Chad Stahelski, director of the popular video game Ghost of Tsushima’s upcoming film adaptation, describes the inspiration behind the movie.
John Wick director Chad Stahelski details the main influences for his latest endeavor, the film adaptation of the popular video game Ghost of Tsushima. The Sony Playstation game, developed by Sucker Punch Productions, made history when it became the fastest-selling original Sony game in Playstation history. The game follows samurai warrior Jin Sakai, the sole survivor of a Mongol army attack on his clan. Set in 1274, Jin’s journey leads him to pursue vengeance and free the island of Tsushima. A film adaptation was announced in March 2021, with director Chad Stahelski and writer Takashi Doscher on board.
Video game adaptations can be a touchy subject for fans, and Ghost of Tsushima has some big shoes to fill. The game was a major hit, with audiences and critics alike raving about the story, visuals, and gameplay. With a slew of awards under its belt, Ghost of Tsushima is an intimidating project for any director to take on. This is especially true considering the criticisms often faced by video game films, which come with passionate built-in audiences with high hopes to see their beloved stories done right. However, Stahelski is an accomplished director with the perfect background for the martial arts action required by Ghost of Tsushima‘s story. In addition, he has noted his enthusiasm for creating a faithful adaptation that honors the source material.
In a recent interview with Collider, Stahelski discussed his desire to film the movie in Japanese and bring in a Japanese cast. He also described some of his influences going into the project. See what he had to say below:
“Honestly, it’s probably the same things that would scare the sh*t out of most people. It’s a fantasy period piece. It’s done with reverence to Akira Kurosawa, who’s probably in the top five biggest influences of my life as far as film goes. It’s a chance to push technology and people in a story that’s timeless. It’s your typical mythological story of good versus evil, finding a man, watching him change the world or the world changes him. It’s all the Joseph Campbell stuff that you’d love in a story. You put that in with, obviously, so I’m told I have a bit of a Samurai fetish, which is probably true from Manga and anime and stuff.”
Stahelski’s previous comments about the Ghost of Tsushima movie have already built high expectations around the film. His most recent words on the subject go even further, promising exactly the sort of culturally rich, character-driven fantasy epic fans of the video games are hoping for. The reference to Akira Kurosawa also bodes well for Stahelski’s intentions to stay true to the video game’s samurai genre roots. All in all, the director’s encouraging comments tease an exceptional production that combines the westernized format of the hero’s journey with plenty of Japanese influence on a story and filmmaking level.
Ghost of Tsushima is the latest in a renaissance of video game to screen adaptations, including the Ruben Fleischer-directed Uncharted and HBO’s The Last of Us series. Despite the curse that seems to befall many video game adaptations, many are eager to see Stahelski’s rendition of the beloved story. Little else is known about the Ghost of Tsushima film for now, and a release date has yet to be announced by Sony. But Stahelski’s attention to detail and enthusiasm for faithfully adapting the source material is a good sign for the project.