Mortal Kombat Writer Brings System Shock Adaptation To Binge Streaming Service

The trend of adapting popular video games into live-action adaptations continues (a trend with an uneven, complicated legacy), key examples being 2021's "Mortal Kombat" and the recently released Netflix series, "Arcane," which is set in the "League of Legends" universe. According to a report by Deadline, Greg Russo, one of the writers involved in the "Mortal Kombat" movie reboot, will be writing and directing the upcoming "System Shock" series, which will be released on Binge.

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"System Shock" is set to stream exclusively on Binge, a gaming streaming platform, with Russo serving as executive producer alongside Binge producer Allan Ungar, who also helmed the upcoming movie adaptation of "Uncharted." Nightdive Studios, who own the action video game franchise, are also heavily involved in the creation of the series.

Needless to say, the overwhelming legacy of "System Shock" lies in the fact that it is the key progenitor of most story-based action games today, including "Metal Gear Solid," "Bioshock," and even "Half-Life" (yes, truly). As the sheer brilliance of "System Shock" lies in its intelligent first-person experience, an adaptation would understandably negate that concept completely, hinging more on narrative gameplay as a whole. On a narrative level, "System Shock" plunges players into Citadel Station (a space station) in the year 2072, where the protagonist — a nameless hacker — is asked to retrieve an AI named SHODAN, post which, they undergo a healing coma. After the player awakens, they are confronted with hostile robots, cyborgs, and mutants, who they have to fight off.

This is an interesting premise for a sci-fi video game adaptation, especially a series that would allow more scope for character development and in-depth world-building. Per IGN, Russo expressed excitement over the opportunity to bring the world of "System Shock" to life:

"I'm honored to have the opportunity to work alongside the fantastic team at Binge and Nightdive Studios to bring the iconic System Shock franchise to life. I've been waiting for the right opportunity to make my directorial debut, and I finally found it."

Russo has been involved with several video game adaptations throughout his writing career, including the fairly-recent adaptation, "Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City." Interestingly, Russo has also been attached to the long-gestating "Space Invaders" film and the "Saints Row" adaptation. Ungar went on to praise Russo's skills and how thrilled he was to have him on board:

"Greg is a superbly talented screenwriter who possesses an unmatched knowledge and passion for gaming. His artistic approach to storytelling and his deep understanding of the source material will undoubtedly get fans excited about this new franchise. We're thrilled to be bringing him on board and can't wait to share his vision with audiences worldwide."

Hopefully, the upcoming "System Shock" adaptation will be following the footsteps of (mostly) good video game adaptations, allowing both casual viewers and fans of the franchise to immerse themselves in a stakes-heavy, futuristic world.