Netflix is really leaning hard into the video game adaptation territory. After the fantastic Castlevania animated series, followed by The Witcher (which is getting an animated movie spinoff and a prequel series), we heard just last week that a Splinter Cell animated series is also on the cards. And now, just a few days later, THR is reporting that the streamer is developing a feature film adaptation of cult classic video game Beyond Good & Evil.
Released in 2003 by Ubisoft (who has been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately), Beyond Good & Evil is a third-person action-adventure game set in the year 2435 on the sprawling mining planet of Hillys. The game sees you play as Jade, a tough-as-nails photo-journalist and martial artist who gets caught up with a resistance movement to unveil an alien conspiracy.
Upon release, Beyond Good & Evil was a commercial failure, but the game built up a huge cult following over the years as it was reevaluated, ending up on several Best Video Games of All Time lists for different platforms. This would lead creator Michel Ancel to reveal his intention to make a sequel, and in 2008 Ubisoft made those plans official. But the long-awaited follow-up – which featured a stark departure from the first game’s cartoony visuals – has become stuck in development hell since then with 2018 being the last time we saw anything about it (and it did look fantastic!).
Beyond Good & Evil fans will hopefully now get something to tide them over until whenever that sequel releases (if ever) with this new movie. And Netflix is turning to a proven talent to pull it off with Detective Pikachu’s Rob Letterman set to direct the film. It’s said Beyond Good & Evil, which will be produced by Jason Altman and Margaret Boykin of Ubisoft’s Film & Television division, will take the same hybrid live-action/animated approach that Detective Pokemon did, which is perfect given all Beyond Good & Evil’s colourful alien races.
It’s still very early in development though, with Letterman and co still looking for a writer. As such, it’s a bit premature to guess if this will be a more faithful adaptation of the game or take a more subversive approach to the source material like Detective Pikachu. Personally, I love the story of Beyond Good & Evil and think it already strikes a great balance of action and comedy, but Detective Pikachu was so good that I wouldn’t be averse to Letterman putting his own spin on things. And if he can get this film out before the video game sequel, that would be huge.
Last Updated: August 3, 2020