There was considerable excitement when it was announced that John Wick director/franchise creator Chad Stahelski had signed on to develop a live-action Ghost of Tsushima movie. But now, there’s even more reason to be squirming in our seats about the forthcoming adaptation of PlayStation’s wildly popular open-world video game.
During a recent interview with ComicBookMovie.com, the man himself discussed the possibility of building an entire cinematic universe with Sony Pictures and PlayStation Productions as opposed to simply crafting a standalone feature-length film, given the hours of narrative-rich content at hand.
“I love the property, like, look… the game story of Jin Sakai, and it being what I would say is, quote, the most anti-samurai samurai movie out there because of the storylines… and the journey that Jin Sakai goes through from his transition to or his choices of who to become and what the people need him to become,” said Chad Stahelski.
“The characters in the story are definitely something I don’t want to lose in any way… It’s just how do I pack that much information into a feature that can go on to other features or a TV project or platform for that?”
Stahelski continued: “The trick is not do we have great material, we know we have great material. It’s how to make it palpable in any platform, you know? How do we make a great two, two and a half hour movie out of this? Make it satisfying and leave it open to expand further from there. Like that’s the real challenge.”
Chad Stahelski is arguably the most qualified Hollywood creative for the job. Aside from the fact the a seasoned stuntman turned filmmaker clearly knows how to execute on-screen action incredibly well — side note: how criminally underrated is Atomic Blonde? — he’s seen great success in turning what was almost a straight-to-video Keanu Reeves flick into a billion-dollar franchise.
In addition to the four exiting “chapters” about an unstoppable hitman, there’s a spin-off movie titled Ballerina starring Ana de Armas due to release this time next year, a television series expansion dubbed The Continental arriving in just a matter of months, and if the ongoing reports are accurate, a fifth instalment of the main story; despite the fact the most recent entry was initially positioned as the closer.
Incidentally, this wouldn’t exactly be the first occasion in which Chad Stahelski drew inspiration from a video game for film. The continuous top-down action sequence featured in John Wick: Chapter 4 was a direct nod to 2019’s Hong Kong Massacre — not Hotline Miami as many had believed.
“We had been doing so much with the big muzzle flashes and it just kind of clicked like, ‘Well, if I’m above, we shoot like this and we shoot like this, and it draws these cool lines with the muzzle flash, and if I get the right flicker effect, it’s like Etch-A-Sketch. It looks really cool,'” Stahelski explained to Slash Film.
“And it was a different way to amp up the action and keep you in that video game mode that John Wick is kind of known for, that first-person shooter kind of thing.”
Keep an eye out here for key updates about Chad Stahelski’s Ghost of Tsushima movie/cinematic universe — check out the game’s synopsis and trailer below:
Set in 1274 on the Tsushima Island, the last samurai, Jin Sakai, must master a new fighting style, the way of the Ghost, to defeat the Mongol forces and fight for the freedom and independence of Japan.