Recently, Compulsion Games announced that a film adaption of their early access game We Happy Few is in development!
The film adaption, according to a press release, is being produced by Paul Brooks’ Gold Circle Films and dj2 Entertainment’s Dmitri M. Johnson and Dan Jevons, with dj2’s Stephan Bugaj executive producing.
Guillaume Provost, head of the game’s developer, Compulsion Games, said in a press release, “Dmitri, Stephan and Dan approached us enthusiastically and with really solid ideas about how to adapt our game to film, while retaining its menace, dark humor, and central themes. We’re gratified at how they and Gold Circle have taken to the project.” Dmitri M. Johnson, from dj2 Entertainment, said “Our commitment is to make a movie that remains true to and expands on its great source material.” Gold Circle’s Paul Brooks adds, “As a Brit and a fan of shows like The Prisoner, the game’s social satire resonated with me. I wanted this project immediately and am truly pleased a relationship with dj2 and their Business Affairs exec, Howard Bliss, helped make that possible.”
For those of you who have not seen the E3 2016 coverage or played the game on early access, We Happy Few is a videogame set in an isolated English town in an “alternate 1960s” where government-imposed, drug-induced happiness masks gruesome violence and conceals a nefarious mystery. One resident, free of the drug’s effects, risks his life to learn why his home is a bizarre open-air prison.
Now, I have a pretty good idea of what you may be thinking. We want to be ecstatic about this news, yet the history of video game adaptions into feature films is not pretty. We have seen a laundry list of box office stinkers like Street Fighter and Super Mario Bros. The most recent video game adaptation, Assassin’s Creed, was certified rotten on Rotten Tomatoes at 17%, with a user rating of 49%. Other reviews haven’t been very kind either. So what makes this adaptation any different?
Well, the subject matter and themes make We Happy Few a fantastic choice for film adaptation. The game is a fantastic mix of survival, mystery, and comedy. The dark themes should play very well for audiences. I also think the theme of happiness will speak to audiences. In We Happy Few, the citizens take Joy, a pill that keeps them happy and calm. It also makes them forget their past. The topic of drugs and their modifying elements can be seen in our society today. What would our society look like if we were all dependent on a drug for happiness, and how would we treat others who are immune to the drug? We Happy Few has all the themes to make a critically acclaimed movie.
The film is in the very early stages of development and writers are being sought out. We will keep you up to date when more news and development details come out. Are you excited for a big screen adaption? Let us know in the comments!