With the recent success of Pokémon Detective Pikachu and with properties like The Witcher generating lots of noise before its premiere on Netflix in late 2019, it seems film and television adaptations are making a comeback as viable, marketable brands. In comes PlayStation Productions, a branch of Sony Interactive Entertainment, which will be headed by Asad Qizilbash and overseen by SIE chairman of Worldwide Studios Shawn Layden, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Inspired by a certain comic book cinematic universe, Qizilbash and Layden have made it clear that time will be made for film and television projects.
In fact, before taking this step into the industry, Qizilbash and Layden sought the advice of Lorenzo di Bonaventura (G.I. Joe, Transformers) and Kevin Feige (Marvel) regarding the adaptation of unconventional material. Qizilbash and Layden are in a very similar position to what Feige was in back in the early 2000s, in that they have an extensive library of popular titles that they would rather make themselves than license out to other production companies. The benefit to adapting the games themselves, Qizilbash says, “[Is] we’re more familiar, but also because we know what the PlayStation community loves.”
PlayStation games span a variety of genres, including action, mystery, science fiction, and horror, so Qizilbash estimates that there will be plenty of room to grow. He has reassured fans of the games that every title taken into consideration will be optioned as film or television, saying, “Ultimately, the story will determine the format.” Layden expressed a similar sentiment, saying, “It has to stand up as a great movie or TV show. That’s really the only standard that we’d measure it against. In that medium, is it going to be best in class?”
As to what adaptations can be expected, that’s a little murkier. PlayStation may have grossed billions worldwide with titles like Tomb Raider, Crash Bandicoot, Uncharted, God Of War, Spyro The Dragon, The Last Of Us, Ratchet & Clank, and Metal Gear Solid, but it’s also important to note that Sony actually owns the rights to only a few of these titles. AV Club reports, you might see Sony make use of titles like God Of War and The Last Of Us, but they might also have to get a bit creative with titles like Bloodborne and Shadow Of The Colossus.
That’s not to say there will never be an adaptation of Tomb Raider (2018) or Uncharted; in fact, there have been several adaptations of Tomb Raider (2001, 2003) and an Uncharted movie is in the works at another studio.