Get ready for more movie and TV adaptations of games. Alongside Asad Qizilbash, Chairman of SIE Worldwide Studios Shawn Layden will head up the recently launched PlayStation Productions. This new direction for Sony Interactive Entertainment aims to turn games into film and television productions. According to The Hollywood Reporter, PlayStation Productions already has a number of unannounced projects in development. In addition, the new initiative is currently working out of Culver City, California in the Sony Studios lot.
Sony’s massive catalog of original game content, as well as its experience in developing said content, has Layden confident in the vision for PlayStation Productions. The Worldwide Studios Chairman told THR, “We’ve got 25 years of game development experience and that’s created 25 years of great games, franchises and stories. We feel that now is a good time to look at other media opportunities across streaming or film or television to give our worlds life in another spectrum.”
Qizilbash’s statement on the matter echoed that of Layden’s, while also explaining why the company isn’t attempting to license its properties out to other film production companies. Qizilbash said, “instead of licensing our IP out to studios, we felt the better approach was for us to develop and produce for ourselves. One, because we’re more familiar, but also because we know what the PlayStation community loves.”
This is a far cry from the norm compared to what the likes of Ubisoft has done in adapting its franchises for other entertainment mediums. PlayStation Productions isn’t just a new development arm. As THR noted in its report, every project will be developed by the company “firsthand,” with Sony Studios serving as distributor.
Layden and Qizilbash have been doing their homework, too, studying the film industry closely and speaking with film producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige. In studying the industry, the Sony Productions duo concluded that many of the issues with game to film adaptions concern filmmakers not understanding the medium from which the subject of their films are derived. The challenge, according to Layden, isn’t in turning hours of gameplay into a feature-length film. “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.”
It seems the main goal is to give PlayStation fans more of what they love. After spending 40 hours exploring a fascinating world, there’s always a yearning for additional content. Of course, the wait for more, should more ever come, can last three years or more. With TV and film productions, fans will get a chance to, in Layden’s words, “have more of that experience and see the characters they love evolve in different ways.”
Obviously, there’s another added bonus where PlayStation Productions is concerned. Working on these projects internally gives full creative control to Layden and Qizilbash, both of whom will determine who writes, directs, produces, and stars in the adaptions. If anything, this could be the start of video game adaptions finally heading down the right track.
Currently, there’s no word on what this means for the official Uncharted film, which recently hired 10 Cloverfield Lane’s Dan Trachtenberg to direct.
[Source: The Hollywood Reporter]