While development continues on the adaptation, director Chad Stahelski is teasing how the Ghost of Tsushima movie is remaining accurate to the video game. Developed by Sly Cooper and Infamous‘ Sucker Punch Productions, the action-adventure centers on Jin Sakai, a samurai living on the titular Japanese island in the late 1200s who is severely wounded and left for dead in the midst of a Mongolian invasion. Players are put in the shoes of Jin as he sets out on a quest to gather a group of guerilla allies in order to repel the Mongols from his home.
Hitting shelves in mid-2020, Ghost of Tsushima scored rave reviews from critics and gamers alike for its melee combat, story, impressive visuals and music, while some criticism was directed towards its stealth gameplay and open-world structure. Having sold over 9.73 million copies over the course of two years and becoming one of Sony’s fastest-selling original games, the studio has begun expanding the franchise with a Ghost of Tsushima 2 reportedly in development as well as a film adaptation. Over a year has gone by since the Ghost of Tsushima movie was announced to be in the works and now the man at the helm is sharing some insight on his efforts in bringing the celebrated game to the big screen.
While speaking with Collider to discuss Netflix’s Day Shift, Chad Stahelski offered an update on the development of the Ghost of Tsushima movie. The director confirmed that writing is still underway on the project and expressed his desire to remain true to the source video game, namely with a culturally accurate cast, crew and story. See what Stahelski shared below:
So, I think if we did this right, it would be visually stunning. It’s character driven. It’s got an opportunity for great action, great looks. And honestly, we’d to try to do it, all in character. Meaning, it’s a Japanese thing about the Mongols invading Tsushima island. A complete Japanese cast, in Japanese. Sony is so on board with backing us on that. I’ve been going to Japan since I was 16. I have a love of the country, love of the people, love of the language. To try to direct not only in my language, but someone else’s and culturally shift my mindset to bring apart that in a cool way that still entices a Western audience.
While video game adaptations have frequently seen a bad rap from critics and audiences alike in the past, recent efforts have seen more positive reviews for remaining true to their source materials, including the Sonic the Hedgehog movies, Werewolves Within and last year’s Mortal Kombat movie reboot. Unlike many other adaptations, however, Ghost of Tsushima looks to have its directorial team working closely with the studio behind it in order to properly adapt the best-selling game for the big screen. Additionally, Chad Stahelski has yet to see a flop from the director’s chair, having enjoyed a winning streak at the helm of all three John Wick movies, making him a promising fit to adapt the game.
Stahelski’s tease of how accurate his Ghost of Tsushima movie is being to the video game should come as a promising sign for those who fell in love with the source material, especially in regards to retaining the cultural authenticity with a complete Japanese cast speaking in Japanese. While American audiences have often found themselves hesitant regarding foreign-language films, the success of Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite and the positive reception to Dan Trachtenberg’s Prey including a Comanche dub does point towards both a viewer and studio willingness for a complete-Japanese-language version of the film, even if it were only to be an alternate cut released after the fact. While audiences await further details on the Ghost of Tsushima movie, they can look forward to Stahelski’s latest directorial effort with John Wick 4 hitting theaters on March 24.