The Long Dark Adaptation in Development
Hollywood loves a good adaptation. After novels, what they love to adapt most is video games. It should be a no-brainer, really. Take a game has any sort of following, and if you adapt it, they should come, right? Eh, not so much. Despite recent gaming films raking in some serious dough at the box office, their critical scores are pretty poor. But up till now, most of these adaptations have been shooters or RPGs or action games (or Angry Birds). What we haven’t seen is a more narrative-driven game adapted into a film. At least not yet.
The game The Long Dark was initially released in September 2014. The first-person survival game tells the tale of two individuals – a bush pilot named Will MacKenzie and Dr. Astrid Greenwood – who get stranded in the wilderness of Northern Canada after some global event. The Hollywood Reporter describes it as a “geomagnetic disaster.” Whatever the nature of this event, it has caused an aurora that plays havoc with electrical devices. The characters must find each other and find resources in order to survive. The game’s full release was just this week, and it’s already sold 1.3 million copies.
Developed by video game studio Hinterland, The Long Dark is expected to be their first foray into dedicated cross-platform media. Hinterland founder Raphael van Lierop says he founded the company with a goal to “create original entertainment properties that could span multiple mediums.” Van Lierop, who wrote the narrative of the game with Marianne Krawczyk, will also be writing the script for the film. Resident Evil producer Jeremy Bolt will be producing.
It has drawn comparisons with Cormac McCarthy‘s The Road in its post-apocalyptic setting and focus on the solitude of survival. Prior to the game’s full release, Hinterland dropped a video called Elegy (which you can see below) that they hope will give people a taste of what can be expected from the film. Evoking the bleakness of this new world devoid of technology, hinting at some man-made (or man-neglected) environmental catastrophe, it questions what new morality you might develop in the interminable quiet of this unfamiliar landscape. Oscar winner Christopher Plummer narrates the script also by van Lierop. No director or actors have been attached yet, but if Elegy is a sample of what we can expect, maybe video game adaptations are starting to look up.