Myst video game to become a film?
Now here's something difficult to pull off, adapting the Myst video games into a film. If you don't know about these games they are the most successful selling video game franchise of all time. The player is presented with wonderfully intricate and atmospheric environments, given complex puzzles to solve, and can produce multiple storylines from their decisions.
Now, go and film that then Hollywood. I suspect they'll do that quite easily by cherry picking elements from the different stories and writing one that's merely connected to the franchise.
I remember playing Myst and looking at very photogenic shots of a deserted village, you could move around the world by selecting the left or right sides of the image to turn, or select paths and doors to move forward into the image. If I remember back the game was slow, atmospheric and incredibly frustrating with some puzzles that took ages to solve. I loved it.
I never continued with the franchise though, but the franchise itself did, obviously, or it wouldn't be a franchise, not to mention the most successful videogame franchise ever. Myst was released in 1993 and went on to four sequels, all of which sold tremendously well and went across platforms.
According to the story from Deadline Hollywood Daily, Mysteria Film Group bought the rights from the games studio Cyan Worlds and producers Hunt Lowry and Mark Johnson have teamed up with them to start work on a film. The article states that the film will focus on one aspect from the videogames, that of the idea of a human entering the civilisation of Myst and inadvertently bringing about its end by their very arrival and presence there.
Another central theme of Myst was that the inhabitants of the world were trapped inside books and the player had to solve puzzles to free them, however they also had to decide which of the trapped people were good and evil and free the right ones.
Adrian Vanderbosch of Mysteria Film Group said of the project:
"Our aim with this project is to stretch the genres it operated within, much like the source material did," Vanderbosch said. "It is such an innovative property and by utilizing the novels as our primary resource, we have the opportunity to offer audiences the essence of MYST without being limited only to the famous island of the first game. Our focus has always been on creating an entirely new visual experience driven by engaging characters and an epic narrative."
The idea is to draw on the games and the surrounding novels, and that's quite a lot of material to chose from for one film. There could just be too much to choose from, but reading through the story of Myst does suggest where the plot of the story would lie. Here's the extended plot, without the spoilers, from Wikipedia:
The game's instruction manual explains that an unnamed person known as the Stranger stumbles across an unusual book titled "Myst". The Stranger reads the book and discovers a detailed description of an island world. Placing his hand on the last page, the Stranger is whisked away to the world described, and is left with no choice but to explore; the player then gains control and is allowed to wander the new surroundings.
Myst, the island world described in the book, contains a library where two additional books can be found, colored red and blue. These books are traps which hold Sirrus and Achenar, the sons of Atrus, who lives on Myst island with his wife Catherine. Atrus uses an ancient practice to write special "linking books", which transport people to the worlds, or "Ages", that the books describe. From the panels of their books, Sirrus and Achenar tell the Stranger that Atrus is dead, each claiming that the other brother murdered him, and plead for the Stranger to help them escape. However, the books are missing several pages, so the sons' messages are at first unclear, and riddled with static.
As the Stranger continues to explore the island, more books are discovered hidden behind complex mechanisms and puzzles. There are four books in total, each linking to a different Age. The Stranger must visit each Age, find the red and blue pages hidden there, and then return to Myst Island. These pages can then be placed in the corresponding books. As the Stranger adds more pages to these books, the brothers can speak more and more clearly. Throughout this process, each brother maintains that the other brother cannot be trusted. After collecting four pages, the brothers can talk clearly enough to tell the Stranger where the fifth page is hidden. If the Stranger gives either brother their fifth page, they will be free. The Stranger is left with a choice to help Sirrus, Achenar, or neither.
What do you think? I can see the story being about the ability to write or read about worlds in books and travel between them, would it try and take on the entire storyline?