Sony Launches PlayStation Productions — Looking to Break the Video Game Film Curse

Sony Interactive Entertainment is looking to break the video game movie curse. Video game movies may have a bad track record in Hollywood, but that won’t stop the video game subsidiary of Sony from launching its very own production company — PlayStation Productions — to adapt its extensive catalog of beloved video games for the big and small screen.

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news on Tuesday that Sony Interactive is launching PlayStation Productions, a production studio devoted to adapting best-selling Sony video games titles like Metal Gear Solid, Uncharted, God of War, and The Last of Us for TV and film. The new enterprise will be led by Asad Qizilbash and overseen by the chairman of Worldwide Studios at SIE, Shawn Layden, and is “already in production on its first slate of projects and has set up shop on the Sony Studios lot in Culver City.”

Sony Interactive has a library of more than 100 original properties, some of which have already made their way to the big screen to mixed reception, like the long-running Tomb Raider series. Sony Interactive believes that in their own hands, they could have better luck at breaking the video game movie curse.

According to Asad Qizilbash:
“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.”

Unlike most video game adaptations that are usually developed when a game studio licenses its IP out to a movie studio, Sony will be producing these projects in-house through PlayStation Productions with sister company Sony Studios distributing the films. This will perhaps help them avoid disasters like “big budget efforts like 2016’s Assassin’s Creed or Warcraft or even DOOM [that] bombed at the box office and earned weak reviews” — failures that have been attributed to Hollywood misunderstanding the appeal of the video games. Layden wants to instead focus on “ethos” from the game and avoid retelling a story in a way that doesn’t translate well to TV or film.

Sony has confirmed that it is developing a TV show based on the Twisted Metal game series. It also stated that the Uncharted movie is in “advanced development.”

As Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman and CEO Tony Vinciquerra explained:
“We have a TV show we just agreed to get underway that will be developed from the IP on PlayStation, it’s called Twisted Metal. It’s a game that was put out many years ago and we’re going to develop a TV series around that.”

Vinciquerra also noted that the Uncharted movie that’s been long talked about is in “advanced development.” It’s unclear what that actually means, but 10 Cloverfield Lane director Dan Trachtenberg was revealed to be the director for it as recently as January of this year after Stanger Things’ Shawn Levy stepped away from the project. Both Uncharted and Twisted Metal were originally announced as films back in 2012, but a lot of information hasn’t come from either since … until now.

It’s interesting that Sony Interactive has launched its own production studio to adapt its video game titles as opposed to handing it over to Sony Studios, but Qizilbash believes that these adaptations are best in the hands of people who know video games. It seems like they hope PlayStation Productions will break into Hollywood in a big way, with Qizilbash noting that he has talked to Transformers producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige “to really get an understanding of the industry.”

So what do you guys think? Will this break the video game curse? What games do you want to see PlayStation Productions turn into films? Let us know below in the comments. Stay tuned to GamingLyfe for more news.

Written by
A survivor of the 16-bit console wars, fan or horror films, and pro-wrestling. Lover of all things Sega.

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