Friday, March 10, 2023

Marauder Films Adapting Primordia

 As I’ve mentioned before, a couple years ago we were approached by Bastiaan Koch of Marauder Film about adapting Primordia into TV or film. Bastiaan is an acclaimed VFX artist able to push the visuals to the next level, and he has had a longstanding interest in post-apocalyptic settings and robots, making him a great match to our game. (Just to hit a few of the highlights: Bastiaan is a VFX Supervisor at FuseFX and a veteran of LucasFilm, and he’s been a part of three Oscar-winning and five Oscar-nominated VFX teams.)

As anyone who has worked in the industry knows, it’s a lot easier to express interest in adapting a game than to actually adapt one, particularly when the game wasn’t trying to be “cinematic” at the outset (the way modern AAA action games are, for instance). But Bastiaan has stuck with the project doggedly—through a pandemic, no less—and, along with others (including Walker McKnight), has put together an initial screenplay and outline for a Primordia movie. Walker is himself the winner of the Academy’s prestigious Nicholl Fellowship for screenwriting.

What they’ve crafted is not “Primordia the game in a screenplay format.” Instead, Bastiaan and Walker found the elements of the game that resonated with them most, and as well as the elements that go best in the cinematic medium, and then they added a great deal of themselves and their own vision into the project. That’s how it has to be. The thought of folks creating something out of Primordia without putting their own souls into it would be terrible! A theme of Primordia is humanity’s inheritors taking responsibility for building a new world rather than mechanistically sticking to their programming in a context where it no longer made sense! So too with this: if Marauder manages to pull this off (and so far, Bastiaan has proven indefatigable), they will bring forth a new world of Primordia, rooted in the old one to be sure, but suited to new creators in a new context.

As a jumping off point, here are some thoughts from Bastiaan:

Ultimately, I expect this will be a different story with different dialogue and a different take on the characters and themes than mine, different visuals from Vic’s, different voices from Abe’s, Logan’s, and Sarah’s, different music from Nathaniel’s... and of course none of my puzzles or inventory mischief! But for the reasons above, I see a reworking in a different medium as something different from a sequel or a remake.  Primordia the game will still be the product of my soul (and Vic’s, James’s, and everyone else who poured work into it. For me, this will be the chance to explore that world we created through the eyes of a guest, rather than those of a host!