“My parents have perished in a house fire and I am soon to be committed ”
that mixes surreal, Gothic horror with imagery from the beloved book, sold more than a million copies in 2000. At one stage, both Wes Craven and Sarah Michelle Gellar wanted to adapt it for film, but that seems to have been shelved. Meanwhile, its sequel, to be released by EA later this year, is eagerly anticipated.
Videogames have a rich history of resurrecting fictional characters in a fresh context, not strictly in sequels, but in strange spin-offs and reinventions.
There was some excitement this year when the Great Gatsby videogame resurfaced online. Originally an 8-bit title for the old Nintendo, the game is a platform adventure in which Nick Carraway fends off malevolent butlers and hobos. Though it offers little new insight into the book, it does have a few sly nods to the source material, and the game-play is great.
Developers frequently sacrifice faithfulness for game-play in these adaptations, as shown in the Waiting for Godot game. The ponderous theatre piece has been transformed into (you guessed it) a platform adventure. It’s livelier than Samuel Beckett’s original, though I hear it’s impossible to track down Godot, so it’s faithful in that regard.
For more respectful spin-offs, you are better off looking at film characters’ appearances in games. The marvellous Stranglehold is a belated sequel to the action classic, Hard Boiled. The game is like a typical John Woo film, and its star Chow Yun Fat even lends his voice and likeness to Detective “Tequila” Yuen.
Woo’s involvement in Stranglehold is vague, but other filmmakers are happy to be hands-on in their game spin-offs. Lars Von Trier promised to continue the harrowing story of Antichrist in Eden. The sequel would appear in game form only. Sadly, that game has been shelved. And let’s not forget Disney’s Kingdom Hearts games, which feature Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and even Captain Jack Sparrow.