We would’ve titled the article “Videogame movie actually sounds decent,” but you wouldn’t have believed us.
Speaking with Play Till Doomsday, Misher Films executive producer Kevin Ping Chang outlined the Shadow of the Colossus movie’s progress so far and actually managed to sound equal parts enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Wait. Hold on just a second. Someone’s at the door. We’re pretty sure it’s our good buddy The Apocalypse.
“For Colossus, beyond the cinematic quality of having Wander battling these sixteen colossi, we have to effectively translate that into a narrative that people are going to want to watch for two hours. Without getting into the specifics of the script, that’s a big challenge, especially for something so stark,” he explained.
“One of the struggles of the game is that it is very episodic in nature, similar to the seven exes from Scott Pilgrim. Not that I don’t respect the Scott Pilgrim source material, but watching the movie, I felt it sort of dragged along. Those are some of the pitfalls that we have to be careful to avoid. So these colossi battles need to be very significant, they can’t just be one after the other, there has to be something learned from them.”
His solution? No montages. As in the game, each hulking mass of stone and earth won’t be treated like a bunch of random weeds that need whacking.
“We want Ueda’s feedback as much as possible”
If you’ve kept up with gaming’s previous attempts at leaping onto the silver screen – less calculated jumps and more drunken proclamations of “No, guys, I can totally make this jump!” – you likely have the odd Vietnam flashback to an Uwe Boll or Paul W.S. Anderson film to this very day. But those movies weren’t actually about videogames. They were about meteor-sized egos colliding with more or less defenseless videogame franchises.
None of that here, though. Not a bit.
“We are trying to repeat that transparent process with Sony and Team Ico,” Chang said. “Sony Japan is very involved right now, we sit down with them whenever they are in town for things like E3. Sony America, we keep in contact with them once a month. As for Team Ico, we like to keep Ueda-san as best up to date as necessary. When we feel like we’re comfortable with the product, we’ll approach him and ask ‘is this something that speaks to your vision and your inspiration?'”
“I think people realize the value of having the creator’s involvement more nowadays. They obviously know the material the best. We want Ueda’s feedback as much as possible, especially in terms of knowing certain character’s motivations for what they’re doing, where the character is born, etc. With that information we can begin to build the movie.”
Obviously, though, you’re probably still skeptical. Hell, we could understand no-holds-barred cynicism if you’ve seen Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. Except that you can’t exist, since it’s physically impossible to see that movie and not hang yourself immediately afterward. On the off-chance that you’re still with us, however, we present one last strand of hope:
“Absolutely. I’ve played through it multiple times,” Chang responded when asked if he’s a big fan of the game.
That is the correct answer. That is the best answer.