God of War and Horizon TV shows taking notes from The Last of Us

God of War. Image: Sony
God of War. Image: Sony /

Video game adaptations have long had a reputation for being pretty bad, but Hollywood is finally starting to catch on to the fact that there are some incredible stories in the medium just waiting to make the leap to TV and film. So far in 2023 we’ve seen The Super Mario Bros. Movie crush it at the box office and HBO produce a big-budget rendition of Naughty Dog’s iconic game The Last of Us. Both were huge hits with fans and critics alike, so of course there will be more video game adaptations coming our way soon.

The ball is already rolling on a lot of those. Two of the highest-profile adaptations currently in the works are God of War, which is being developed at Amazon; and Horizon: Zero Dawn, which is being developed at Netflix. Both are being produced by PlayStation Productions, the same company which spearheaded The Last of Us on HBO.

Photo: Horizon Zero Dawn.. Courtesy PlayStation
Photo: Horizon Zero Dawn.. Courtesy PlayStation /

Horizon and God of War will “tell the story of the game[s]”

It should come as no surprise that PlayStation Productions is paying very close attention to the success of The Last of Us, and how it might be able to apply those lessons to its other adaptations. PlayStation Productions head Asad Qizilbash laid out the thinking on a recent episode of the Official PlayStation Podcast.

"The same care and formula that we did with The Last of Us, we’re going to be applying for Horizon [and] God of War. We’re gonna tell the story of the game because we can, because it’s a show, we have the time to do it, we’ve got the episodes to be able to do it. We’re not trying to cram it into a two hour movie. You’re gonna get the story of the game, but we’re going to also find opportunities to go wider and explore other characters and do more worldbuilding that you can’t do in the game because of agency. That’s the exciting thing for me, fans are going to love it because they’re going to see that game come to life, but also a lot of new things like what they did with The Last of Us."

Generally, this is good to hear. While Hollywood may be just now getting on the video game adaptation trend, games have been telling excellent stories for years. The Last of Us came out all the way back in 2013; before that there were hits like Final FantasyMetal Gear SolidRed Dead Redemption, and others that were pushing boundaries with their storytelling. This is a deep, deep well for Hollywood to draw from.

That said, Qizilibash’s statement also brings up an interesting question about the Horizon show in particular. Up until now, the word on the street has been that Netflix’s Horizon series was going to be a prequel set hundreds of years before the video game. But the way Qizilibash is talking about it makes it sound like it will hew much closer to the video game, which for my money would be a really good choice.

We won’t know for sure until Netflix reveals more about the series, though. Until then, our watch continues.

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h/t ComicBook.com