Even with the disappointing performances of last year's Assassin's Creed and Warcraft, Hollywood is determined to continue the search for the perfect video game to successfully adapt into a live-action film.
Over the past few months, rumors surrounding certain video game titles getting the big-screen treatment have been both confirmed and debunked. A game that got the privilege of joining the former is the indie-darling #WeHappyFew, a survival-horror game that has yet to be released.
Happiness Is Mandatory
We Happy Few is set in Wellington Wells, England in an alternate version of the '60s that came as a result of a very different World War 2. During the war, a newly reformed German Empire (Hitler lost power in this timeline) launched a full-scale military invasion on the United Kingdom, but the people of Wellington Wells repelled this by doing what is only referred to as the "Very Bad Thing."
Due to the pain of guilt and regret, the people of Wellington Wells developed a drug called "Joy" that keeps them in a heightened state of euphoria where they can forget about everything. Anyone who doesn't take Joy, aka "Downers," is seen as a threat to the state-imposed happiness and is violently ostracized for not being positive.
The player takes control of Arthur, one of the Downers who is shunned in Wellington Wells. Arthur (and by extension, the player) must escape different scenarios in Wellington Wells where his life is in constant danger ever since he stopped taking Joy.
Watch the trailer for We Happy Few below.
We Happy Few owes a lot to the likes of George Orwell's seminal novel 1984 and to recent games like the Bioshock franchise in terms of influence, and the game's unique and psychedelic dystopia helped build a strong following among players.
The game was released as an early-access title that quickly received critical acclaim and insane amounts of hype. We Happy Few also relied on a successful crowd-funding campaign on #Kickstarter, and the game is expected to be released in its entirety before the year ends.
The delays were due in part to the creative team's desire to flesh out the narrative, but based on the trailers and promotional material, We Happy Few will be worth the wait.
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A Happy Movie
Just recently, #PitchPerfect producers Gold Circle Entertainment bought the rights to a film adaptation of the game. #CompulsionGames, the makers of We Happy Few, tied-up with dj2 Entertainment to bring the game to life. dj2 is the production company that will take care of the upcoming film adaptations of #SleepingDogs (starring Donnie Yen) and the Sega flagship #Sonic.
Guillaume Provost, the hear developer of Compulsion Games, had good things to say about the meetings he and his team had with the representatives of dj2 and Golden Circle:
Dmitri, Stephan, and Dan approached us enthusiastically with really solid ideas about how to adapt our game to film while retaining its menace, dark humor, and central themes.
Speaking about what to expect, dj2 Entertainment CEO Dmitri M. Johnson promised that the film version of We Happy Few would change parts of the story to keep it fresh and surprising for both fans and newcomers:
Our commitment is to make a movie that remains true to the source material, while still surprising fans.
Since the game has yet to hit stores, Compulsion Games reassured the waiting fanbase that the film adaptation was real, but the priority remains in shipping the game out on time. Check out the Tweet below:
There is still no word on any potential directors or writers who will help Compulsion Games bring the colorful nightmare of Wellington Wells to life. Expect an announcement in the near future.
The Few Good Video Game Movies
Given how disappointing recent adaptations of video games have been, it's no surprise that the film adaptation of We Happy Few will take a few years before anything concrete materializes. Due to its popularity, We Happy Few joins the likes of Life Is Strange and Metal Gear Solid as yet another potential movie with astronomical expectations from fans.
That's not to say that a good movie based on We Happy Few can never happen, but it will take a lot of hard work and effort on the part of both developers and filmmakers to pull off what many think is an impossible task.
With a story as charmingly disturbing as the one that will be told in We Happy Few, it would be a very bad thing to waste a unique vision and give it a subpar film adaptation.