Coming Soon: Myst the Movie?

Myst

One of my earliest memories of playing video games on my very own PC (as opposed to the old Macintosh machines at school), was sitting down late at night and wandering through several hours of Myst, one of the top selling adventure games of all time. It was a game unlike anything I had played before. I remember being simultaneously creeped out, enthralled and filled with a sense of awe as I explored the stunning visuals, solved the puzzles and pieced together a world by my own choices. Some of the puzzles still rank among my favorite in gaming history (the piano in the rocketship, for instance).

Given the game’s huge commercial success over time, it should be no surprise then that people in Hollywood have been interested in turning this point-and-click adventure game into even more cash. That’s right, everyone: Myst has been optioned for a movie by Mysteria Film Group along with producers Hunt Lowry (Last of the Mohicans) and Mark Johnson (Chronicles of Narnia).

The primary thing about the first game of Myst is that it is almost completely non-linear, contains virtually no dialogue, no action, no violence and no other direct contact with characters. So how is this going to work as a movie, exactly?

Apparently, the movie producers are going to focus more on the overall mythology of Myst rather than any of the specific games themselves. Specifically, they want to tap into the civilization of Myst built up in the novels created by the franchise’s leads, Robyn and Rand Miller. Here is what Mysteria said regarding this decision for the movie:

Our aim with this project is to stretch the genres it operated within, much like the source material did. It is such an innovative property and by utilizing the novels as our primary resource, we have the opportunity to offer audiences the essence of MYST without being limited only to the famous island of the first game. Our focus has always been on creating an entirely new visual experience driven by engaging characters and an epic narrative.

Well, call me skeptical, but then again I always am when it comes to these kinds of projects. It’s so hard to translate the interactivity, atmosphere and immersion level of video games to something that has to have a structured story and works on the big screen. In particular, a game like Myst would be much harder to translate in such a way, and really the only possible outcomes seem like they will be too faithful (and boring) or not faithful enough (and not Myst any longer).

What’s funny is, all this writing about Myst is making me want to go download it on my iPhone, or any of the other million platforms that it’s currently available on. Seriously, Myst and 7th Guest were a staple of my CD-ROM powered gaming in the early 90’s on my PC.

So what do you guys think of this? Who shares my love for Myst? Do you think it would make a good movie?

Source – Slashfilm

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I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

6 thoughts on “Coming Soon: Myst the Movie?”

  1. I love myst, I finished all of them. I think it is good that they are not writing the movie to be directly from the games, as the main character is you, I would love to see the rise and fall of D’ni. that or the events following the DRC’s (D’ni Restoration Council) reopening the D’ni caverns, or how Yeesha becomes The Grower, or how Gehn finds the power of writing, or the back story of Sirrus and Achenar…ok the list goes on for a long time but besides my love for the mythology of myst I remain rather skeptical of the film.

  2. I played MYST III and absolutely loved it. At the time my PC wasn’t powerful enough to play MYST IV, but you’ve inspired me… Maybe I’ll have to give another one a try.

    I’m also always skeptical, but I’ve said before that I think it’s almost better when they’re not limited to trying to portray an exact story from a game into a 90 minute film. With this, they have a clean slate to show a new side…

    Then again, look at DOOM… (lol)

  3. The only Myst games I’ve played actually are Myst and Myst II. I really don’t know much about Myst III and IV, but it sounds like Gadfly might be our resident Myst expert. Is the stuff you mentioned in the books, or is it part of the other games?

  4. most of it you here about, or is implied, in the game but you don’t actually get to see, which is why I would like it in the movie(s). I have not read the books yet but have always wanted to, with the movie coming up this just might be my excuse I need.

    on a side note the “baahhhhoooowwwaawwawwaaa” sound you hear when you travel through a book would be really cool with a big theater surround sound system. The Roller Coaster thingies you ride could also be cool in imax 3D

  5. Serious latepass here, but I highly recommend the books if the themes of the Myst games hit home for you at all, particularly the book of Atrus and the book of Ti’ana. Lots of good origin stories, how the rift between Atrus and Gehn came to be, etc. All rather well written, IMHO.

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