic with “Generally Favorable Reviews” across all formats. This might be a case where the show takes the context of the property and only adapts that part for television. Sometimes this kind of adaptation can work, but there’s always a chance the tone that made the game so effective in the first place can get lost in translation. Selick and the Russo brothers are unique enough filmmakers who have adapted enough high-profile work to know what it takes to make a strong adaptation, so hope is high that they’ll be able to deliver something special.