For gamers who came of age in the early ’90s, the puzzle and exploration game Myst was a singular and unforgettable experience. A decade before Oceanic Airlines Flight 815 stranded a group of castaways on an enigmatic island, Myst was challenging players to unlock the history of its own mysterious isle. Lost producer Damon Lindelof even openly acknowledged Myst as an influence on the show. It’s only appropriate that things would eventually come full circle and somebody would turn Myst into a TV series.
That very thing happened last summer. Variety reported this past July that Myst creators Rand and Robyn Miller were working with Legendary Entertainment (Interstellar, Godzilla) to develop a TV series based on Myst, as well as a new installment of the game series that would tie into the show. At the time, there were no details about where the show might eventually air, although Netflix and Amazon Prime were both considered likely contenders. Now, nearly a year later, Myst has reportedly found a home, and unveiled some more details about when and what to expect from the adaptation.
Deadline is reporting that Hulu has won out as the home for the upcoming Myst series. They describe it as “a competitive situation,” so there were multiple entities bidding on the property – Netflix and Amazon likely among them. Deadline says Hulu has given Myst a script-to-series commitment, which means they’ve commissioned a script, and if they give the finished script a thumbs up, the show will get an automatic series order. So it’s essentially removing the intermediary step of producing a pilot. It’s worth noting, however, that neither Hulu nor Legendary have officially confirmed Deadline’s report yet.
Deadline says the Myst TV series will, like the games before it, focus on the curious origins of the mysterious titular island, and will follow a man who awakens there with a blank where his memory should be: he doesn’t know who he is, he doesn’t know anything about the island, he doesn’t even know how he got there. That’s a compelling narrative setup to be sure, but it will be interesting to see how the show evolves the story. The game was a notoriously lonely affair, with the protagonist known as “the Stranger” the only living character on the island – at least in the traditional sense.
The original game involved the Stranger exploring the island, solving puzzles, and finding pages from books written by characters from the island’s history, and eventually establishing a connection with some of those characters. Presumably the TV series would increase the island’s population a bit, if only to give the guy somebody to talk to. The solitude and slow pace of the game’s exploration isn’t going to translate directly to a TV narrative without a bit of tinkering. Thankfully, there will be plenty of material to work with assuming the show lasts longer than one season; the original game spawned multiple sequels and even a series of novels penned by the game’s creators.
The fellow writing the script is Evan Daugherty, whose past produced credits include Divergent and the Michael Bay-produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He’s also been hired to write the new Tomb Raider movie, based on the rebooted take on the game franchise.