The U.S.-made PlayStation samurai epic starts a second life as a feature film.

It wasn’t all that long ago that gamers in Japan routinely gave the cold shoulder to foreign-developed titles, and though that’s largely changed in recent years, it was hard to predict what sort of reception Ghost of Tsushima was going to get, seeing as how it’s a U.S.-made title that takes place in Japan’s samurai era. Ultimately, though, the Sucker Punch-developed, Sony-published Ghost of Tsushima has been a huge commercial and critical success in Japan, and its worldwide smash-hit status has convinced Sony Pictures to greenlight a live-action feature film.

“The idea of translating our game into a new medium is exciting, and we’re intrigued by the possibilities,” said Ghost of Tsushima game director Nate Fox in breaking the news, adding “To think that we could sit in the theater someday watching [protagonist] Jin Sakai up on the big screen is amazing.” Fox also revealed that the movie has already found its director in Chad Stahelski, the stuntman-turned-filmmaker who directed all three of the Keanu Reeves John Wick films and was a second-unit director for Captain America: Civil War and Birds of Prey.

The official Japanese-language Twitter account also shared the news, and quickly generated reactions, with many hooping Jin’s in-game motion capture actor, Daisuke Tsuji, will reprise his role

“If it has the same director as John Wick, then I’ve got high hopes.”
“I’m so happy about this, but also scared to death that they’ll try to cram in some sort of romance element or original characters that weren’t in the game.”
“They should cast Daisuke Tsuji, to play Jin, and also have the voice actor who did Jin’s Japanese-language in-game dialogue record his lines.”
“Are they gonna keep all the actors from the game? If so I won’t just go see it in the theater, I’ll buy the Blu-ray when it comes out too.”
“Looking forward to the scene where they say ‘Honor died on the beach.’”
“So basically we’re getting a big-budget samurai period piece movie. Awesome!”
“Are they going to recreate Ishikawa-sensei’s glitches?”

Video game-to-feature film adaptations have a notoriously spotty track record, but the Ghost of Tsushima movie has something big in its favor in that the game itself is already heavily inspired by classic samurai cinema. In a sense, making it into a live-action movie is simply bringing things full circle, which should help it avoid the awkwardness of infamous flops like Super Mario Bros. and Street Fighter, which tried to force-fit their plots and visuals into the live-action feature film format and failed spectacularly at it.

▼ Even this trailer for the game is done in the style of an old-school samurai movie.

No release dare for the Ghost of Tsushima movie has been set, and it’s currently unclear how much, if any, of the filming will take place in Japan. However, with Tsushima being a real-life place in Nagasaki Prefecture, and Fox himself saying “As a newly appointed ambassador for the real Island of Tsushima, I’d like to formally say, visit when it’s safe to…The island is beautiful, the people are warm, and the history is all around you” in announcing the film, it wouldn’t be surprising for Stahelski will be showing up on the island with his cameras.

Sources: Twitter/@PlayStation_jp, PlayStation official website
Top image: PlayStation official website
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