Sony put together a new production company in 2019 called PlayStation Productions that was explicitly tasked with finding ways to turn the company’s many video game brands into movies and TV shows, and while that seemed like a difficult dream to achieve at the time (Hollywood doesn’t exactly have the Platinum Trophy when it comes to video game adaptations), Sony has been aggressively pushing PlayStation Productions lately. The Uncharted movie was in the works before the label’s birth, but HBO’s The Last Of Us show, Peacock’s Twisted Metaland Amazon’s potential God of War series are all solidly under its umbrella.
Now, Sony is moving forward with an adaptation of another one of its main video game brands: Sucker Punch’s Ghost Of Tsushima. The project was first put in the works last year, with John Wick‘s Chad Stahelski attached to direct, but it seems to be really happening now that Deadline says Sony has hired writer Takashi Doscher to put together the screenplay. (Just a director attached doesn’t necessarily mean anything, same with just a writer, but both? You’ve basically got a movie done already.)
This news is perhaps more interesting than the God of War and Twisted Metal announcements, though, because Ghost Of Tsushima already had explicit cinematic aspirations when it was still just a video game. Set in the 1200s after the Mongols invaded Japan, the game has you play as Jin Sakai, a samurai who gradually transforms from a warrior who cares only about doing everything the honorable way into Batman with a katana—sneaking up on enemies and gutting them before they can react. It takes a lot of aesthetic inspiration from samurai movies, none more explicit than the inclusion of a gimmicky “Kurosawa Mode,” named after filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, which put a black and white filter over the screen.
So the game that really wanted to be a samurai movie is becoming a samurai movie, which might prompt someone to question why Stahelski and Doscher don’t just… make a samurai movie that is not a video game adaptation, but Sony and PlayStation Productions clearly have some deep pockets. If they’re throwing money at you to make a samurai movie and all they ask is that it is about a guy named Jin Sakai who becomes like a ghost and lives on Tsushima island, you might as well do it.