EA’s Battlefield franchise is being optioned by Paramount Television and Anonymous Content for a possible forthcoming TV series.
As far as video game franchises that would work perfectly as a television series go, Electronic Arts’ Battlefield wouldn’t be the first to pop into many people’s minds. Yet that’s a reality that may be coming soon, as EA revealed today that the rights for a Battlefield television show have been optioned by Paramount Television and Anonymous Content. That option includes the entirety of the Battlefield franchise, so the direction of the television could go in a variety of directions.
Not only is the entirety of the Battlefield franchise optioned, but it’s optioned for near all television mediums. That includes broadcast, premium cable, cable, and online programming. So not only could the show be based on any or all Battlefield games, but also it could be broadcast across any or all television programming mediums. Altogether, the contract between EA and the production companies is surprisingly broad, so perhaps EA’s rushing to compete with the announced Call of Duty movie?
Likely most interesting of note is Paramount TV and Anonymous Content’s previous work together. According to the Battlefield press release, the two are working on almost a dozen in-development projects. The ones closest to completion, however, are particularly relevant. Both 13 Reasons Why and Maniac, two of just three shows with release plans, are both coming straight to Netflix. Given the studio’s history with the service, it’s a good possibility that Battlefield could make its way to Netflix as well, though with such brand power maybe the show will find its way onto cable television.
One thing everyone looking forward to a Battlefield television show can agree on is that either cable or Netflix would be the best option in terms of creative direction. After all, Battlefield is a rather violent franchise by nature – these are war games after all – and it’s doubtful that Fox would want to air an episode on mustard gas after The Simpsons. Something on par with The Walking Dead‘s violent action would work, but a Daredevil or Game of Thrones tier of visual violence would likely fit the franchise better.
Considering the Battlefield franchise is not known for its narrative prowess, it’s hard to predict where Paramount TV and Anonymous Content will even begin. The two essentially have a blank slate to explore any story, which can then have the Battlefield name on top of it. Perhaps if the studios aimed towards a cop drama in line with Battlefield: Hardline, that would have a bit more direction. Or a Battlefield 2142 show would at least have some artistic direction. But it makes more sense for a show to aim for a World War II or World War I setting to get the most value from the franchise.
Remember, however, that optioning a brand does not mean a TV show will become a reality. This is really the beginning of a process that involves a lot of money and a lot more money. Hopefully, given the increased investment in movies based on video games Battlefield will be rushed into production.