Developer Freebird Games has announced that its wonderful lo-fi tearjerker To the Moon is being turned into a full-length animated feature film.

To the moon, which released to much critical acclaim back in 2011, tells the story of two scientists attempting to change a dying man's memories in order to fulfil his final wish to have become an astronaut and visited the moon.

"By the end, To the Moon has pushed beyond the limits of its central character's story and become about the issues we all face as our days pass by", concluded Eurogamer's review at the time of release, "The convincing banter between the two doctors, the tale of John's carer and her relationship with her children, the stories of friends and families and how they intersect along the passage of life... To the Moon takes the details of human life in its stride, and delivers them with a breezy effortlessness."

The upcoming movie adaptation has already been in pre-production for two years, and is a joint Chinese-Japanese venture, with China supplying the majority of funding, and Japan handling main production duties. Freebird says that a "first tier" Japanese animation company is onboard, although specifics won't be revealed until later, and that there's a "significant" budget "somewhere above" that of 2016 breakout anime hit Your Name.

Kan Gao, creator of For the Moon, will be involved in script writing and consultation, and you can hear more of his thoughts on the film adaptation in the announcement video below.

A good adaptation, says Gao, has "the heartbeat" of the original, but also "has to have a mind of its own", neither straying too far from the original source material, nor remaining too slavishly faithful. Gao admits that he's both excited and nervous to see if To the Moon can make the transition to a new medium successfully, but notes that the team will "try our best to keep the original soul of the game intact", and pledges to "help steer [production] in the right direction".

However, despite his involvement in the movie, Goa assures fans that he will still be making games. Recently, he released To the Moon follow-up Finding paradise, and his next game, which he's actively working on at present, will see things "get pretty weird from here on".

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Matt Wales

Matt Wales

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Matt Wales is a freelance writer and gambolling summer child who won't even pretend to live a busily impressive life of dynamic go-getting for the purposes of this bio. He is the sole and founding member of the Birdo for President of Everything Society.

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