Despite the unraveling of what was going to be a very strange (read: unwanted) adaptation of the Uncharted video games, Sony Pictures is continuing to push the genre forward through developing several other brands for the live-action treatment. Sony signed with Ubisoft Motion Pictures to develop the Assassin’s Creed film in a deal that didn’t sit well with rival studios and as we learned today, they’re still planning a live-action feature film based on Team Ico’s Shadow of the Colossus.
Deadline has the update on the latest important video game title that’s entering development, a place where countless projects still sit as the video game movie genre remains in an uneasy place, unproven but ripe for emergence. Sony aims to make Shadow of the Colossus a large-scale blockbuster with the help of producer Kevin Misher (Mirror Mirror) and have signed Josh Trank (Chronicle) to direct. Back in 2009, Sony had hired Justin Marks (Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li) to pen the screenplay but that evidently did not work out.
Trank hit it big with his low-budget found footage film Chronicle earlier this year and has since become widely sought over for several big budget blockbusters, including the Fantastic Four reboot and Sony’s own Venom - a spinoff for The Amazing Spider-Man. With Shadow of the Colossus however, Trank may have found his biggest challenge yet.
The story of the game isn’t its focus, nor is its characters. In fact, there are not many characters at all in the game which barely features any dialogue. It’s about a boy named Wander who travels with his trusty companion and only ally – a horse named Agro – across vast open areas, hunting a series of 16 massive and unique Colossi with his stolen magic sword in order to revive Mono, a young girl and his love interest.
The game earned critical praise for its uniqueness in style, its impressive visuals and its award-winning soundtrack, and that’s partially why a film adaptation is difficult to fathom. Unlike most video game properties, Shadow of the Colossus isn’t a property that can spawn a continuing franchise. The game didn’t feature much dialogue and there weren’t populated areas with other characters - It was a visual spectacle and more of a puzzle game than a typical action-adventure.
This begs the question of how faithful a Sony Pictures film adaptation could really be. Can they sell a movie to mainstream moviegoing audiences about one kid fighting gigantic monsters, entirely in CGI? Will they force in other characters and backstory a la Prince of Persia and take away from what made the game unique? Since it is so dependent on visuals, will it look more real than Wrath of the Titans?
While our Game Rant team loves Shadow of the Colossus it’s hard to imagine at this point how it will be adapted for the silver screen, especially considering its heavy budgetary requirements for the effects. We can all expect this one to be made for 3D but we do not know what to expect from the script and story. Sony is looking at writers to join Trank at the moment and we’re intrigued with the idea of a live-action take.
For more on the game and developer Team Ico, head over to Game Rant and read our review of the HD re-release of Shadow of the Colossus.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.