Sunday, 15 August 2021

RUMOUR: Netflix developing a DISHONORED TV series

File this under "fairly tenuous" at the moment, but a report is floating around that Netflix has put a TV show based on the Dishonored video game series into development.

The news comes from the geek site Giant Freakin Robot, who have a patchy record when it comes to rumours. However, it also comes eighteen months after writer Gennifer Hutchison tweeted that she was a huge fan of the video game series and wanted to write a TV show based on the books.

Hutchison has serious credibility, having been a writer on Breaking Bad (for which she won an Emmy, with the rest of the writing staff) and Better Call Saul as well as Amazon's Lord of the Rings prequel series (she also started her career as an assistant on The X-Files). Rumour has it that she's been courted for a showrunner position on several projects in the past but has stayed loyal to Vince Gilligan and the Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul team, but with that franchise wrapping its last season (at least until it was delayed by a medical complaint for star Bob Odenkirk), she appears to be free to take on bigger commitments.

Whether Hutchison is involved in this Netflix project - which may or may not even exist - is unknown, but it'd be a bit odd for a writer of her calibre to not be involved after expressing interest. Also, whilst Dishonored is well-regarded critically, it was not a top-tier, mega-selling video game franchise, and wouldn't be at #1 (or even in the top ten) on the list of video game properties to be turned into a TV show unless a major creative talent wanted to do it.

The Dishonored video game series consists of two mainline entries and three expansions: Dishonored (2012), The Knife of Dunwall (2013), The Brigmore Witches (2013), Dishonored 2 (2016) and Death of the Outsider (2017). Set in a fictional world reminiscent of 18th/19th Century Europe, fusing sorcery and steampunk, the story in the games beings with the assassination of the ruler of the Empire of the Isles. Her bodyguard Corvo is framed for the murder by the new Lord Regent, who embarks on a reign of terror whilst keeping the Empress's daughter, Emily, and heir out of sight. Aided by a group of government and military insiders who want to restore Emily to the throne, Corvo breaks out of Coldwine Prison and embarks on a series of daring raids and infiltration missions in the city of Dunwall designed to expose the Lord Regent's conspiracy and track down the man who murdered the Empress. However, Corvo is also marked by the Outsider, a strange being who lives in the Void beyond the material world. This grants Corvo amazing powers, but at a dubious cost to his soul and sanity. Later games in the series, spanning a period of more than fifteen years, feature other characters such as the assassins Daud and Billie Lurk, and a grown-up Emily.

As well as the video games, the series has also spawned a trilogy of novels, a comic book series and a tabletop roleplaying game. The creators of the game, Arkane, a subsidiary of Bethesda, have indicated they would like to return to the world in the future, but in the meantime are focusing on two other games in new universes, Deathloop and Redfall.

Whether this is a real project or not remains to be seen, but I have to say it's one of the few game series that absolutely would make a great TV show, with a cast of excellent characters and a solid story set in a fascinating and very different kind of fantasy world with some great worldbuilding.

No comments: