For the longest time, video game movie adaptations have had a bit of a bad reputation. From classic examples like the Super Mario Bros. Movie where goombas were giant lizard men, to more recent unpopular design choices like the live action Sonic the Hedgehog, it's easier to point to video game adaptation movies that didn't go over well than ones that were considered good movies.
We recently loved Detective Pikachu, because it avoided sticking too closely to the plot of the 40 hour long Pokémon RPGs, and it seems like Sony and PlayStation may be following a similar path in the near future.
Sony has just announced PlayStation Productions, a studio focused on taking PlayStation's catalogue of exclusive games and transforming them into TV shows and movies.
The studio is being overseen by Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios chairman Shawn Layden, and will focus on PlayStation itself creating movies internally rather than licensing out their brands for external companies to make movies out of. The studio hopes that this will keep adaptations more faithful.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Sony Studios, the studio behind such upcoming films as Men in Black International and The Angry Birds Movie 2, will be involved in distributing these PlayStation Productions movies, but not in their development.
"You can see just by watching older video game adaptations that the screenwriter or director didn’t understand that world or the gaming thing," explained Layden. "The real challenge is, how do you take 80 hours of gameplay and make it into a movie? The answer is, you don’t. What you do is you take that ethos you write from there specifically for the film audience. You don’t try to retell the game in a movie."
According to the interview, the studio is looking to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in terms of inspiration. It doesn't have a strict plan about how many films need to release in a given timeframe, but it seems like it's gearing up to something it believes has huge potential.