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'System Shock' adaptation takes huge step forward with hiring of 'Mortal Kombat' writer Greg Russo
With Moon Knight's Jeremy Slater writing the Mortal Kombat sequel, Russo is free to tackle the horrors of the cosmos.
With Moon Knight's Jeremy Slater penning the Mortal Kombat sequel for Warner Bros., screenwriter Greg Russo is now free to explore the horrors lurking out there in the dark reaches of the cosmos. SYFY WIRE is able to confirm that Russo has been tapped as writer and director for Binge's upcoming System Shock television series (produced in partnership with remake developer Nightdive Studios).
“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,” the Hollywood scribe said in a statement. “I’ve been waiting for the right opportunity to make my directorial debut, and I finally found it.”
“Greg is a superbly talented screenwriter who possesses an unmatched knowledge and passion for gaming," added Binge Chief Content Officer Allan Ungar. "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.”
Russo is also locked in as an executive producer alongside Nightdive's Stephen Kick (CEO and founder) and Larry Kuperman (Director of Business Development). Ungar is a producer. The show will exclusively stream on Binge.com, which describes itself as "an immersive ... platform created for the gaming universe."
“I’ve always believed that a live-action adaptation of System Shock would be the perfect medium to retell the harrowing story of Citadel station and its rogue AI that subjects the crew to unimaginable horror,” Kick said. "With Greg Russo and the rest of the talented team at Binge behind the wheel, our excitement for the live-action series has only gotten stronger. We can’t wait to see what grotesqueries and frights await!"
Developed by Looking Glass Studios, the original System Shock game — which Nightdive is currently in the midst of rebooting — was released in September of 1994 for a number of computer operating systems. Players were able to step into the role of a cunning hacker who must survive Citadel Station, defeating enemies created by a sinister A.I. known as SHODAN.
Mind you, this was five years before The Matrix hit the big screen. In addition, the first System Shock is often said to be a creative precursor to other groundbreaking games like Deus Ex and BioShock. Nightdive's remake has garnered over $1 million in crowdfunding via Kickstarter and over $77,000 on BackerKit.
You can check out the teaser trailer below:
"We’ve gathered a team of industry veterans from games like Fallout: New Vegas, Mass Effect, and BioShock to create a faithful reboot of the classic game we all know and love," the studio wrote on its website. "To ensure this reboot is as true to the original as possible, we’ve been collaborating with the original developers of System Shock 1. Understanding what they would do differently and keep the same has helped us to refresh a classic in ways Looking Glass Studios would have. We’re making System Shock for gamers that missed the opportunity to appreciate the original, and for the dedicated fans of System Shock 1. We love talking to our backers, so please help support this project and share your thoughts as we make the best System Shock for all of you!"
A third entry in the System Shock video game series was announced in 2015 with Deus Ex vet Warren Spector leading the charge via OtherSide Entertainment. The project was taken over in May 2020 by the China-based Tencent when OtherSide came to the conclusion that it could not handle the workload as a smaller indie studio. "We believe Tencent's deep capabilities and expertise as a leading game company will bring the franchise to new heights," they tweeted at the time.