Death Stranding is coming to the big screen, thanks to a partnership between indie film studio A24 and game developer Kojima Productions. The announcement comes ahead of the Hideo Kojima-helmed studio’s 8th anniversary. The film adaptation will focus on the mysteries surrounding the titular apocalyptic event that brought the nightmarish creatures called BT into the living world, blurring the lines between the dead and the living through a portal. Instead of a direct translation of the divisive 2019 video game, the film will serve as a companion piece that further expands the solitary universe. The world of Death Stranding is also set to return in DS2, a sequel announced at last year’s The Game Awards.
“A24 was born into this world about 10 years ago, their presence is singular within the industry, they are like no other,” Kojima said in a blog post. “The intention is that our audience will not only be fans of the games, but our film will be for anyone who loves cinema. We are creating a Death Stranding universe that has never been seen before, achievable only through the medium of film, it will be born.” Reports of an adaptation surfaced last year, with Hammerstone Studios — best known for Barbarian — attached to produce, though now it’s unclear whether the team will be involved in any way. Kojima, on the other hand, will be ‘deeply involved’ with the creation of the movie — supervising, art, plotting, and content — but won’t be directing it. While not explicitly mentioned, he’s already got his hands full with Death Stranding 2 and OD, his horror collaboration with filmmaker Jordan Peele. Neither have announced a release window yet.
For the uninitiated, A24 is the studio behind acclaimed arthouse films like The Lighthouse, the Oscar-winning Everything Everywhere All at Once, Uncut Gems, the new horror flick Talk to Me, and more. At the moment, there are no details on the cast and crew, but the original game featured a range of A-list Hollywood actors, which was instrumental in sales — besides the legendary Kojima’s namesake, of course.
The game starred Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead) as Sam Porter Bridges, a courier tasked with reconnecting the last survivors of a post-apocalyptic America, which fell victim to an extinction event, leading to otherworldly forces ravaging the living world. The post-apocalyptic world has its own rules and phenomena like ‘Timefall,’ which refers to rainfall that causes all organic matter to age, forcing every human being to wear raincoats and carry around oddly shaped umbrellas to prevent exposure. The game also starred Mads Mikkelsen as Clifford Unger, Léa Seydoux as Fragile, filmmakers Nicolas Winding Refn and Guillermo Del Toro, Tommie Earl Jenkins, and Troy Baker as the lead antagonist Higgs.
Kojima Productions is also bringing the documentary Hideo Kojima: Connecting Worlds to the public eye by releasing it on Disney+ in the American Spring 2024. It largely focuses on Kojima’s process as he launched his independent studio in 2015 and the creation of Death Stranding, following his split from Konami — the Japanese studio where he helmed the Metal Gear Solid series of games.
Currently, there is no release window for the Death Stranding movie.