Early next year the results of a unique collaboration between the SyFy Channel and the developer Trion will be released.
In entertainment, few groups are as desperate and downtrodden as fans of films and TV shows adapted from video games. They are a loyal and passionate bunch who have continually been disappointed, and yet still retain a joyfully naïve optimism based on the recent success of similar source materials, like comic books, as well as the rich and immersive content from the video games themselves that the films are taken from. Perhaps it is the movie industry that doesn’t fully understand video games, or perhaps games themselves are just inherently difficult to adapt. Whatever the excuse for films like Alone in the Dark and Double Dragon is, it seems like a new approach is in order. If nothing else, NBC and Trion’s upcoming game and companion TV show, Defiance, is unique.
There is still a stigma associated with many video game movies (and, by extension, the handful of TV shows also based on games) and it is one that is well deserved. There have been a few that could be considered decent, but from the epically bad Super Mario Bros. movie that ended the career of Rocky Morton (one of the film’s two directors) and did its absolute best to do the same for the entire cast, to the entire library of Uwe Boll’s impressively awful gaming flicks, fans have been burned so often that they are understandably wary of properties adapted from games. And yet again and again, the majority of the fanbase keeps hoping that the next film, the next adapted property, will be the one that gets it right.
But perhaps it isn’t fair to group Defiance in with other adapted video game properties. The definition of an adaptation is changing one thing to make it suitable for something else, and that is not the case with the upcoming Defiance – it is something original....