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Why An Elden Ring TV Series Just Won't Work

Why An Elden Ring TV Series Just Won't Work
FromSoftware | HBO

Written by 

Tom Chapman

Posted 

18th Mar 2022 12:00

The Seven Kingdoms of Elden Ring are coming together in a big way - oh wait, that's the wrong story. With FromSoftware's latest entry in the back-breaking and soul-crushing Souls-like series flying up the charts, selling over 12 million units upon launch, and already being heralded as one of the best games of all time, it's no surprise Elden Ring is everywhere right now. Well, get ready to see a lot more.

While some of us are still struggling to get out of the Stranded Graveyard, others have quickly rattled through Elden Ring, while speedrunners are even completing it in under half an hour. Keen to cash in on the hype while it's still there, publisher Bandai Namco has explained its grand plans for where Elden Ring goes next.

Saving this cursed realm from the warring factions of Queen Marika the Eternal's descendants sounds like it won't be the end of the story, as Bandai Namco's CEO has already given a cryptic tease that the franchise will "expand." Even though he hasn't officially said the words Elden Ring TV series, it seems like a logical step. The problem is, that's an absolutely awful idea.

Why Is An Elden Ring Series A Bad Idea?

Game of Thrones Long Night
HBO

For a start, Elden Ring's Lands Between are unlike anything we've seen before. From flailing-armed monsters like Godrick the Grafter to the adorable Alexander the Pot Friend, this is some serious Terry Pratchett shizz. Speaking of which, there's a reason Good Omens is a rare diamond in the rough when it comes to live-action Pratchett adaptations. Most of these ideas are simply too grand to transpire well into the medium of television. 

As for the weird and wonderful creatures that inhabit Elden Rings - or its vast plains - the closest we've got is Warner Bros.' The Lord of the Rings movies. As you can imagine, they cost a small fortune. Even though Amazon is working on The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power series, we imagine it'll be a slightly smaller affair than its cinematic cousins. Added to that, WB already got a lot of the big action out of the way.

Our minds are blown at how much it would inevitably cost to deliver even one of the big Elden Ring bosses. You might remember, Game of Thrones cut its direwolves because they were simply too expensive to create. What, could you not just CGI a dog a bit bigger? More recently, the Halo series has been called out for its wobbly sets, so unless you find a network with seemingly bottomless pockets, it would be hard to capture even a fraction of the magic the Lands Between delivered.

Should Elden Ring Be A Movie?

Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
Warner Bros.

The idea of turning Elden Ring into a live-action movie franchise is even worse. Remember how the once brilliant idea of Fantastic Beasts was a box office hit, only for love of the Harry Potter spin-off to dry up when we learned Warner Bros. had plans for a five-movie arc. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is the third movie, and although it isn't even out yet, most are already asking "who cares?" 

 

Movies rely on big box office returns, meaning all it only takes is one misstep and your whole carefully crafted franchise is on its knees. You only have to look at what happened to Disney's Narnia movies and how that epic yarn was cut short. We'd hate for a studio to try and recapture the magic of Elden Ring across a sprawling series, only for the story to remain incomplete. 

Since the birth of Souls-like genre with Demon's Souls in 2009, FromSoft has become known as a master of the genre. Still, there have only ever been rumours about any of them getting the live-action treatment. Although all are rich with lore and horrifying boss monsters, part of the experience is being there among the action and dying for the millionth time to the same boss. It's just not quite made for movies. 

Is Elden Ring Too Big To Adapt?

FromSoftware

Putting it simply, yes. It was a neat idea to name the various demigods and their kids in the vein of George R.R. Martin, but it's bloody confusing. Even the most die-hard fans might struggle to tell their Morgott from their Mohg and their Godwyn from your Godrick, meaning while worth it for a 100-hour game, it's just a bit much for film or TV. If Elden Ring is going to make the leap into live-action, Hidetaka Miyazaki would have to get Martin back to write a concise story instead of building an epic world.

There's no escaping the fact that Elden Ring is a great game with a truly inspired story, but that doesn't mean it needs to be told in a different medium. As we're warned we're on the cusp of the franchise expanding, FromSoftware would be foolish to tether itself to the core Elden Ring story (as brilliant as it is). 

Even Elden Ring spans multiple ages, and just like HBO is doing with House of the Dragon as a Game of Thrones prequel, you'd be wise to try a different period of history. There are still plenty of unturned stones out there in the Lands Between, with the inevitable DCL(s) sure to flesh out the already beefy bones of the tale and maybe turn up gold for a live-action story. 

Whatever happens, we should let the dust settle. Elden Ring is fresh out of the box, so we don't need to immediately rush into an adaptation or, perish the thought, a FromSoft cinematic universe. It took 12 years for The Witcher to make it into live-action, so we say, let the world build itself first. That being said, we'd still love to see an origin story for Alexander if anyone is offering. 

 

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