Polygon is reporting that a TV series based on the acclaimed Hyper Light Drifter video game is currently in the works. The series is being produced by Adi Shankar, who’s no stranger to video game adaptations: he produced Netflix’s acclaimed Castlevania (which was just renewed for a third season) and is also working on adaptations of Devil May Cry and Assassin’s Creed.
The Hyper Light Drifter series is still in the very early stages, with Shanker and the game’s creator, Alx Preston, currently discussing how best to translate the game — which was highly stylized, extremely moody and atmospheric, and entirely wordless — to television. Questions concerning the TV series’ inclusion (or not) of dialog are certainly important, but I’m primarily curious about how well Hyper Light Drifter’s tone will work for a TV series.
Shanker is certainly not opposed to darkness in his stories — an episode or two of Castlevania will make that abundantly clear. But Hyper Light Drifter isn’t simply grim and violent. A deep melancholy suffuses its storyline, from the brokenness and decay that fills the game’s world as a result of creatures trying to play God to the main character’s own deathly ailments that threaten his quest.
Hyper Light Drifter’s sense of loss and melancholy — which I explored more fully in this Christ and Pop Culture piece — is a far cry from, say, Castlevania’s gory violence, gothic horror, and misanthropic humor. Watch the game’s release trailer to get a sense of that melancholy, as well as its captivating aesthetic.
Suffice to say, I’m cautiously/hopefully excited about this. Hyper Light Drifter is such a cool game with such an interesting world and mythology; there’s a lot to explore there. I’m normally averse to prequels but I think that approach could work well here. Given the game’s cryptic-ness, it’d be cool to learn more about the events that happened prior to the game, see the game’s world before it fell into ruin, and find out more about the titular character’s origins.
Oh, and one more suggestion: please use Disasterpeace’s music for the series. It’s as important to setting the game’s tone as any visual.