Whenever the prospect of a new video game movie adaptation materializes, we usually run the gamut from “Oh hey cool” to “Oh, but probably it won’t be good” pretty fast. We’ve got years and years of movies like Assassins Creed, Doom, and Street Fighter tempering those expectations. Though recently, the likes of Pokémon: Detective Pikachu and Sonic the Hedgehog to perk us up a bit. (Also, sidebar, the original Silent Hill movie is actually quite good.) But nothing has given us as much cautious optimism as the following: a Ghost of Tsushima movie is in the works from John Wick series director Chad Stahelski.
As Deadline reports, Sony Pictures and PlayStation Productions are developing the film based on the massive 2020 bestselling game from Sucker Punch Studios. Roundly considered the final big game of the PlayStation 4 generation, it sold 6.5 million copies since last July. The story follows samurai Jin Sakai as he must thwart an invasion by the vicious Mongol army in the 13th century. In the course of the story, Jin puts his code of honor to the test as he engages in stealth and terror techniques to overtake the invaders. That right there is a pretty John Wicky character arc.
Of any recent video game, Ghost of Tsushima already feels very cinematic. The massive open world allows players to traverse a damn near real-size map of the actual Tsushima Island. Massive open vistas and scenic mountains fill the screen. In fact, there’s a specific “Kurosawa Mode” which makes the player feel like you’re playing a movie by the legendary director Akira Kurosawa.
This is all to say that there’s a lot to make one think a movie adaptation could be amazing. Story and character-driven; fast-paced and visceral action; gorgeous period setting and landscape; plus you get to pet foxes, which better be in the movie or so help us. We already were keen to see Ghost of Tsushima turn into a TV series, a la the upcoming The Last of Us, but I guess a movie will be okay too.
In hiring Chad Stahelski to direct, Sony is ensuring some of the most bone-crunching, arterial-blood-spraying action one could hope for. It could do for samurai movies what the John Wick series did for gunplay. This might also hopefully be the rare instance in which people who played the characters in the game will reprise their roles for the film. The performance capture is so good, there’s really no mistaking any of the cast.
Ghost of Tsushima will mark the second film to come out of the partnership between Sony Pictures and PlayStation Productions. Uncharted is currently in post-production and has a planned release date of February 11, 2022. The next two Wick films were to film back-to-back, but that’s no longer the case.