EXCLUSIVE: MYST, the all-time top selling computer adventure game franchise, has been optioned for live action film treatment. Producers Hunt Lowry and Mark Johnson have partnered with Adrian Vanderbosch and Isaac Testerman of Mysteria Film Group. Mysteria got the rights from game developers Cyan Worlds. MYST debuted in 1993 and expanded with four top-selling sequels. It established a market for multi-platform CD-ROM gaming and continues to be the biggest selling adventure game ever.
Trouble is, MYST became popular for the atmospheric experience it provided, but it isn’t as easily adaptable as some vidgames because it doesn’t have a simple linear narrative. It does have a strong mythology that creates possibilities, though. Johnson is the producer of the upcoming The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and the hope is to bring the distinctive world of Myst as was done with Narnia.
One focus of the film will be the influence of a human who entered Myst and inadvertently brought down the civilization. Johnson and Lowry are separately teamed on an adaptation of the John Grisham novel The Testament. With Vanderbosch and Testerman, they are on the hunt for a writer before they shop it to studios. “Our aim with this project is to stretch the genres it operated within, much like the source material did,” Vanderbosch said. “It is such an innovative property and by utilizing the novels as our primary resource, we have the opportunity to offer audiences the essence of MYST without being limited only to the famous island of the first game. Our focus has always been on creating an entirely new visual experience driven by engaging characters and an epic narrative.”
The filmmakers will draw the plot from the mythology within the games, as well as a trilogy of companion novels Cyan Worlds published around them. Players enter a highly atmospheric world and solve a series of puzzles that unlock secrets to this mysterious world. Players can liberate characters trapped inside of books, but have to decide which ones are good and evil. The goal of players was to return to Myst Island and rescue its owner from his imprisonment inside one of the books. The novels provided clues to the backstory of the island the curious civilization known as the D’ni and the infinite number of worlds they could create and control. Cory Lanier and Tom Williams will be co-producers.