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Amazon’s Tales From The Loop will show whether viral concept art makes good TV

Simon Stålenhag’s paintings have also been adapted into an art book and a tabletop role-playing game

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Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Amazon’s Tales From the Loop, based on the evocative art of Simon Stålenhag, finally has a release date. The series will premiere March 16 at SXSW before arriving on Amazon Prime Video on April 3. To celebrate, Amazon dropped the series’ first trailer on Thursday. You can watch it on YouTube, and embedded above.

With the premiere date set in stone, fans finally know when they’ll get to see the Swedish artist’s unique science-fiction world in motion. Tales From the Loop stars Rebecca Hall (Vicky Cristina Barcelona, The Town), Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes, Game of Thrones), and Paul Schneider (Parks and Recreation), among others. While the original source material led to comparisons with Netflix’s Stranger Things, the show appears to be less a dalliance in 1980s pop culture and more a dreamy, subversive mystery akin to Netflix’s The OA.

A poster showing children towing a sled toward three distant glowing towers. Image: Amazon
A child wearing a backpack controls a massive robot while her father looks on. Image: Amazon
A father and son walk towards a rusted out sphere in a sandy river bed. Image: Amazon

This isn’t the first time Stålenhag’s stuff has been adapted outside of his original artwork. Free League Publishing created an award-winning tabletop role-playing game, also called Tales From the Loop, with his help. In 2018, there was even a bit of controversy, as Avalanche Studios, the team behind the Just Cause franchise and 2015’s Mad Max, announced the open-world action video game Generation Zero. The game was notably created without Stålenhag’s help, but was also conspicuously set in 1980s Sweden and featured giant killer robots. The game launched in 2019 to mostly negative reviews, and has had considerable work done since that time.

If you’d like to get a leg up on the lore before the show goes live, you can pick up the RPG or the original art book on Amazon. A second art book, titled The Electric State, came out in 2018.

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