Kaplan Confirms talks for a Overwatch Feature Film or Episodic Series
During an interview with GameReactor held at Fun & Serious in Bilbao, Spain, game director Jeff Kaplan confirmed that the Overwatch team and the Story and Franchise Development team have discussed other media opportunities to expand the Overwatch universe, and that discussion includes the potential for an Overwatch featured film or an episodic series.
In particular, Jeff points out they are very picky and protective of their franchise — which can be read or interpreted as they wouldn’t want to hand this feature film or episodic series to a third-party. So I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for them to let Legendary Entertainment, Hulu, Netflix, or other third-party filming teams work on such a project.
This in particular makes me think that either the Overwatch team might develop this project internally within Blizzard, or in conjunction with Activision Blizzard Studios to bring the Overwatch franchise to film and/or TV. As a reminder, Activision Blizzard Studios hired Mattel and Disney executive Tim Kilpin as CEO/President, Stacey Sher, and Nick van Dyke.
We will have to wait a while for any updates on this matter, or to learn what type of media the developers decide to take the franchise in moving forward. The implications of what Jeff said during this interview lead to exciting possibilities.
For example, Activision Blizzard Studios launched the Skylanders Academy Season 1 in Netflix on October 2016, and Season 3 is slated for February 2018. So in that vein, that does sound like an episodic series that Kaplan mentioned during the interview — and that sounds even more awesome than a featured film in theaters.
Skylanders Academy Season 1 has 12-episodes (23-25 minutes each), and Season 2 has 13-episodes. With a Season 3 in the horizon, make the math. Now envision that for Overwatch Season 1-3.
On the film front, Activision Blizzard Studios plans a Call of Duty film series TBD 2018-2019. So this is definitely serious business to bring our favorite game franchises to both film and TV. There is no Activision Blizzard Studios without a “Blizzard” project on the table in their production schedule.
And man, that Jeff Kaplan ear-to-ear smirk face when asked about a CGI featured film is gold.
Kaplan: We would really love to make something– like a feature film or an episodic series. Those are things that we are very very interested in. At Blizzard, we are extremely lucky on the Overwatch team that we get to partner with a group at Blizzard called Story and Franchise Development; and that group is creatively led by Jeff Chamberlain, who was the gentleman that directed the animated short that announced Overwatch — the moment with the two kids in the museum; and Jeff and his group are the best partners that we could possibly ask for, and they are always pushing us to explore other mediums to tell the story of Overwatch; and they are partnered very closely with us, we make the animated shorts together, we make the comics together, and so we are constantly talking about what other things could we be doing.
We know we can’t do a lot of linear narrative within the game itself. It is a 6v6 PvP game. So we are very open-minded to exploring other areas. Now on the flip-side, we are also very protective — and Jeff along with us is very protective of Overwatch, and we think of it as our baby; and we would never want to do anything that didn’t live up to the expectation of our fans, so we are super excited to explore other opportunities, we are also very picky and very controlling when it comes to this franchise. — source: GameReactor (jump to 10:35)