Sony Is Doubling Down On Video Game Adaptations, Teaming Up Its Gaming And Film Divisions

Video game movies have a spotty track record in Hollywood. In fact, there's still chatter about a "video game movie curse," because the vast majority of films based on a video game are critical bombs, and often box office bombs. But expect dozens more shows and movies based on your favorite games in the future, because Hollywood is doubling down on video game adaptations. And Sony, naturally, is leading the charge.

Per a report from The New York Times, Sony is doubling down on video game adaptations in a big way. The company is teaming up its Sony Pictures Entertainment division and its PlayStation powerhouse, Sony Interactive, to turn PlayStation games into "mass-appeal movies and television shows." There are about 10 video game adaptations in the Sony Pictures pipeline, a huge leap from a couple years ago, when there were close to zero.

We're already starting to see the fruits of their labors. The Tom Holland-starring Uncharted, based on the beloved PlayStation property, is set to (finally) hit theaters on February 18, 2022. An HBO series adaptation of The Last of Us is beginning production with The Mandalorian's Pedro Pascal to star and Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin set as showrunner. Also slated for the film and TV treatment are Sony games like Twisted Metal and Ghost of Tsushima, both wildly popular games with high-profile names like Will Arnett and Chad Stahelski involved. However the New York Times shuts down speculation that God of War is getting an adaptation any time soon.

Thanks to its unique advantage, with a well of games already under its roof, Sony is leading this new Hollywood charge for video game adaptations — newly popular because, well, I.P. But other studios and companies aren't far behind. A Halo series is set to debut on Paramount+ early next year with Steven Spielberg executive producing. Lionsgate is adapting the Borderlands games with Cate Blanchett, Kevin Hart and Jamie Lee Curtis among those set to star. And Netflix is going video game crazy in the wake of The Witcher's success, greenlighting originals based on Assassin's Creed, Resident Evil, Splinter Cell, and Cuphead. And Amazon is getting in on the action too, with Westworld duo Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy developing a Fallout-inspired sci-fi series for the streamer.

Lastly, the video game that started it all is getting another go at the big screen. Nearly 30 years after Super Mario Bros hit theaters, Universal Pictures is bringing the Italian plumber back to theaters with an animated Mario movie headed to theaters next year, in a collaboration with Nintendo and Illumination.

So will one of these many adaptations overcome the "video game curse"? Technically it's already been broken, with Detective Pikachu becoming the first video game adaptation to earn a "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. We'll have to see whether more will join it.