Taking a page straight from the Marvel playbook, Sony is creating its own production studio to cross its high-profile list of A-tier game titles over to the world of movies and TV, all without having to license it hugely popular PlayStation games catalog out to other studios.
PlayStation Productions, as the new studio is reportedly called, already is working on its first batch of still-unannounced PlayStation TV and film projects, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Sony’s Shawn Layden told THR that the success of Marvel’s under-one-roof philosophy to make movies and TV out of its comic book lineup served as an example for starting a Sony games production house — as did an overall survey of the current entertainment landscape.
“We looked at what Marvel has done in taking the world of comic books and making it into the biggest thing in the film world,” said Layden, who also called the new studio a “passion project” of his. “It would be a lofty goal to say we’re following in their footsteps, but certainly we’re taking inspiration from that.”
Most fans agree that the transition for video games over into the world of movies and TV has been rocky in the past — though the quality of such adaptations is getting more sophisticated with the success of current game crossovers like Castlevania on Netflix and Pokémon Detective Pikachu in theaters.
Sony has an enormous stable of game franchises that many fans have felt were ripe for a proper fleshing out on both the big and small screens — including Uncharted, The Last of Us, Tomb Raider, Ratchet & Clank, God of War, Crash Bandicoot, and Metal Gear Solid (which filmmaker and Metal Gear superfan Jordan Vogt-Roberts continues to chase for a movie crossover.)
Sony’s Asad Qizilbash told THR it just makes sense for Sony to keep the production of movies and TV shows based on its games under one roof. “Instead of licensing our IP out to studios, we felt the better approach was for us to develop and produce for ourselves,” he said. “One, because we’re more familiar, but also because we know what the PlayStation community loves.”
Sony hasn’t yet revealed which game franchises it’s currently tapping for screen development — so stay tuned.
Speaking of games that find a second life on the big screen, it looks as though we’ll have plenty of time to fully master Mortal Kombat 11 (the game) in time for the debut of James Wan’s upcoming Mortal Kombat movie.
Variety reports that the still-untitled movie, which apparently is shaping up to be pretty epic, will arrive in the spring of 2021, giving fans a full two years of buildup while they wait for the Simon McQuiod-directed, Wan-produced feature.
Filming on the Mortal Kombat film is set to start this September in Australia, with a reported 1,500 extras already being lined up for a tale that aims to draw on lore from the series’ 1990s surge onto game consoles. Two previous efforts at crossing the Mortal Kombat game franchise over for movie fans — 1995’s Mortal Kombat and 1997’s Mortal Kombat: Annihilation — were tepidly received by critics, but were more successful at the box office.
Warner Bros. hasn’t yet announced who’ll be starring, or which characters from MK’s ensemble line-up of fighting all-stars we can expect to see, but at least we know when we’ll be seeing them: The Mortal Kombat movie is set to debut on March 5 of 2021.
Finally, Disney has revealed new details about one of the movies it’s working on as an exclusive for its upcoming, hugely-awaited Disney+ streaming service, and — surprise! — it’s a new twist on the classic Disney princess story.
Via Deadline, Disney’s Secret Society of Second Born Royals will tell the story of a girl named Sam (played by Peyton Elizabeth Lee) who’s two slots away from becoming the next princess of the kingdom of Illyria. Problem is, she really, really doesn’t vibe with the whole princess life.
Luckily for her, she’s got an out: Superpowers that she discovers at the height of her anxiety about her royal future. Not only does Sam find out she wields more power than just her royal lineage; she also learns, via the report, that she’s part of an old secret society of second-born royals (hence the movie's title), an organization that works behind the scenes to keep Illyria safe and peaceful — you know, happy like a Disney kingdom should be.
Also starring in Second Born Royals is Greg Byrk (The Handmaid’s Tale), who reportedly will play a character known as Inmate 34, a villainous antagonist who’s escaped after a decade behind bars. With production reportedly beginning this month, there’s no early word on when Secret Society of Second Born Royals will debut. But the coronation date for Disney+ is approaching soon enough: The streaming service goes live beginning this Nov. 12.