Death Stranding, Hideo Kojima’s genre-defying video game, is being turned into a movie. The acclaimed game director is partnering with executive producer Alex Lebovici’s Hammerstone Studios — known for the recent Barbarian movie — to develop an adaptation of the said title. Marking Kojima Productions’ first feature film, it will introduce “new elements and characters” within the Death Stranding universe. Currently, there are no details on the writers, directors, or stars attached to the film, though the report mentions that it’s “on the fast track, with development underway.” And the Death Stranding movie could potentially get a sequel too, given Death Stranding 2 — for PS5 — is currently in the works at Kojima Productions.
“I couldn’t be more excited about this new partnership with Hammerstone Studios,” Kojima told Deadline. “This is a pivotal moment for the franchise and I’m really looking forward to collaborating with them in bringing Death Stranding to the big screen.” While plot details for this new entry are still under wraps, the original 2019 game followed Sam Porter Bridges (Norman Reedus), a courier, who is tasked with reconnecting the last survivors of a post-apocalyptic America. There is a lot to unpack here, starting with an open doorway that connects to the land of the dead, from where hostile visitors frequent the living world. Then there’s a bottled baby — or BB — who helps detect the said tar-ridden BTs (enemies), so you can stealth around them, while a mysterious Beach is flooded with dead, aquatic wildlife. Much of the gameplay is centred around walking and delivering items though, with long cinematics serving as breakpoints and offering context to the universe.
Death Stranding also featured a stunning cast lineup, who offered both voice acting and motion capture. Besides Reedus, the cast included Léa Seydoux as Fragile, Mads Mikkelsen as Clifford Unger, Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro as Deadman, Nicolas Winding Refn as Heartman, Margaret Qualley as Mama/ Lockne, Troy Baker as Higgs, and Tommie Earl Jenkins as Die Hardman. If the movie is going to incorporate some characters from the game, I hope some name and dialogue changes are tweaked, so they don’t sound too campy for mainstream audiences — Die Hardman, for instance. Also, the infamous line: “I’m Fragile, but not that Fragile.”
“We are thrilled and honoured to have the opportunity to partner with brilliant and iconic Hideo Kojima on his first film adaptation,” Lebovici added. “Unlike other big-budget tentpole video game adaptations, this will be something far more intimate and grounded. Our goal is to redefine what a video game adaptation could be when you have creative and artistic freedom. This film will be an authentic ‘Hideo Kojima’ production.” It’s funny he says that since the Metal Gear series creator is notorious for plastering his name all over his projects.
Meanwhile, Kojima Productions is celebrating its seventh-year anniversary, for which its lead has released a video message, promising a completely new game in addition to Death Stranding 2, and some “visual projects.” The former could possibly be in reference to his collaboration with Xbox, while the latter could be the aforementioned movie. “I am hoping to bring you more information on all these next year,” he said.
The director announced Death Stranding 2 last week, as part of The Game Awards 2022, with a trailer he claims is loaded with hints for fans to discover. From the brief footage, we can confirm that Fragile (Seydoux) has healed from the timefall torture, Bridges (Reedus) has aged, and there’s a new guitar-honing villain, presumably played by Baker, who also sang BB’s theme in the trailer. In an on-stage interview right after, Kojima confirmed that the COVID-19 pandemic caused him to rewrite the entire script for the sequel. Death Stranding 2 also adds Elle Fanning (The Great) and Shioli Kutsuna (Deadpool 2) to the cast.
Currently, there is no release window for the Death Stranding movie.