Perhaps you've already heard of Indie Game: The Movie, but I'll just go ahead and assume you haven't been following the independent documentary on its journey from Kickstarter-based conception to its most recent stint at the Sundance Film Festival. Therefore, a recap: Indie Game: The Movie is a documentary about indie game makers, and their struggles to bring deeply personal projects from their bedroom computers to the rest of the world. It features the likes of Fez creator Phil Fish, Team Meat's Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes, as well as Braid creator and occasional industry feather rankler, Jonathan Blow.
The film has been receiving extremely positive reviews during its stint at Sundance, and not just from the usual game industry cheerleaders you'd pretty much expect to love this kind of movie, either. It's gotten such great buzz, in fact, that rights to the film have reportedly been picked up by Hollywood mega-producer Scott Rudin, the man behind such big time blockbusters as the recent adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, last year's heavily award nominated The Social Network, and Oscar Best Picture winner No Country for Old Men.
Aha, but there is a catch. In fact, Rudin picked up the remake rights to Indie Game: The Movie, and plans to put them to use on HBO as a weekly, half-hour television series--one that is scripted, to boot.
So, wait, what do these two things actually have to do with one another?
Ostensibly, nothing, save for the licensing connection between the film's creators, Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky. While some freaked out when the original deal became known, bandying about that this would have some impact on the film's eventual theatrical distribution (apparently it won't) and that Rudin planned to turn this into some kind of half-hour comedy series in the vein of Grandma's Boy (he doesn't). According to the film's makers (via the movie's Facebook page), the new series will not be a comedy. That makes some sense, given that Rudin's other projects with HBO are of a dramatic bent as well. Those include Social Network screenwriter Aaron Sorkin's cable news-oriented series Newsroom, and a series based on Jonathan Franzen's critically acclaimed novel The Corrections, which he's co-developed with director Noah Baumbach. Not exactly a comedy lineup.
Though the exact design of this weekly series is still very much up in the air, the filmmakers are adamant that, despite the half-hour run time, the goal is to make something as sincere and heartfelt as the film it's based on. Whether that proves true--or, really, whether this series ever actually makes it to air--we won't know for some time. But at the very least, Indie Game: The Movie is getting some great exposure out of this whole endeavor, and that hardly seems like a bad thing at all.
For the previously unawares, you can check out the trailer for Indie Game: The Movie below.