Kurosawa-inspired Ghost of Tsushima video game becoming a movie with John Wick director
What goes around comes back around in this business of Hollywood. Ghost of Tsushima is now another prime example.
The high-selling open-world samurai video game of 2020 that developers said was greatly influenced by Japanese cinema, including the work of filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, is now becoming a movie at Sony Pictures, EW has learned.
Chad Stahelski, the stuntman-turned-director behind the John Wick movies, will helm the adaptation, which is the latest Playstation gaming title getting the big-screen treatment.
Tom Holland will star as treasure-seeker Nathan Drake in an Uncharted film, Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey will co-star in HBO's The Last of Us series, and Deadpool masterminds Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick are turning Twisted Metal into an action-comedy.
Ghost of Tsushima, which debuted last July, follows Jin Sakai, presumed the be the last surviving samurai on a 13th century Tsushima island after a Mongol invasion. To save his homeland, he must grapple with his samurai principles and pursue a darker path as the feared "Ghost."
"Certainly creating a movie-like samurai experience was very high," Jason Connell, the game's art and creative director, previously told EW. "If you look back at a lot of the games Sucker Punch has made, they always tend to generally focus on some kind of core fantasy, if you will, whether it was a thief [Sly] or a superhero [Infamous]. In this one, having it be a samurai felt like a good fit. We know how to make those fantasies come to life for people."
The game also introduced players to Kurosawa Mode, which turned Ghost of Tsushima into a black-and-white cinematic experience that more closely emulated the movies that inspired the story.
Nate Fox, another creative director, mentioned Kurosawa's 1962 Sanjuro film as just one of many heavy inspirations. "It's a film that features, at the very end of it, a standoff between two samurai. The tension that those two warriors have, they wait for the other to make a first move and then one of them dies with just one stroke of his sword. We tried to translate that into the standoff in our game very directly," he said.
Ghost of Tsushima became the PlayStation 4's fastest-selling first-party original IP debut with more than 2.4 million units sold worldwide in its first 3 days of release. It received several Game Award nominations and took home one statuette for Art Direction.
"We've all been brought to tears in a movie theater surrounded by strangers. (Thanks a lot, E.T.)," Fox said in a statement accompanying the movie's announcement. "We've all gone to a movie on opening night when the crowd is so excited that they cheer as the lights go down. It's a group experience that isn't replicated anywhere else. To think that we could sit in the theater someday watching Jin Sakai up on the big screen is amazing."
"I know I speak for everyone at Sucker Punch by sending out a massive THANK YOU to Ghost fans," he added. "Your support for the game is what makes opportunities like a movie come true. It's been a sincere pleasure checking out your photo-mode images posted online and fighting alongside you in Legends [mode]. We're so happy to be on this ride with you."
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