With Game of Thrones finally reaching its end, there are millions of dedicated fans out there desperately searching for the next big TV show to get invested in before it inevitably falls short of the immense expectations that they set for it.
Enter PlayStation Productions, the newly announced division of Sony that’s dedicated to taking the company’s impressive and diverse stable of original video game IPs and adapting them for TV and film.
According to SIE vice president of marketing Asad Qizilbash, the idea is that the adaptations released by PlayStation Productions will be of a much higher quality than if they’d licensed the IPs out to external studios, as nobody understands the characters and worlds better than PlayStation itself.
I mean, it worked for Marvel Studios. Look at the quality of the Avengers films when compared to the majority of X-Men movies.
So, given that PlayStation Productions is up and running and we couldn’t stop it if we wanted to, I figured now is as good a time as any to run through five PlayStation franchises that have the potential to make truly incredible TV shows.
The Last of Us
While The Last Of Us movie continues to burn in development hell (seriously, what’s going on with it?), the arrival of PlayStation Productions would be the perfect time to finally bin off a feature length take on the post apocalyptic masterpiece and imagine the adaptation as a TV show.
I don’t know about you, but I reckon a series of ten one hour episodes would do a much better job of retelling The Last Of Us than a two hour movie ever could. If nothing else, it would allow us much more room to explore the complicated relationship between Joel and Ellie, and ensure important side characters like Joel’s brother and Sam and Henry got enough screentime and development.
Can you imagine an episode halfway through the series that took the time to dive into Sam and Henry’s life before the infection destroyed the world? It would work beautifully to foreshadow the eventual fates of the characters, and provide a brutal gut punch when the inevitable happens.
Then again, PlayStation Productions don’t even need to necessarily straight up retell the events of the game. There’s plenty of space in the world of The Last Of Us to explore entirely new characters as they struggle to survive in a harsh and unforgiving world.
Ratchet & Clank
If PlayStation Productions were to greenlight a Ratchet & Clank animated series, it would obviously be worlds away from The Last of Us TV show, but would also help to establish the studio as capable of catering to all audiences.
A short series of animated adventures starring the intergalactic hero Ratchet and his little robot buddy would be perfect for kids (as well as those of us who grew up with the games), and the anarchic sci-fi trappings of universe Insomniac Games created provides plenty of flexibility for all manner of madcap adventures on various worlds.
The underrated 2016 movie provided a perfect template for the light-hearted tone, eye popping visuals, and fourth wall breaking humour that you could want from a Ratchet & Clank TV show. In fact, one of the only issues I had with the movie is that it dragged a bit, so a selection of 10-20 minute self contained adventures would go down a treat.
If Marvel and DCs recent output has proven anything, it’s that the superhero genre isn’t going away anytime soon. Outside of the movies, there have been tons of great superhero TV shows, including Daredevil, The Flash, Umbrella Academy, and Jessica Jones.
PlayStation Productions would be foolish to not get a slice of the super powered pie, and since the likelihood of a Spider-Man TV show based on the Insomniac game is slim to none as long as the MCU has plans for the character on the big screen, an adaptation of Sucker Punch’s underrated Infamous series would do nicely.
The first game follows a man called Cole MacGrath, who after being falsely blamed for a terrorist attack, finds himself with superpowers. The explosion itself could make for a great central mystery over the course of the season, as the show explores the societal collapse and Cole’s acceptance of his newfound abilities.
While those who played the first game will already be well aware of the twists and turns that eventually reveal themselves, there’s nothing to say an Infamous show couldn’t mix things up a bit to keep viewers on their toes. Plus, anything that helps put Infamous back in the spotlight and gets us a new game is fine in my book.
God Of War
There are multiple routes PlayStation Productions could take with a God of War TV series. They could fully embrace the brutal, bloody, revenge porn tale of the original trilogy, in which Kratos tears a blood swathe through an entire pantheon of gods, for instance.
On the other hand, they could adapt the excellent 2018 reboot, and tell the story of a Kratos who struggles with a dark past as he attempts to raise a son he doesn’t quite understand, in a world where everything and everyone seems to be out to get them. Hell, I’d watch either of those shows.
Of course, there’s no stopping PlayStation Productions from playing the long game and simply giving us the story of Kratos from the very beginning. It’d certainly be fascinating to watch the Ghost of Sparta evolve over the course of multiple seasons, going from a father and husband, to a war hungry monster, to a blood stained god, before becoming a father and (grieving) husband once more.
My only issue with adapting the original games would be that Kratos wasn’t the most fascinating character until the reboot, but the right team of writers could certainly add unseen depths to the character.
As with The Last of Us movie, I’m doubtful we’re ever actually going to see an Uncharted movie happen, even if a big screen Nathan Drake is much closer to becoming a reality than Joel and Ellie’s misadventures are.
If God of War and The Last of Us would work better as “gritty”, harder hitting dramas, then I’d envision Uncharted as more of a family friendly TV show, but one that wasn’t afraid to drop the occasional swear, scare, or darker moment. The first game does end with zombies, after all.*
There’s plenty of scope to explore the scrapes and japes of Nathan, Sully, and the gang – whether they adapt the games or tell their own stories. Personally, I only have one request. Cast Nathan Fillion as Nathan Drake, for the love of god. The man is perfect for the role. That’s all I want. It’s all I’ve ever wanted.
I mean, look at him in action in this gorgeous fan made Uncharted short from last year. If this doesn’t leave you craving a TV series (preferably from the same guy), I don’t know what will.
*The descendants are basically zombies, okay? Don’t quibble.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.