After a green light that is increasingly confirmed, let’s explore any expectations and risks of a television adaptation of the IP Playstation
As mentioned in recent days by a Deadline report, it seems that Sony and Playstation are in fairly advanced contacts with Amazon to produce a TV series on God of War for the Prime Video platform. This would be a further high-level acquisition by the colossus of Jeff Bezos, capable of moving ahead of the competition on particularly attractive IPs both in terms of production and public. According to the source of the news, executive producers Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, formerly at the helm of The Expanse, are expected to collaborate with Rafe Judkins of The Wheel of Time and Playstation Studios to bring the adventures of Kratos to the screen.
Despite Sony’s hesitant statements on the God of War series dating back some time ago, everything now seems to move decisively towards the perspective praised by Jim Ryan, with Playstation products increasingly present on the film and television market. If Uncharted broke the box office with its first film, relying on names of the caliber of Ruben Fleischer and Tom Holland, even the television proposals seem to want to maintain the same ambitions: Fergus and Ostby were also the authors of Children of Men and the first Iron Man, and their presence leaves room for a lot of speculation. We therefore deepen the hypotheses, perspectives and possible problems relating to the development of such a delicate work.
Material and Context
While we still know little or nothing about the dynamics of the possible adaptation, it is known that the pearl modeled over time by David Jaffe and Cory Barlog represents one of the most loved properties by fans and gamers all over the world. With seven titles to its credit and an eighth coming at the end of the year, the God of War series offers incredible room for maneuver for showrunners and brings with it as many risks associated with its transposition into a new medium. In light of the last two titles, linked to a Norse context and setting and no longer tied to ancient Greece seen in the main trilogy, the first question therefore concerns which aspects the events of the TV series decide to focus on.
Starting with a tale of revenge, then moving on to the radical change of course seen in the most recent chapters, could create more than a few headaches in the writing room. Not so much for the actual difficulty of transposing the events, given that the plot of the first games has always been quite linear, as for the possible connection that should exist between the two universes told in the saga.
Telling the worlds of the Gods and the action inherent in the events will undoubtedly represent the greatest challenge for the show.
Unlike in the past, the narrative potential granted by the small screen can be an ideal terrain for delineating videogame works of this magnitude. Freeing itself from the constraints imposed by cinematic vision, the serial format facilitates the episodic nature of the various titles within a series of video games without particular difficulty: it would not be at all strange to concentrate one’s efforts on one season per chapter, allowing oneself the right space to characterize characters such as Athena or Zeus without running into the macchiettistico.
In this sense, any temporal leaps could also be tackled with greater serenity, putting forward their contextualization in the eyes of the viewer.
Even hypotheses that see a considerable expansion of the source material are therefore not to be excluded: eliminating the gameplay component from an action work, taking the trouble to stage the right amount of violence and fighting, offers more space to emphasize the dramatic element so dear to modern television productions – especially looking at the maturation of Norse iterations. From any perspective you intend to observe the project, there is no shortage of enormous risks to run and as many opportunities that it will be essential to know how to seize in the best way.
Risks and opportunities
The world of contemporary entertainment has always been pushed to adapt well-known works, from books to comics. The advent of video games has aroused quite a bit of interest from a representative point of view, but after several decidedly unsuccessful attempts it seems that the industry has finally grasped the potential (narrative and otherwise) of the medium.
The advent of streaming services and technological innovations have certainly accelerated the process, bringing video games closer to an increasingly realistic vision and therefore close to the aesthetic and representative needs of other media. By continuing to work in the sector, taking on ever greater risks, the production companies are gradually acquiring the right skills to tell the video game effectively. After years of disappointments and annoyances of various kinds,
Any gamer will have recognized by now what it takes for a transposition to be considered appreciable beyond its own technical caliber: preserving the spirit and heart of each work is essential for success and for this reason the focus should be on the choice of professionals who they know the original material, with strong personalities who feel able to expand or handle elements of great weight with particular attention.
The Castlevania and Arcane experiments are clear examples of how the television medium can lend itself perfectly to productions born from video games, if used properly to do justice to the reference title. The possibilities given by a video game are almost infinite, both because a narrative free from mechanics allows you to move on a large space to be filled as you see fit, and because the dynamics of serial development allow you to overcome any technical constraints imposed by a game.
It is therefore not necessary to perfectly transpose the work, and not even God of War would ask so much. What cannot be ignored, in the light of what we have learned today, is the presence of a figure who guides the creative vision in a uniform and equal way with that of the video game.
It would not be a huge effort, if you think of Riot’s work and what Neil Druckmann is likely to do for the transposition of The Last of Us on HBO.
Among the risks of flops and easily avoidable distortions, the first solution to think about would therefore be that of a technical-creative guide coming directly from the videogame universe, even better if it is the creator or the original author. A synergistic work carried out by the faces of the respective media would immediately allow a clear and direct vision of what one intends to tell and how to achieve the goal.
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New hopes on the horizon
Although we are still in the embryonic stages of the project, the opportunity is more than tempting to focus on the issue of adaptations. Live action are far more complex products than animated works such as those mentioned above, especially if they concern video games of a certain stature – the disappointing works on Resident Evil are proof and constant warning.
What we can warmly hope for is that positive examples will teach and allow us to work in a concrete way on a product capable of transmitting to the public the epic nature that has made the works of Barlog and associates unforgettable. While waiting to fuel discussions and put forward ideas to think about, we can only be proud and teased by the idea that the videogame can finally reach a status that allows it not to envy anything to other forms of art, finding its own on the screen. place of more congenial expression.
With Netflix moving in this direction for some time, bringing productions such as Arcane, Castlevania, Cuphead and The Witcher to the fore, with HBO increasingly convinced about its The Last of Us, with Amazon about to start work on Fallout and Paramount ready. to debut with Halo, we can say with certainty that video games are about to mark a new turning point for contemporary TV. What do you think of it? Which of these productions are you looking forward to most? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!