Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Netflix announces film version of cult gaming favorite Beyond Good & Evil

Detective Pikachu’s Rob Letterman has been tapped to direct the film version of the cult favorite.
Detective Pikachu’s Rob Letterman has been tapped to direct the film version of the cult favorite.
Photo: John Lamparski/WireImage (Getty Images)

There’s no exact rhyme or reason to which video game franchises get the movie adaptation treatment—otherwise, why would Postal exist?—but money tends to be a pretty good motivating force. Which makes it somewhat surprising to learn that Netflix is gearing up to produce a film adaptation of 2003's Beyond Good & Evil, a game as well-known these days for its failure as a commercial endeavor as for its rapturous critical reception at the time.

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Set on a far-future planet, where a young photojournalist named Jade finds herself swept up in an alien invasion, an anti-government rebellion, and the trials and tribulations of her adopted uncle (a talking pig), Beyond Good & Evil was praised back in the day for its cinematic presentation, engaging gameplay, and top-tier character work. But it sold like absolute garbage, a failure that’s been attributed in the past to its lack of name-brand characters or other easily marketable features. The game’s reputation has lingered, though, and occasional efforts to revive it with a sequel have cropped up throughout the modern era. Now Netflix is getting into the fray, and it’s tossing the man who directed the second-most-successful video game adaptation of all time, Detective Pikachu’s Rob Letterman, at the project. (The most successful, meanwhile, remains Duncan Jones’ Warcraft, a somewhat baffling fact made possible only through the movie’s unexpected international success.)

Per THR, Letterman is set to direct the film, which will use a now-familiar blend of live-action and CGI to recreate Jade’s alien world. There’s no word yet on who’ll be writing the film, or whether the game’s lead designer, Michel Ancel (who also created the Rayman franchise of games), would also be involved in the film’s production. Ancel is supposedly hard at work on Beyond Good & Evil 2, but progress on the project has been silent now for years.

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