The Stalker TV show was pretty much the most unexpected news item of the week, and I just had to drop a line to GSC to find out more. Below you can read my quick chat with GSC’s Oleg Yavorsky, in which he stresses that the TV show’s production is intended to be as faithful as possible the source game, and reveals that it will be timed to air on the release of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2.
RPS: How did the TV show come about? Isn’t it a bit far from usual game developing business?
Yavorsky: With the release of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl in 2007 we concomitantly launched a series of the game-world-inspired novels (published in Russian and German). So far, the number of books in the series has exceeded 45 (S.T.A.L.K.E.R. has been #1 sci-fi book series in Russia for the last two and a half years) with the aggregate sales number topping 5 million copies! The overall game sales worldwide are steadily approaching the same 5 million units mark. This said, the world of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. remains to be so multifaceted and deep that we could hardly think of any better way to reveal its essence than a TV series. Of course making movies is different from making games, but we work with professionals, and then it’s a very involving process to learn.
RPS: How directly are GSC involved in the development of the show?
Yavorsky: We keep our full control of the happenings. We take part in the story-writing, we pick the director’s group and decide on the cast, we control the shooting process, the post-production etc.
RPS: Are you guys funding it all yourselves?
Yavorsky: Yes, true.
RPS: Can you tell us anything about what to expect from the show in terms of plot? Which is the STALKER games is it closest to?
Yavorsky: The thing is, we do not adapt any game story into the movie, but create a new story based on the games’ Universe. We do understand the approach to making movies, games and books is all different. And therefore we’re putting together a story we believe best for the movie genre.
RPS: How faithful to the game world is the movie? Will we see mutants?
Yavorsky: It wouldn’t be S.T.A.L.K.E.R. if there’s no Chernobyl, radiation and mutants, expect to see it all! The decision to keep our control on the production was made specifically to make sure the TV series is faithful to the game.
RPS: Will any events from the games be featured in the TV show?
Yavorsky: You will hardly see specific game events, but expect to see certain characters from the game! And that game will be S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, as opposed to the previously released ones.
RPS: When will the TV show air? And will it be network broadcast or internet-based?
Yavorsky: We are targeting the series to air in parallel with the release of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, therefore don’t try to find it in your TV programme until 2012. Primarily we want to broadcast it via TV network, and maybe later on the Internet. We’re still considering it.
RPS: Thanks for your time.