Monument Valley follows Sonic, Pikachu in getting video game film adaptation

Ustwo Games' optical illusion puzzle game is heading to the big screen.

Jackson Ryan Former Science Editor
Jackson Ryan was CNET's science editor, and a multiple award-winning one at that. Earlier, he'd been a scientist, but he realized he wasn't very happy sitting at a lab bench all day. Science writing, he realized, was the best job in the world -- it let him tell stories about space, the planet, climate change and the people working at the frontiers of human knowledge. He also owns a lot of ugly Christmas sweaters.
Jackson Ryan
2 min read
Ustwo Games

Not keen on live action/CG hybrid films featuring Sonic the Hedgehog or Detective Pikachu? Then let's take it down a notch.

Monument Valley, the whimsical, Escher-inspired mobile game, is joining a long list of video games getting the film treatment.

Deadline reports that Oscar-winning director Patrick Osborne has been tapped by Paramount Pictures and Weed Road Pictures to create a "live action/CG hybrid" adaptation of Ustwo Game's excellent mobile puzzler.

Monument Valley was released in 2014 and famously featured in Netflix's House of Cards as one of the video games fictional President Frank Underwood enjoyed playing on his iPad. The game received high praise in our review. It continues to chart highly on the App Store and Google Play store.

There's not a whole lot of information about the adaptation, though Deadline does mention live-action characters will find themselves in the Escher woodblock-styled world. Osborne has good form in the animated space, winning the Oscar for best animated short film with Feast, the beautiful story of a Boston Terrier he both wrote and directed.

"I'm very excited to see a world I helped to create going from mobile screens to the big screen," Ken Wong, who was lead designer on Monument Valley, told CNET. "I've been a big fan of Patrick Osborne's work since Feast and I know he and his team will do a great job of staying true to the magic of Monument Valley."

Admittedly, video game to film adaptations haven't always inspired the most fervent excitement from fans (take Assassin's Creed for example), but I think there's some promise here. Monument Valley, the video game, is light on story and takes a considered, less-is-more approach in its execution. That seems at odds with Hollywood's go-big-or-go-home approach, but here's hoping Osborne can preserve some of Monument Valley's delightful whimsy.

However it shakes out, there's one particular element Wong really wants to see.

"I really hope the movie includes a nod to the Super Mario Bros. movie, which as we all know is the greatest video game adaptation of all time," Wong added.

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