As long as video games have been popular, Hollywood has been trying to turn them into movies, usually to disappointing results. With Alicia Vikander set to star in a “Tomb Raider” reboot and Michael Fassbender as the lead in an “Assassin’s Creed” adaptation though, the days of bad video game movies may be coming to an end.
But what about TV adaptations?
While movies based on video games are nothing new, TV is an entirely different story. There have been animated shows based on the likes of “Sonic the Hedgehog” and web-based mini series like “Mortal Kombat: Legacy,” but thus far there’s yet to be a worthwhile live action adaptation of a video game — until now.
Legendary Digital Studios has partnered with Square Enix & DONTNOD to develop a live action series based on the game “Life is Strange,” which was released episodically on video game consoles and computers beginning in 2015. According to the game’s official blog, they are going to adapt the game into a digital series, though any details beyond that are scarce.
While there’s no announced home for the adaptation yet, it sounds like it’ll definitely end up online. So what makes this stand out from previous live-action adaptations that have been released online, like the aforementioned “Mortal Kombat” miniseries?
The answer is simple, “Life is Strange” in its original form already plays like a movie and its episodic structure lends itself perfectly to a series.
Set in present day, the game follows a teen girl named Max who has a good eye for photography and attends a boarding school. Like most, at one point or another, she doesn’t fit in. The story is so simple that it could be a quirky indie drama you might go see with friends at the theater — then you get to the twist.
Max discovers she has the ability to rewind time. Never by giant intervals, but just enough to change the outcome of events in her life. That discovery sets her off on an adventure that could seemingly lead to the end of the world, unless she can figure out how to stop it.
Should the group at Legendary Digital Studios crack the code and present a decent adaptation of the story, this could be a serious game changer. With so many indie game — and episodic games, for that matter — being released, it leaves a lot of relatively unknown-to-the-mainstream games out there to present to the world.
For instance, how many “The Walking Dead” fans know there’s a whole story based around a little girl named Clementine, as introduced in the Telltale Games series? Or perhaps the little remembered “I Am Alive,” from Ubisoft, could serve as the basis of an episodic series set in a post-apocalyptic world.
With so many big name franchises being turned into movies, perhaps TV and the digital space can become home to adaptations of smaller games. After all, they can’t all be the next “Tomb Raider.