Once upon a time, it seemed like Heavenly Sword might end up being a pretty substantial PlayStation franchise. But that time was 2007, back when the game was released for PS3, and we’ve heard little from the series since, other than heroine Nariko being a combatant in PlayStation All Stars.
Until now, that is. Sony has announced the development of a CGI Heavenly Sword film, made by Cinedigm and headed straight to DVD, Blu-Ray and PSN on September 2nd. It boasts a recognizable voice cast with Fringe’s Anna Torv as Nariko, Alfred Molina as King Bohan and Thomas Jane as Loki. With 2007 being a distant memory, many may not remember that Torv did in fact voice Nariko in the original game, and is reprising her role here.
A new trailer for the film is below, so you can get a sense of its style.
And by “style” I mean it’s probably going to be an 80 minute PS3-era CGI cutscene, from the looks of it. I believe the film is just a retelling of the events of the game, so it doesn’t expand the universe or story, it just takes the interactivity out of the original product, replacing it with one continuous pre-rendered cutscene.
It’s a strange idea, bringing Heavenly Sword back to life in this format. If any old game could use a reboot for the new console generation era, it’s Heavenly Sword, but to return with a straight to DVD CGI film seems a bit…odd. Sony still owns the rights to Heavenly Sword, meaning they could resurrect it if they want at some point. But instead we get this movie, which is a development I doubt many saw coming.
I’ve said many times that the superhero movie trend will taper off at some point, and in its place there will be a flood of video game films given how many there are that could potentially be adapted into films. There are already many major video game movie projects on the horizon, from Assassins Creed to Warcraft, and it remains to be seen if anyone can finally make a truly “good’ video game film in the wake of so many average and terrible entries in the genre.
I can’t say much about the Heavenly Sword film based on this trailer alone, but I can’t say I have much hope for a low budget CGI movie like this, even with a solid voice cast. I think if they did want to go down the animated route instead of trying to pitch a big-budget Hollywood feature (which likely would have never seen the light of day), they could have done 2D animation instead. A Heavenly Sword anime would have been pretty cool, but I can’t say the same about a really, really long PS3-era cutscene. Though perhaps I’m wrong.
Anyway, it’s out this fall, so we’ll have to see how it turns out. In the meantime, should Sony try and bring Heavenly Sword back to life for PS4 in some form or another?
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