Sony is getting serious about bringing its biggest PlayStation titles to both the big and small screen. Sony Interactive Entertainment has officially launched a new studio called PlayStation Productions. This studio will develop and produce projects based on the vast video game library into movies and TV shows. This means we could finally see versions of The Last of Us, Metal Gear Solid, God of War and Crash Bandicoot and more become a reality, in some form or another.
According to a new report, PlayStation Productions will be headed up by Asad Qizilbash and overseen by Shawn Layden, chairman of Worldwide Studios at SIE. The studio is already in development on a slate of projects, though no specific titles have been announced just yet. Layden had this to say about the new venture in a statement.
"We've got 25 years of game development experience and that's created 25 years of great games, franchises and stories. We feel that now is a good time to look at other media opportunities across streaming or film or television to give our worlds life in another spectrum... We looked at what Marvel has done in taking the world of comic books and making it into the biggest thing in the film world. It would be a lofty goal to say we're following in their footsteps, but certainly we're taking inspiration from that."
Video game movies have proved to be a tricky cookie to crack in Hollywood. However, more and more companies are taking development into their own hands these days. Ubisoft and Activision, for example, have similarly set up studio divisions intended to bring their properties to the screen. The difference here is that PlayStation Productions will not be licensing the content to other studios. While Sony Pictures will handle distribution, everything is going to be handled in house, meaning these will be unique within the landscape of video game adaptations.
PlayStation also has a massive library of more than 100 titles, many of them with massive global popularity. Projects such as the Uncharted movie have spent years in development hell. Jordan Vogt-Roberts (Kong: Skull Island) has also desperately been trying to get a Metal Gear Solid movie made. It's possible this new venture could help get some of those projects off the ground. Asad Qizilbash had this to say.
"Instead of licensing our IP out to studios, we felt the better approach was for us to develop and produce for ourselves. One, because we're more familiar, but also because we know what the PlayStation community loves... For the last year and half, two years, we've spent time trying to understand the industry, talking to writers, directors, producers. We talked to [film producer] Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Kevin Feige to really get an understanding of the industry."
Taking cues from the best in the business, such as Kevin Feige, who has helped to make the Marvel Cinematic Universe what it is today, is certainly a good place to start. It will be interesting to see if this helps Sony crack the video game movie/TV show code in a meaningful way. We'll be sure to keep you posted as details on the projects in development at the newly formed studio come to light. This news was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.