Top 5 Upcoming Animated Video Game Adaptations

Top 5 Upcoming Animated Video Game Adaptations

On the first episode of CD Projekt Red’s Night City Wire series, it was unexpectedly announced that  Netflix and Studio Trigger would partner together  to produce Cyberpunk: Edgerunners

This project was green-lit due to the success of Netflix’s Castlevania adaptation. The show achieved widespread critical praise for its animation and faithful adaptation of the games. This success hasn’t gone unnoticed by other publishers who are hoping to follow Konami’s lead. So here are the Top 5 Animated Video Game Adaptations currently in the works.

 

1.The Cuphead Show!

Cuphead received widespread praise for its animation, which paid homage to early Fleischer studios cartoons, like Betty Boop and Popeye the Sailor. The studios meticulous attention to top quality animation led to universal praise upon release. The animation was so prominent, Netflix decided to produce and distribute a TV series at StudioMDHR. 

While there are no confirmed story details, the recent Inside Peek trailer has shown familiar characters; Cuphead, Mugman, King Dice and The Devil will all be featured. Expect to see the brothers get into some classic 1930’s hijinks, with The Devil himself trying to take their souls. 

The series is being worked on by a small, relatively inexperienced team. After seeing their beautiful animation in the hands of players, I’m eager to see what they are capable of when creating a show. The Cuphead Show is slated to hit the small screen on January 1st, 2021. 

 

2.Devil May Cry

 

With the well received release of Devil May Cry 5, the franchise has been back in good standings. Easily one of Capcom’s most beloved originals, Devil May Cry’s flourish filled, combo-based fighting system is tailor-made for an anime adaptation. 

Devil May Cry: The Animated Series released in 2007, serving as an in-between for the events of Devil May Cry and Devil May Cry 2. It received mostly positive reviews, but has started to show its age when compared to modern action anime. The new series will be developed by Adi Shankar (this name’s going to come up a lot), the showrunner for Castlevania, who was able to create stunningly violent scenes with only an NES game for reference.

There is no release date set, but an easter egg in Castlevania season 3 implies that an announcement is sooner than later.

 

3.Hyper Light Drifter

 

 

Hyper Light Drifter is one of the rare cases where a Kickstarter project manages to exceed backers’ expectations. The game has a striking art style, with a 16-bit, SNES graphical design. The style works remarkably well in a cinematic fashion; a detail the game flaunts in it’s opening cutscene. These scenes inspired Adi Shankar (I told you), to begin working with Alex Preston, Lead Developer from Heart Machine studios, on an animated mini-series adaptation of the game. It will be interesting to see how they handle the lack of voiced dialogue as hiring voice actors may take away from the SNES atmosphere the game had originally built. 

 

4.Assassin’s Creed

 

The Assassin’s Creed franchise has struggled to find success in film and television adaptations. The film was an absolute disaster both critically and financially but I’m still excited to see this project come to fruition. 

The film didn’t rekindle my love for the franchise, but I respect that the series takes advantage of its premise to tell stories with new protagonists in every entry. The film is considered canon, despite its poor reception. The Netflix produced TV series is likely to tell an original story in an unexplored time period. World War II or feudal Japan, anyone? 

Under the direction of Adi Shankar (It’s the last time… I swear), we hopefully get to see a story set in the AC universe that isn’t plagued with the tedious down time that so many of the games have suffered from.

 

5.Captain Laserhawk: A Blood Dragon Vibe

 

Far Cry: Blood Dragon is one of the best Far Cry games ever made, featuring an over the top, 80’s action movie aesthetic. It took everything that made Far Cry 3 fun to play and stripped away the more serious story elements, replacing them with a world that feels like Robocop meets Escape From New York

The ridiculous setting, katana wielding zombies, and giant laser-breathing Komodo dragons work perfectly for a hyper-violent, animated Netflix show. Who better to lead the project, than Adi Shankar? (I lied). 

An animated series in this world could be special if it takes advantage of the precious 80s nostalgia, and embraces the violence that movies of the time were not able to do convincingly. 

There is no tentative release date, but considering the many other projects Adi Shankar has on the go (and the growing controversies surrounding Ubisoft), it’s probably going to be a few years before it hits Netflix. 

 

Most of these shows are going to be quite a way off but they each have so much potential and I can’t wait to see how they turn out. How about you? Which show are you most excited for? What other games would you like to see get an animated TV series? Let us know in the comments below.

Eulogy for an Icon: Stan Lee – 1922-2018

Eulogy for an Icon: Stan Lee – 1922-2018

Yesterday, we lost one of the most influential men in the modern world of art and entertainment. Stan Lee was a creative mind with a legacy like few others. But he wasn’t just an artist, he was a truly beautiful human being. Here’s what he meant to me.

Stan Lee

Long before I knew who Stan Lee was, I had spent years as a fan of Spider-Man. Growing up, the web-slinger was one of my favorite characters across any fictional world. I watched the animated TV series, read the original comics, bought action figures, trading cards, and lost my mind when the first movie was announced. I couldn’t get enough of Spider-Man and the universe that Stan had built through writing the comics.

I think what resonated so deeply with me was how human and relatable Spider-Man was, especially through Peter Parker. Sure, as a kid, I thought Spider-Man was “cool” and “awesome” and all that. But when I look much deeper, it was the relatability of Stan’s characters and how genuine they were (like Spider-Man) that won me over and kept me interested as I grew up. Spider-Man was funny and heroic, but also insecure. He was strong, but also flawed and even broken at times.

Stan’s characters weren’t perfect, but they still tried to do the right thing. They didn’t always succeed but they tried to make the world a better place. They struggled with identity, love, loss, relationships, work, discrimination, hate, issues of morality, and more, just like real people. Iron Man, Black Panther, the X-Men, and all the others were, at their very core, human. They had superpowers and could do amazing things but that wasn’t really the point, not for me. In a world with so much darkness, these superheroes were a light in my world.

Stan Lee is one of the few people I look up to as a writer. I don’t like the idea of idolizing other people or giving them more praise than they’re due, but I think Stan deserves my praise; without him, I don’t know where I’d be. I owe so much of my passions and writing style to Stan. His stories helped me get through some of the hardest moments in my life.

Stan Lee

Stan’s influence across all types of media can’t be ignored. His characters dominate the box office every year and actors’ careers have been made because of them. I may not have gotten into video games and writing about them in the same way if it wasn’t for his work.

One of my top three video games is even based on the Spider-Man comics: Marvel’s Spider-Man for PlayStation 4, which came out in 2018. We got to play the most fully realized version of his beloved character this year, the year Stan passed away. Avengers: Infinity War and the third season of Daredevil on Netflix also came out this year. Even if you didn’t know about him, he’s responsible for some of the most popular entertainment of the past few years.

He lived a long, productive life and although I knew it was coming soon, it still hurts to lose one of my biggest heroes. He spoke to so many people, people he never even met in person. I had the honor to see him at a panel at San Diego Comic-Con a few years ago and I was shocked at how much energy and positivity he brought to the room. He brought so much happiness to so many lives.

I will always be indebted to Stan Lee for his impact on my life. I wish his family the best and will always be inspired by his creations. Goodbye, dear friend.

Vampyr to Be Made Into a TV Show

Vampyr to Be Made Into a TV Show

Dontnod Entertainment and Focus Home Interactive collectively released Vampyr earlier this year, which proved to be one of the biggest disappointments of 2018 so far. However, perhaps it was simply being released as the wrong form of media.

 

Critics and gamers alike seem to agree that Vampyr was very lackluster in terms of combat and story, two things that were supposed to be the highlights of the game. While it’s actually only Dontnod’s third game released, the success of Life Is Strange left many expecting more. If I were to throw my own thoughts into the ring, I’d say that the big problem comes from a business level. Although we didn’t have any true way of knowing this for quite some time, it seems obvious that Dontnod has been working on Vampyr, Life Is Strange 2, The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, and Twin Mirror all in the past few years. We’ve already seen how abysmal the product can be when a studio is focusing their attention on just two projects at the same time with the flop of BioWare’s Mass Effect: Andromeda. This all goes without mentioning that through this whole process, the company has been communicating with three different publishers at once.

 

Life Is Strange 2

 

It’s entirely possible that this was a contributing factor in the relatively poor performance of Vampyr. However, while most who’ve played the game seem to agree on its downfalls, there also appears to be a common appreciation for the concept. The idea is one that has not been tried this console generation or even last generation; it’s fresh. This has led to Fox 21 Television Studios striking a deal with Dontnod and Focus Home Interactive to create a TV show based on the game. This news comes just weeks after Disney finalized a deal to buy 21st Century Fox for $71.3 billion.

 

Oskar Guilbert, CEO of Dontnod Entertainment, believes that Vampyr is “a fantastic premise for a television show.” He also said that the television show would be a great way for everyone to “enter and engage with Vampyr’s rich, deep story,” which is the part I personally am most excited about.

 

Also announced was the news that the project would be taken on by Wonderland Sound & Vision and DJ2 Entertainment. DJ2 specializes in transforming video games into movies. While their products far and few between still, they are plenty busy. While producing the show for Vampyr, they’ve already worked with Dontnod on making a live-action movie based on Life Is Strange. In addition, they’ve already picked up the rights to create a feature film based on We Happy Few. This still only scrapes the surface of what they have planned for the future.

 

Wonderland Sound & Vision has a bit more experience in the industry. While they don’t have much in the way of universally known and praised films (the closest they come is Terminator Salvation from 2009), they have worked with some serious talent in the past. Some of their films star the likes of Amy Schumer, Matthew McConaughey, Christian Bale, Cameron Diaz, Drew Berrymore, Lucy Liu, and Chris Evans. Most of their films fall well below the standards of most critics, but experience says a lot, even if it’s lent itself to failure.

 

It will be interesting to see how this combination of studios attacks this new project. So far, the creative thinkers at each studio seem to be extremely excited about the idea and are eager to get started. This is definitely a story I will be following up on, as I was left with much to be desired after playing Vampyr.