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'Shadow of the Colossus' Movie In Development

sjohnson
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Posted April 7, 2009 - By Stephen Johnson

shadow of the colossus

How's this for news out of left field: Variety today reported that a Shadow of the Colossus movie is in development.

Based on the 2005 PlayStation 2 game, the film is being penned by Justin Marks, the guy who wrote Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, and will be produced by Kevin Misher, who produced The Scorpion King. Reportedly, some minor characters from the game, like the villains who try to track protagonist Wander down, will have bigger roles in the films. The producers are reportedly going for a Lord of the Rings style, sweeping fantasy adventure.

As a fan of the game, I'm deeply concerned. While I'm sure both Marks and Misher are really talented guys, I wonder if the pair's sensibilities are suited to bringing Team Ico's unique vision to the big screen.

The optimist in me thinks:  If they pick just the right director, maybe the thing will be awesome. Maybe someone like Spike Jonez could direct? Maybe an animated film directed by Miyazaki? Brian Leahy suggests a live-action, cell-shaded movie like Scanner Darkly

The pessimist in me thinks mainstream Hollywood will produce a not-great movie based on a great game. That's how video game movies have always been. And it always hurts a little bit to watch something you love be messed up.

The realist in me thinks nothing will ever end up on the screen -- that's what happens to most Hollywood deals, after all, and this one seems particularly strange. Shadow of the Colossus was universally praised by critics and loved by games-as-art nerds, but wasn't exactly a huge blockbuster in terms of sales, so I wonder if it has the audience needed to support a LOTR style title. How many "regular" people really want to pay eight bucks to see an atmospheric rumination on the nature of morality anyway?

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