It's been argued that #videogames can't make for good live-action stories. If recent movie adaptations such as the critically-maligned #HitmanAgent47 and the disappointing #AssassinsCreed are any indication, it will take a lot of effort and talent to successfully change that perception.
But that's exactly what may happen soon.
Video game developer Square Enix is looking to break the curse of live-action video game-based movies with an adaptation of their smash hit from 2015, #LifeIsStrange.
Stranger Than Life
As reported by Polygon, Square Enix, DJ2 Entertainment and Legendary Digital (the guys behind the Dead Rising movies on Crackle) are planning to join forces to bring the beloved, yet tragic story of Max and Chloe to life in a live-action series. According to a post on the game's official Tumblr account, Life Is Strange will be a digital series, similar to the #Marvel shows found on #Netflix.
Legendary Digital's Greg Siegel excitedly described Life Is Strange as a rare gem in the world of gaming that successfully combines narrative depth and gameplay to create a unique interactive gaming experience and he's thrilled to be working on the live-action adaptation. Siegel says:
We couldn't be more excited to partner with Square Enix, Dontnod Entertainment and DJ2 to bring the world of Arcadia Bay to life in an exciting new way.
The project was only recently announced, so there's still no word on how exactly Life Is Strange will be brought to life for the digital streaming audience.
Legendary Entertainment has said that they will begin searching for the right filmmakers to conceptualize the project. Expect updates to be reported as more details pour in.
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Life Is Strange is an episodic adventure game that was developed by #DontNodEntertainment and published by #SquareEnix that can be played on all platforms. In the game, players take control of #Max Caulfield (voiced by Hannah Telle), an otherwise normal high school student who learns she has the power to rewind time. She uses these powers to save her childhood friend #Chloe Price (voiced by Ashly Burch) after she's murdered at gunpoint. The two then reconnect, making up for lost time while discovering new things about each other and themselves.
However, the ramifications of tampering with time begin to unfold. Max (and by extension, the player) is forced to make tough decisions that will determine the fates of everyone living in her hometown of Arcadia Bay, including her friend Chloe and most importantly, herself.
That Thing About Video Game Adaptations
Compared to other video games, Life Is Strange may have a relatively easier time translating its story to the big screen. This is because Life Is Strange is not only somewhat grounded in nature, but because there's a proper flow of narrative events.
Unlike fighting games such as #StreetFighter or relentless shooters like #Doom, Life Is Strange doesn't need to craft a new narrative out of set-pieces and scattered lore found in the game's bonus content since it already has a solid story in place.
Given the emotional turmoil that many players suffered when playing the final acts of the game, Life Is Strange may be able to prove that live-action adaptations of video games can not only be competent movies or TV series, but also great stories if the upcoming adaptation maintains the same storytelling quality.
The problem, though, is that the entire appeal and point of Life Is Strange was to literally put players in Max's position, not just tell a story from her perspective. All of the major events and plot twists occur as a direct result of the players' choices - a story device exclusive to video games (and choose-your-own-adventure books) that cannot be replicated by movies and TV series at this time.
Life Is Strange was lauded for making players pick between difficult, heartbreaking choices just to make the story progress, and this was no easy feat for the five-episode game to accomplish. Regardless, it will definitely be interesting to see how the chosen writers and filmmakers will translate the game's signature moral dilemmas to the small screen while doing justice to the popular source material.
Check out the trailer for Life Is Strange below. All episodes can be bought online, but episode one is free of charge. Are you excited for this adaptation?