For many gamers, films based on popular video game franchises are viewed with an air of abject horror. These poor translations run the gamut from critical darlings-turned-flops to flops-turned-disasters. This is not to say that a true adaptation success story is impossible though as there have been films that have bucked this trend. With this hopefulness in mind, the latest game to begin its trek to the silver screen is PC classic Thief.
This news comes just months after the lukewarm release of the Thief series’ reboot of sorts (check out our review). Based around the exploits of master thief Garrett as he skulks in the shadows and steals from the rich in the dark and ominously-named locale of The City, this recent title draws on the series’ PC pedigree which dates back to 1998. If one thing’s for sure, the Thief series definitely has the potential to make the translation successfully, if only for its rich cinematic moments.
According to Tracking Board, the PC stealth classic is being developed by Vertigo and Prime Universe and has Adrian Askarieh and Roy Lee acting as producers. Vertigo is undoubtedly the bigger name with successful titles under their belt like the recent film, The Lego Movie. Prime Universe on the other hand has worked on the ill-fated Hitman film and its upcoming reboot and are in works on adaptations of Deus Ex, Kane & Lynch and Just Cause.
While the success of The Lego Movie is a positive point to focus on, it’s slightly disconcerting to see a single production company with their hands in to many game-to-film adaptations simultaneously. Video games as a medium thrive on their immersive qualities. To properly capture this on screen in film form requires a great amount of care and passion. If this is simply a bid to capitalize on the success of a number of successful game series’ in the hopes that their interactive cousins will hold the weight of criticism, then this could be a step in the wrong direction.
Regardless, this could very well be needless worry for a film that has only just entered development. With gamers continuing to hold out hope for the adaptations of The Last of Us and Bioshock – should it ever get off the ground – there is still hope to be had. While narrative is a big part of the Thief games, the lore behind them is unique enough to draw viewers’ attention but also broad enough to allow some degree of creative freedom on the part of the teams backing the project.
Relying too heavily on existing, rich narrative is one of the biggest pitfalls for game-to-film adaptations, so if Askarieh and Lee can capture the tone and feeling of the Thief franchise while keeping it separate from the narratives that gamers have taken part in, there’s a good chance that this project could see the light of day and succeed. With its blend of gothic steampunk and the paranormal, it’s hard to deny that this film has some striking possibilities at hand.
Do you think a Thief movie could buck the game-to-film adaptation trend? How would you like to see the film handled?
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Source: Tracking Board