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Universal’s The Super Mario Bros. Movie isn’t the only big-name video game adaptation getting set to make the giant genre leap into theaters. Strap on your survival gear and get ready for a long, perilous walk, because Death Stranding — the post-apocalyptic PlayStation game that took star Norman Reedus on an extended sci-fi stalk across a fractured American landscape — is reportedly stalking toward a date with the big screen, complete with the full involvement of legendary game creator Hideo Kojima himself.
Via Deadline, the interactive entertainment auteur is bringing Death Stranding to the movies via his Kojima Productions banner, alongside Alex Lebovici’s Hammerstone Studios — the same production house behind this year’s horror hit Barbarian and 2020’s Bill & Ted Face the Music. Lebovici and Kojima will reportedly produce the movie, with Hammerstone handling the film’s production cost. Kojima Productions US and Canadian writer/director Allan Ungar (Gridlocked, Bandit) will reportedly serve as executive producers.
Already accustomed to tons of film-worthy cutscenes, Kojima gaming fans have long speculated that the iconic auteur of the ambitiously cinematic Metal Gear video game franchise has harbored dreams of making actual movies. Even in its game format, Death Stranding arrived in 2019 having done a movie’s worth of story writing to activate its Hollywood-heavy voice cast.
Reedus’ animated likeness took center stage in Death Stranding as the actor gave voice to lead character Samuel "Sam" Porter Bridges, a solitary courier tasked with a mysterious mission to help stitch together the broken fabric of a fallen American infrastructure in the wake of a civilization-shattering event. The rest of the voice cast included a lengthy list of actors drawn from Kojima’s circle of storytelling admirers — each animated more or less to look like their respective real selves — including Mads Mikkelsen, Léa Seydoux, Guillermo del Toro, Lindsay Wagner, and Margaret Qualley.
“I couldn’t be more excited about this new partnership with Hammerstone Studios,” said Kojima, for whom the movie marks Kojima Productions’ first-ever feature-length film project, via the report. “This is a pivotal moment for the franchise and I’m really looking forward to collaborating with them in bringing Death Stranding to the big screen.”
Though the plot for the movie adaptation is so far a well-guarded secret, Deadline reports the film appears to be “on the fast track” and anticipates “that it will introduce new elements and characters within the Death Stranding universe.” No writer, director, or release target has yet been revealed for the film, whose announcement comes only days after Kojima shared he’s already working on a Death Stranding 2 video game sequel, which is set to arrive as a PlayStation 5 console exclusive.