The smash-hit, award-winning “God of War” series will be the next video game franchise to receive a live-action Hollywood adaptation. Per The Hollywood Reporter, Amazon Prime Video has greenlit a live-action television series based on the long-running PlayStation game series.
‘God Of War’ Live-Action Series Coming To Amazon Prime
Rafe Judkins (“The Wheel of Time”) is attached as the showrunner for the upcoming series. Oscar-nominated screenwriters Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby (“Children of Men,” “Iron Man,” “The Expanse”) will also write and executive produce the show alongside Judkins.
Sony Pictures Television and Amazon Studios are co-producing the show in association with PlayStation Productions. The series has been in development since earlier this year, but now it’s officially in the works.
Speaking on today’s news, Amazon Studios Global Head of Television Vernon Sanders commented, “‘God of War’ is a compelling, character-driven franchise that we believe will captivate our global customers as much with its expansive and immersive worlds as its rich storytelling.” Sanders continued, “We are honored to share in the adventure of exploring the God of War mythology in such a momentous way with Sony Pictures Television, PlayStation Productions, and [game developer] Santa Monica Studio.”
The first “God of War” game debuted in 2005 on the PlayStation 2 console, developed by Santa Monica Studio and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. The game series has sold over 50 million copies worldwide since its launch, with the series’ main protagonist, Kratos, becoming a worldwide gaming and pop-cultural icon. Since the successful launch of the original game, the franchise has received multiple sequels and spinoffs.
With the first game, the series follows a Spartan warrior, Kratos, who wages a path of revenge against the Greek God of War, Ares. Over the course of the series, Kratos becomes the new God of War for Mount Olympus, but he’s later rejected by them and cast out of his position. Kratos then wages a brutal, bloody campaign against the entire pantheon of Olympian gods in his quest for vengeance.
The franchise took a dramatic shift with the 2018 relaunch, “God of War,” moving from the gods of Greek mythology to Norse, as Kratos challenges the might of Odin, Thor, and their Asgardian kin. The latest installment, “Ragnarok,” features actors Richard Schiff (“The West Wing”) as Odin, Ryan Hurst as Thor, and Deborah Ann Woll (“Daredevil,” “True Blood”) as Kratos’ wife, Faye.
THR reports that the live-action series will pick up the story following Kratos’ past exploits in Greece and Olympus after going into a self-imposed exile in the Norse realm of Midgard. So, the series will be closer to the latest two installments of the game, 2018’s “God of War” and this year’s “God of War: Ragnarok,” rather than the earlier games on PS2 and PS3.
The show’s synopsis reads, “When his beloved wife dies, Kratos sets off on a dangerous journey with his estranged son to spread her ashes from the highest peak — his wife’s final wish.” The description continues, “Kratos soon realizes the journey is an epic quest in disguise, one which will test the bonds between father and son, and force Kratos to battle new gods and monsters for the fate of the world.”
Sony and PlayStation Productions already have multiple upcoming live-action series in the works based on some of their most popular game series. A live-action show based on “The Last of Us” is coming out early next year. The series debuts on HBO on January 15, 2023. Also, a live-action series based on “Twisted Metal” is coming to Peacock. Lastly, a series based on “Horizon” is in the works at Netflix.
Meanwhile, Santa Monica Studio creative director Cory Barlog and PlayStation Productions’ Asad Qizilbash and Carter Swan are also attached to the show as executive producers, along with Santa Monica Studio’s Yumi Yang and Vertigo’s Roy Lee. Santa Monica Studio’s Jeff Ketcham is co-executive producing the project.
The latest installment of the game franchise, “God of War: Ragnarok,” was nominated for eleven awards at this year’s “The Game Awards.” It won awards for Best Narrative and Best Action/Adventure Game. Also, Christopher Judge, the voice and motion capture performer for Kratos since the 2018 game, won the award for Best Performance. The game also sold over 5.1 million copies within a week of its release.
In fact, the franchise is so popular, the latest game managed to receive a live-action commercial featuring appearances by actor and comedian Ben Stiller, actor John Travolta, and NBA legend LeBron James. They engage in group therapy sessions with their kids, striving to be more like Kratos.
Amazon’s “God of War” show will debut on Amazon Prime Video later on. It does not yet have an official launch date.