“Can’t believe it missed that bit of the game!” “Wasn’t that similar to how it went in the game!”
Whenever an episode of The Last Of Us had just aired, this was where the conversation in my group chat ended up. Sure, I was enjoying the series. It was critically acclaimed, moving. But the endless messages made me think: was it needed?
If you like video game adaptations, you’re in for a treat. We’re in a golden age of pointless adaptations. Gran Turismo (90 million games sold). Assassin’s Creed (200 million sales). Gears of War (40 million sales). All these and more are coming to the big and small screens.
Those statistics will tell you exactly why studios are so keen to unplug the controller and ram adaptations down the streaming pipes. An adaptation is a safe bet. But those numbers also point to the futility of it all.
We hardly need more franchises. In 2022, one Twitter user crunched the numbers, looking at the top 2,100 films from the past 40 years. He found original ideas were in decline – in 1981, 16 per cent of top 25 films were “sequels, spinoffs or remakes”. By 2019, that number had increased to 80 per cent.
It puts a number to something you’ll surely be feeling in your bones. A big day at the cinema one year is increasingly the same as it was the previous year. Another Ant-Man film isn’t exactly helping matters.