Image: Santa Monica Studios / Sony
The last few years have been fairly bursting with TV shows and movies adapted from popular games. And even more are coming down the pipeline. If you ask some fans, many of these shows have strayed too far away from their original source material, so it might be nice to hear that the producers of Amazon’s God of War TV show aim to stay “incredibly true” to its original source material: the games.
While it had been reported early this year, it wasn’t until last week that Amazon officially confirmed it was developing a TV show based on the popular and long-running God of War franchise. The PlayStation series features Kratos, a god-like Spartan warrior, running around the world killing everything. Recent games have aged him up and given him a son, changing the tone of the series and helping make it more popular than ever. And now, in an interview with Collider, Amazon Studios Head of TV Vernon Sanders explained that the upcoming streaming show will be “incredibly true to the source material” which he says has a “real emotional core.”
“We know that there’s such a passionate fanbase for God of War,” Sanders told Collider. “But the thing that we’re always looking for is whether there is a real emotional core, if there’s a real narrative story, and I think [that’s] part of what makes God of War so special.”
The Amazon TV boss continued, explaining that the newer games, while being “giant epic” adventures are still focused on telling a story about “fathers and sons, and families.” He thinks this will appeal to everyone, even people who haven’t played the games.
“So what [showrunners] Rafe Judkins and Mark Fergus and [writer] Hawk Ostby have come up with for the first season, and for the series, I think, is both incredibly true to the source material, and also compelling on its own,” explained Sanders. “So we think it’s going to be huge.”
Paramount / Xbox
Recent video game adaptations, like Resident Evil on Netflix and Halo on Paramount+, have been heavily criticized online by fans for veering too far from the original source material the shows are supposedly inspired by. And while I do hesitate to agree with angry fans online and I think adaptations should be allowed to make changes, it’s hard not to get a bit annoyed by how often the Master Chief takes off his helmet in the new Halo show. And as Sanders points out, Amazon has a good track record with adaptations that fans like, listing The Boys and Invincible as examples of how to do adaptations correctly.
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Of course, talk is cheap, and making TV shows is hard. It’s always nice to say you’ll stay true to a video game’s storyline and narrative, but it’s much harder to do when so many of the games being adapted into TV shows are mainly 20 hours of combat with about four hours of cutscenes and script. But hey, maybe God of War on Amazon Prime and The Last of Us on HBO Max will be fantastic and true to their source material. Apparently, The Last of Us is actually the greatest story ever told in a video game. Seems like that should make for a few good episodes of prestige TV?