Kan Gao’s tearjerker To The Moon, a game which affected our John so much that he still daren’t open the curtains on clear nights lest he be swept away in a torrent of his own tears, is becoming a full-length animated movie. It’s the story of doctors travelling through the memories of a dying man (with the aid of a fancy machine), seeing his life and creating new memories so he can have sort-of lived his dying wish: visiting the moon. At this point, John is hammering on the door as a brook flows down his body, so I imagine we’ll need to employ Ludovico Technique eyespreaders to make him watch it.
Gao doesn’t say who is behind the “major animated feature film”, only hinting in his announcement video that the companies involved are “pretty big players in the animation industry, and those who are familiar with the animation industry will probably have heard of them.” Mysterious! Gao also says that the budget is “pretty significant”, and that he’s been told it’s above that of the animated movie Your Name.
He doesn’t have absolute control over the film but says he will be involved with the script and supervising.
Buuut beyond that, it’s all a big mystery. When it’ll come, how it’ll be released, what it looks like (that art ↑ up there is a marketing picture for the game), and all that are still secrets for now. But here, he seems pretty hopeful, and has some interesting things to say about striking a balance between faithfulness of goodfilmness in a film adaptation:
It does seem a good’un to be movified. As Johnny Dub said in his To The Moon review:
“To The Moon takes on old age, regret, mental health, and love. It’s about the role of ambition versus reality, and what’s worth sacrificing. It’s a properly funny comedy, and a hanky-requiring tragedy. Games this effective are rare beasts, and when it’s disguised by such simple graphics (albeit with wonderful animation, and such detail), old-school Japanese RPG presentation (something it brilliantly jokes about very early on), no voice acting, nor photo-realistic expressions, it’s something of a feat.”
I only play games deemed artistic enough to be made into films, so I’m excited to finally play this; I can’t keep hammering on Tekken forever. Handily, the game is half-price right now on Steam, down to £3.49/€3.99/$4.99.
Gao also notes that he’s started work on his next game. His last, after a series of To The Moon mini episodes, was the sequel Finding Paradise.