The vampires, wizards, and werewolves of the World of Darkness roleplaying game are coming to TV and film. Game publisher Paradox Interactive has partnered with writer-producers Eric Heisserer and Christine Boylan and production company Hivemind on the adaptations.
Heisserer is currently showrunning Shadow and Bone. He wrote Bird Box and Lights Out, and was nominated for an Oscar for writing Arrival. Boylan has written for TV series like The Punisher, Cloak & Dagger, Once Upon a Time, and Leverage.
The tabletop RPG was introduced in 1991 with Vampire: The Masquerade, casting players in the roles of vampires as they try to sate their needs and deal with hunters and each other. The theme of players becoming the monsters who make difficult moral decisions while living amongst humans continued with future titles. The series grew with titles like Werewolf: The Apocalypse and Mage: The Ascension in card games, board games, comics, novels, video games, and virtual reality.
“The World of Darkness story universe is deliberately and unapologetically inclusive and diverse,” Boylan said in a statement. “It has always made a point of including equal gendered characters, protagonists and antagonists of every race, and representation of all creeds – bringing a female and diverse audience to gaming like nothing prior. Its games and fandom are a place where women, POC, and the LGBTQI community feel welcome and we are very proud to bring these stories to life.”
“The legacy of these stories is way ahead of its time, inviting issues and perspectives other games ignored,” Heisserer added. “This feels like the next step for genre.”
“Eric and Christine are among the most extraordinary creators working today,” Hivemind President and co-founder Jason Brown said. “They’re also gamers who have played in WOD since it began. It’s a rare opportunity when the connection between storyteller and story runs this deep, and that is the alchemy which has led to many of our favorite and most culturally resonant franchises.”
They did not announce specific details on the TV and film projects, though the team plans to disclose development details in 2021.