Video game-based movies just keep rollin’ out. Along with the upcoming Need for Speed movie starring Aaron Paul (Jesse on Breaking Bad) and all the talk around the Warcraft movie, we now have a trailer for a film based on the 2007 action-fantasy game Heavenly Sword. While not nearly as popular as the Need for Speed or Warcraft franchises, Heavenly Sword did perform well after its release, selling over one million copies and receiving praise for its characters and animation, which were mostly achieved through motion capture technology, including a performance by Gollum himself – Andy Serkis – who played the game’s main villain. Serkis will (unfortunately) not be reprising his role in the film (Alfred Molina will be replacing him), but Anna Torv (Fringe) is returning to voice the main character, Nariko.
After watching the trailer you’d be forgiven for assuming you just saw a collection of the game’s cinematics. That is because, unlike most video-game-to-film adaptations which transfer a game’s setting and characters into live-action, Heavenly Sword is a CGI animated film, mirroring the appearance of its source material. It’s also a direct-to-DVD (or digital download) title rather than a theatrical release.
The film will stick closely to the game’s plot; though producers Brad Foxhoven and David Wohl have promised some deviations – most likely to keep a potential audience from simply replaying the game. Heavenly Sword follows Nariko, a warrior who comes into possession of a legendary weapon: the titular Heavenly Sword. It is said the sword’s original wielder would be reborn and use the sword to save the world. However, because Nariko is a woman she is not considered a worthy successor. Nariko must prove herself against the forces of the evil tyrant, King Bohan and his collective of monsters and assassins.
Thomas Jane (The Punisher, TV’s Hung) will lend his voice to the film, along with veteran voice/motion-capture actor Nolan North (best known for the Uncharted series of video games, and as the unofficial voice actor for the Marvel character, Deadpool).
The producers at Blockade Entertainment hope Heavenly Sword‘s potential success will allow them to pursue other projects, like a CGI, big-screen adaptation of Ratchet & Clank, one Sony’s most successful game franchises across the PlayStation consoles.
Look for Heavenly Sword in June next year.