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ICO, Guardian films being "fought for"

SOTC movie maker would "love" them.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

If the Shadow of the Colossus film "works", then big-screen adaptations of ICO and The Last Guardian may follow, movie-maker Misher Films has said.

"Ueda-san's vision is amazing, and despite those games not being literally a part of the same series, there is a spiritual connection between them," Misher Films' Kevin Ping Chang told Play Till Doomsday.

"It is certainly something we've fought for as a production company, making the case to both SCE and Sony Pictures and saying, 'If Colossus works, this is a vision we can continue translating for at least two more episodes.'

"We would love to do that."

News of Misher Films' Shadow of the Colossus movie broke last April. We heard then that Sony Pictures wanted to make a Lord of the Rings-style "fantasy tentpole" out of the cherished IP. Thankfully, Kevin Ping Chang's recent comments describe a more respectful conversion.

"For Colossus, beyond the cinematic quality of having Wander battling these sixteen colossi, we have to effectively translate that into a narrative that people are going to want to watch for two hours," said Chang. "Without getting into the specifics of the script, that's a big challenge, especially for something so stark. 

"... So these colossi battles need to be very significant, they can't just be one after the other, there has to be something learned from them.  We need to be cognisant of that and say, 'We're not going to do a montage sequence.' Each of these battles need to feel extremely powerful from a dramatic and cinematic standpoint."

Chang explained that what makes sense to players doesn't necessarily translate to film. "We have to remember that the film versions of properties that have fervent fan bases, like the Lord of the Rings, are never completely thorough adaptations of the material," he said.

Misher Films won't go it alone. Sony Japan is "very involved" and Sony America is consulted "once a month". "As for Team Ico," Chang added, "we like to keep Ueda-san as best up to date as necessary. When we feel like we're comfortable with the product, we'll approach him and ask, 'Is this something that speaks to your vision and your inspiration?' 

"The very first meeting - probably my most nervous meeting - between him and our team, we had to explain to him what we saw for this movie.  I didn't say a thing in that meeting, it was all my boss and the writer!"

"We want Ueda's feedback as much as possible," Chang went on, "especially in terms of knowing certain character's motivations for what they're doing, where the character is born, etc.  With that information we can begin to build the movie."

Chang believes "a lot" of the nerves surrounding the project came from the game business not knowing much about the movie business and vice versa. "We have to do some hand-holding to make them feel comfortable about why certain decisions are made, but it's worth it to keep the process open," he said.

A lot of the Shadow of the Colossus film details are undetermined. There's no director, for starters, which means the question of whether to use puppets or CGI models remains unanswered [Play Till Doomsday has informed Eurogamer that the puppets remark was made in jest. Apparently it's not even an option -Ed], as does what the art style will be. "We'd love to retain [the look of the games]," said Chang "but that will be the decision of the film-maker, and hopefully we can find the right film-maker."

IMDB tentatively lists the Shadow of the Colossus movie for release in 2012.

The Last Guardian - Ueda and Team Ico's upcoming PS3 game - will be released late in 2011. Ellie Gibson watched Ueda-san tear through a demo at this year's Tokyo Game Show. Read her words, if you dare.

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