In a surprising turn of events, it’s been revealed that Sony’s film division is working on an adaptation of the PS4 exclusive Days Gone. Whilst not critically admired, the most recent video game adaptation of the studio, Uncharted, the Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg-led film garnered relatively massive audience sales and acclaim with over $400 million earned worldwide.
Sam Heughan, of Outlander fame, is supposedly in contention to be in the starring role. Whether this is the same character as the protagonist of the game Deacon St. John or an entirely new creation is yet to be seen.
Days Gone is a PS4-exclusive role-playing game set in the Pacific North-West of the United States, after an apocalyptic event has washed across the country, turning the majority of its inhabitants into flesh-eating, rabid and low-functioning zombies. You play as Deacon St. John, a biker who through the course of the game proves himself more than just an outlaw, but a genuine, caring and helpful human, yet also one not to be crossed. Equal parts longing, vengeance, and morality, Deacon St. John is played in his entirety by Sam Witwer, a voice-over and mo-cap actor that’ll be known to Star Wars fans for his work in the Clone Wars television show, and multiple video game series.
Days Gone wasn’t particularly well received when first released. Full of glitches, bugs, and game-ending errors, the once promising game hit a massive bump on the road. Thankfully fixed quickly, Bend Studios delivered on the majority of their promises before release, with huge, roaming zombie hordes, a compelling, if cliche story, and a game as a whole that delivered tension on a new level. There’s something to be said for running around without paying attention only to run into a few hundred zombies that’ll chew your face off.
Related: ‘Days Gone’ Game Review
A Different Sam
Whilst no disrespect intended to Sam Heughan, it does seem an odd move to not at least consider the star of the game Sam Witwer. The only thing that makes sense with the possible snub is either the film is adapting the world, but not the main character with it, or the story isn’t following the same blueprints of the game.
Unfortunately for Witwer, reports suggest Heughan will be playing Deacon, meaning a great deal of the fans of the game will be disappointed. Not exactly something at the forefront of the minds of the executives though, as the fans of the game will make up a small minority of the film’s audience. Being that unlike Uncharted, a zombie apocalyptic film will have more widespread appeal than a treasure-hunting Tom Holland supported by a miscast Mark Wahlberg.
The Oscar-nominated screenwriter Sheldon Turner is linked to writing the screenplay, having been nominated for the George Clooney-led Up in the Air. Turner shows a little pedigree, which video game adaptations aren’t exactly known for.
A Film But No Sequel
Fans of Bend Studios who developed the game, are disappointed to find out that with almost concrete certainty, there wasn’t going to be a sequel to the game. Surprising considering it shipped over nine million units since release, which for an exclusive puts it up there in sales with the likes of Ghost of Tsushima and not far behind Horizon: Zero Dawn.
With the varied characters, expansive world-building, and the ending of the first game, a sequel felt inevitable, but unfortunately, that doesn’t look like it’s going to transpire. That said, maybe with the hopeful quality and success of the film, interest will be reignited on the game side enough to develop a sequel.