Considering how many video game properties have been and are currently in development for film adaptations, it’s surprising that Bethesda, one of the most beloved video game studios in the industry today who has put out some of the most critically-acclaimed games in the medium’s history as well, has stayed so far out of the conversation when it comes to bringing their titles to the silver screen.
According to the studio’s head honcho, Todd Howard though, the main reason that the studio has avoided film adaptations, is because he and the rest of the creative execs at Bethesda have yet to believe that any one of their titles would be better as a film than as a game.
While speaking with Finder, Howard said the following about the possibility of Bethesda working on a feature film adaptation of any of their properties:
“We’ve had a couple of in-roads, particularly with Fallout, which is a bit stickier than Elder Scrolls, but everybody’s kind of asked and I’ve taken a number of meetings over the years and nothing quite clicked where I felt, ‘Oh, that would be as good as the game.”
He’s not wrong honestly, and considering how large, expansive, and dense a number of the Bethesda titles end up being, it’s hard to imagine any of their stories being chiseled down into a 2 and a half hour running time. Though, Howard did mention one filmmaker’s name who could possibly get an Elder Scrolls film out of the studio:
“I think if Peter Jackson turned up at Todd Howard’s office and said, ‘I want to do The Elder Scrolls‘, well that would be a pretty serious conversation…but I think Peter is probably pretty busy.”
Taking his work on Lord of the Rings into account, Jackson’s name does seem to vibe well with the Elder Scrolls property, though his recent mishaps with films like The Hobbit Trilogy make the possible combination seem a lot less perfect honestly. If they could find the time and restraint to truly craft an individual, isolated story set in the world of Elder Scrolls though, I imagine that the excitement surrounding the project would be high, from both gaming and fantasy fans alike.
Considering previous attempts at bringing RPG titles to the big screen have failed, mostly due to their over-stuffed, overly ambitious nature though, I don’t know how well they’d be able to truly nail down just one, solid story out of all of the possibilities available to them. Especially with a filmmaker like Jackson, who stretched The Hobbit into the thinnest it could possibly be for those three movies.
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