Paramount Pictures wants to turn the whole thing upside down. The studio has announced it’s making a film based on the mobile game phenomenon Monument Valley, with Oscar-winning short film director Patrick Osborne set to direct.
As reported by Deadline, Paramount and Akiva Goldman’s Weed Road Pictures are moving forward with an adaptation of Monument Valley, which has long been on the table for the big screen. Osborne won an Academy Award in 2015 for his Disney short animated film Feast and is attached to direct the adaptation of Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona. The studio hopes to make Monument Valley into a longstanding family franchise that would combine live action and computer animation.
“Monument Valley is a one of a kind experience, at once small in its meditative, simple gameplay, as well as enormous in its sense of history,” Osborne said in a statement. “I’m privileged to be handed the reins to Ida’s mysterious kingdom, to play in her world of impossible architecture where seeing things differently is everything.”
Monument Valley is a mobile puzzle game from Ustwo Games, released in 2014, which Kotaku called “the perfect hour.” It’s sold over 160 million copies, garnered several awards, and even warranted a sequel in 2017. The game is about a princess named Ida who undergoes a series of optical illusions and other challenges in an Escher-like landscapes, as part of her quest for forgiveness. What is she seeking repentance for? We don’t know. And that’s on purpose, at least according to designer Ken Wong.
“The storytelling in the game is more akin to a song than a book or movie,” Wong told Polygon in 2014. “The player can enjoy the game on whatever level they choose, and come away with their own meaning.”
This means the film—which is still looking for a screenwriter—has a lot of options in what kind of story it wants to tell. According to Deadline, the plan is somewhat similar to what Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle did: put live-action characters inside the game’s strange (and, in this case, computer-generated) world. Ideally, I’d love to see it do something akin to Labyrinth or Mirrormask, letting the characters journey through a strange and beautiful world as themselves, as strangers in a strange land, where the laws of gravity do not apply. And people are reminded of the babe.