Hollywood studios have been trying to combine movies and video games into one successful experience and failing miserably. Although there are many movies based on popular franchises, there hasn’t been a single good video game movie to date. Not a single one. A new partnership between Naughty Dog Games and Sam Raimi, however, just might change that.
According to Deadline, Raimi is working with the acclaimed video game producer to adapt their hit The Last of Us for the big screen. The game takes place 20 years after a fungal infection spread across the globe and wiped out the vast majority of the population. The remnants of civilization have been reduced to struggling survivors or ravenous infected mutants. It sounds like a version of the pandemic story that is so popular these days with shows like The Walking Dead.
Neil Druckmann, the Creative Director for the game, will write the screenplay. Naughty Dog co-presidents Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra, as well as Druckmann and Game Director Bruce Straley, will team up with Raimi and his production company Ghost House Pictures. It’s unclear if Raimi will direct the live-action adaptation, but it looks like he’s on the project as a producer for now.
At the moment, this is just an announcement, and there is little else known about the project. There is no work on what characters from the game could be featured in the movie version. However, as it stands, it looks like The Last of Us might be a good film adaptation of a popular video game.
Raimi’s name doesn’t hold as much water as it used to, after the release of dogs like Spider-Man 3 and Oz: The Great and Powerful, but he knows how to put together a successful genre movie. Drag Me To Hell was a fun and scary romp, while the Evil Dead franchise is one of the most successful genre properties out there. If Raimi does end up directing The Last of Us, look out for a Bruce Campbell and a 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 somewhere in the film.
While The Last of Us is now in the works, Ubisoft and Twentieth Century Fox are working with Michael Fassbender to bring a live-action version of Assassin’s Creed to the big screen in 2015. With in game storylines, characters, and mechanics getting more and more refined with every new generation, the chances for Hollywood to make good quality video game movies increases as well. We could see a world-class directors and filmmakers turning to adapting popular video game properties once movies like The Last of Us and Assassin’s Creed are released.
At the moment, Screen Gems has yet to announce the release date for The Last of Us, but we’ll have more on this project as it develops.