Village Roadshow Entertainment has acquired the film and TV rights to Cyan Worlds’ Myst franchise of video games, with the intention “to develop a multi-platform universe including film, scripted and unscripted television content.” Yes, the end of that sentence leaves room for a Myst reality program. Village Roadshow will develop and produce alongside the original co-creator Rand Miller and his brother Ryan Miller.
This isn’t the first time Myst has attempted to conquer TV — Legendary Entertainment had plans for a transmedia series with a companion video game in 2014. In 2015, the series moved to Hulu, but never materialized.
According to a news release from Village Roadshow, the company “will rely on and expand upon the game’s existing mythology.” That mythology follows the family of Atrus, portrayed in the games by Rand Miller himself, an explorer who learned the art of writing “linking books,” objects that become portals to the worlds described within them. Various things go wrong when his selfish sons and nefarious father use linking books to interfere with the balance of life in those worlds within them, called “Ages.”
The player of a Myst game usually finds themselves trapped in an Age and must manipulate an intricately crafted environment to escape, usually culminating in a tricky moral puzzle. For example, in Myst 3: Exile, if you choose poorly, Brad Dourif clubs you to death.
Though none of the projects have a home, it’s worth noting that Myst’s storytelling format aligns well with Netflix’s gradual push into interactive video.
Cyan recently celebrated its 25th anniversary with a successful Kickstarter campaign to re-release seven core Myst titles in a very fancy linking book package.