Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Shadow of the Colossus: Coming to a Theater Near You?

Shadow of the Colossus is one of greatest videogames I've ever had the pleasure to play. It's beautiful, atmospheric, and - among other things - features a poignant ending the likes of which I've not seen before or since. In many ways, it's like a mainstream art game; similar to Tale of Tales The Path, but much more refined.

It's also this blog's namesake, if you hadn't figured that out.

But color me a tad surprised by the news that Sony Pictures is developing a film adaptation of Colossus. This is according to Variety's The Cut Scene blog. It never struck me particularly as ripe for Hollywood treatment. The storyline is sparse, for instance, with the major events consisting mostly of slaying each of the 16 colossi. It's also a very interpretive game, which was always part of Colossus' brilliance for me personally. Variety describes the filmmaker's intentions to make the film "a "Lord of the Rings"-style fantasy tentpole," but while that may sound good on paper, the steps necessary to create such a film could potentially destroy any future interpretations of the game. As a player, I decided for myself what the main character's relationship was to the female lead. It was I that formed an emotional bond with Agro, my equine companion. And it was I who determined what exactly the titular colossi really were, and what killing each of them might symbolically represent.

I suspect, however, that a movie adaptation would completely remove most if not all of these elements. Colossus will cease to be an open, interpretive experience and simply become one person's interpretation of the source material. Wander - the main character - will have a voice and a clearly defined backstory. In fact, everything will be well-defined; ambiguity be damned! Plus, videogame-based movies don't exactly have the best track-record. If this movie does make it to theaters though, I'm hopeful that it'll be treated well by those involved.

In a related story: I'm developing a strong desire to replay Shadow of the Colossus.

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