Bethesda has been open over the years about the fact that it has had numerous film offers for many of its high profile game franchises such as Fallout and The Elder Scrolls. The studio has always been relucent to do so but has revealed that one director could probably persuade them to give such a project the green light.
In an interview with Finder.com.au, Pete Hines, Bethesda’s marketing director, stated that Bethesda isn’t interested in making a film based on the Elder Scrolls franchise unless it is directed by Peter Jackson.
Peter Jackson is the New Zealand director who is most famous for directing the hit Lord of the Rings films as well as 2005’s King Kong. More recently he has directed The Hobbit trilogy.
Hines stated that Bethesda is approached regularly with film offers but always turns them down due to the concern that the property may be mishandled by producers.
“Are we going to let some other person do their own interpretation of what Fallout is, or Elder Scrolls is, or Dishonored is? Or are we going to hold onto it and let the developers be the only ones that are able to say, ‘This is what Fallout is, or Elder Scrolls, or Wolfenstein, or whatever?’ So we want our developers to decide what our franchises are about and not a movie director, or producer, or studio,” he said.
Hines then went on to reveal that Peter Jackson could probably persuade them.
“I think if Peter Jackson turned up at [Bethesda game director Todd Howard]’s office and said, ‘I want to do Elder Scrolls,’ well that would be a pretty serious conversation you would have to listen to. But I think Peter is probably pretty busy (laughs). So I don’t see us anytime soon looking at movies.”
Hines also revealed his concern over the idea of Bethesda not having complete control over such a project.
“I don’t know anybody who actually has total control over the film adaptation of their video game,” he said. “If you did, why would you not just make it yourself? Of course the film studio and the scriptwriter and the director are going to have a ton of say. They will have their own vision. So we get asked all the time, but we see it as a distraction. We’re a video games company; let’s do what we know.”
Given his work on fantasy films like Lord of the Rings, it certainly seems like Peter Jackson would be a great fit for a film based on The Elder Scrolls games. Jackson also has some connections to video games already. At one point he was on board to co-produce a film based on the Halo franchise. Props for the film even began to be put into production but unfortunately the film was cancelled. Jackson was also involved with a Halo game called Halo: Chronicles as the co-designer and co-producer. The game was ultimately cancelled but his experience in the industry could make him the perfect candidate for a Bethesda film.
We have a lot of respect for Bethesda when it comes to not wanting to milk its franchises, but a film set in The Elder Scrolls universe could be pretty sweet with Peter Jackson at the helm. Would you be excited to see such a project come to life, or do you think Tamriel is a world best explored via the medium of video games?