A potential Terraforming Mars film adaptation is in the works. The world of tabletop games has had a sporadic history of bringing their experiences to the big screen. These include the murder mystery spoof that was 1985's Clue and the forgettable sci-fi action flick that was 2012's adaptation of Battleship. But while film studios are beginning to see an opportunity with adaptation, including Wizards of the Coast and Embracer Group, the production company behind this adaptation has roots in the videogame industry.
The Terraforming Mars film adaptation announcement
The announcement of the Terraforming Mars film adaptation comes from a Deadline report. According to the story, the production studio Cobalt Knights has optioned the screen rights to the 2016 board game. On the surface, a film adaptation does hold some precedence. As the name implies, the game is all about the process of making the red planet hospitable to a struggling human race. It's an experience packed with themes of class struggle, ecological collapse, and grappling with the act of colonialism.
As for Cobalt Knights, it is a production company founded to develop TV and film project adaptations of different genre material. This includes video games, board games, comics, short stories, and manga. Furthermore, one of its co-founders has strong ties to the videogame industry. Christopher Kaminski was a creative leader of Sega of America. Kaminski had a hand in producing Sonic The Hedgehog and Armored Core 4, he also has a localization credit for the English release of Valkyria Chronicles. The second founder, Christopher Knox, has some TV production history which includes MTV's The Real World, and being an Assistant Director on 2011's I Faked My Own Death.
“The Terraforming Mars world offers incredible storytelling potential,” said Kaminski. “We are excited to explore the unique human drama that inherently comes along with running a company tasked with literally creating oceans, building prosperous cities, and balancing the ecology of plant and animal life.”
“In many ways, the game exhibits strong parallels to the Age of Discovery when European superpowers were sailing around the globe trying to lay claim to everything they touched,” added Knox. “This makes it the perfect choice for adaptation, using a distinct and hyperrealistic setting to revisit a familiar narrative conflict.”
As for Terraforming Mars' co-developer, Enoch Fryxelius, he is excited about the project. "It’s much more than just another sci-fi board game – it’s a vision of a possible and positive future for humanity not so far down the road. It’s based on real science ideas and ideas borrowed from science fiction. This could be us in 200 years. We are so excited to see this vision come to life on the screen. We hope this will expand the TM community even further."
It must be noted that the Terraforming Mars film has only been optioned at this point. There are many other steps in the process before a production can go forward. But given the experience of those involved, there is a chance this might get on the big screen.