By almost any metric, it's been an great year for director Josh Trank. After his low-fi superhero drama/action film Chronicle ended up defying audience expectations, he's been attached to geek-dream projects such as Venom and Fantastic Four. Perhaps even more ambitious than either of these two rather popular comic book properties, Trank has signed on with Sony Pictures to direct an adaptation of what is widely considered one of the greatest video games of all time: Shadow of the Colossus.
Though still in its infancy, Shadow of the Colossus has received much, "How will they even begin to approach that?" buzz since its announcement. The adaptation received a fresh boost of momentum this week when it was revealed that a new scriptwriter had been hired to to help shape the project.
The Hollywood Reporter has noted that Seth Lochhead has signed on to write a new draft for Shadow of the Colossus. Working from a previous version of the script penned by Justin Marks (Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li), Lochhead will work with Josh Trank to craft a new screenplay for the film.
Lochhead previously co-wrote the child-assassin flick Hanna with David Farr (MI-5) in 2011. In addition to Shadow of the Colossus, he is currently working on a script for Michael Bay called The Governess. Other than Hanna, Lochhead has written no other feature productions.
The hiring of Seth Lochhead is interesting and somewhat ambiguous news for those following the progress of Shadow of the Colossus. With a single major film credit to his name, Lochhead is very much an unproven talent. Hanna was a fascinatingly – though sometimes unevenly – unconventional action-adventure film. Much of that charm comes from the direction of Joe Wright (Anna Karenina), who was not afraid to do interesting things with the film's camerawork and editing to create a unique sense of style. However, one must wonder whether Lochhead's script helped inform that eventual onscreen presentation. If so, teaming Lochhead with another stylistically adventurous director in Trank may bode quite well for Shadow of the Colossus.
The Screen Rant crew has already raised questions as to whether a Shadow of the Colossus film can possibly be successful. As a video game, Shadow of the Colossus is almost aggressively surreal. At once epic and austere, the Shadow's storyline is a distillation of previous video game tropes into a powerfully direct brew. It's rightfully known as one of the grand examples of video games growing into their own art form.
As such, any attempt to transfer Shadow of the Colossus from its native format faces some towering hurdles right out the gate. A pure adaptation of the game would almost certainly alienate general audiences, as it would essentially play out as a big-budget art film. Any script that takes too many liberties with the source material – adding unnecessary characters, dispelling mysteries, and messing with the source's melancholic tone – will irritate the considerable number of fans of the original game.
With two comparatively young and inexperienced helmers in (even one as celebrated as Josh Trank), the mystery of whether or not the film will be able to do justice to its source material only deepens. At the very least, we at Screen Rant will be eagerly watching as Shadow of the Colossus continues to grow large on the horizon.
For the moment, Shadow of the Colossus has no projected release date.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter