Video Game Adaptations Keep Coming As A Hit Indie Shooter Gets A Movie

Image: Strange Scaffold
Image: Strange Scaffold

El Paso, Elsewhere, an indie third-person neo-noir shooter heavily inspired by Max Payne, is the latest video game getting a Hollywood adaptation. And while it’s surprising to see a smaller, indie game get a movie, El Paso, Elsewhere is a perfect candidate for a film adaptation.

Released in 2023, El Paso, Elsewhere is a fantastic, moody, and action-packed indie shooter about a troubled, drug-addicted monster hunter—James Savage—who is forced to stop his ex-girlfriend—a powerful vampire—from destroying the entire world. But to do so, he has to journey through a nearly endless maze of strange, twisted versions of reality filled with monsters, demons, angels, and innocent people who need saving. To help save the day and maybe himself, Savage has to use a lot of guns to kill everything in his way and reach his former lover before she ends the world using a powerful and dangerous ritual. I loved El Paso, Elsewhere when I reviewed it in 2023, calling it one of my favorite games of the year thanks to its satisfying gunplay and gripping narrative. And I think it could make for a great film.

As reported by Deadline, LaKeith Stanfield (The Book of Clarence, Knives Out) is “in talks” to star in and produce a feature film adaptation of El Paso, Elsewhere. If Stanfield signs on, he will reportedly play James Savage in the movie. Di Bonaventura Pictures (Transformers, The Meg franchises) and Colin Stark will also produce, reports the outlet.

El Paso, Elsewhere writer and creator Xalavier Nelson Jr. tweeted about the news shortly after Deadline reported about the upcoming film adaptation, saying: “EL PASO, ELSEWHERE MOVIE IS HAPPENING. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH” So yeah, seems like this is a thing and is happening.

While video game adaptations have become the new hot thing in Hollywood—with TV shows like Fallout and The Last of Us becoming mega hits—I wasn’t expecting El Paso to get a movie, let alone so quickly after its release.

Personally, while I think a lot of video game adaptations aren’t memorable or necessary, I’m excited about this news. El Paso, Elsewhere is much more than a straightforward shoot ‘em up, with genuinely great acting, writing, and themes about pain, relationships, and moving on. It’s not light stuff, but handled properly—and with some great action sprinkled in between all the introspection—I think an El Paso film could be incredible. And it might be the closest thing to a good Max Payne film adaptation we ever get. So good luck to those involved in turning one of 2023’s best games into a feature film.


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