- Stray, a renowned cat puzzle platformer video game from 2022, is set to be adapted into an animated feature film by Annapurna Animation.
- Despite the challenges of adapting a popular game into a movie, the team is confident in their ability to capture the game's essence.
- The film's release date is yet to be announced.
Stray has been regarded as one of the best video games of 2022. The popular cat puzzle platformer is now being adapted into an animated feature film.
Annapurna Animation announced that it is moving forward with plans to develop an animated adaptation of the hit video game. According to a report by Entertainment Weekly, the studio is developing an upcoming animated film after the success of Nimona on Netflix. Annapurna Animation is the division that handles animated projects for Annapurna Pictures. Stray was also published by the company under Annapurna Interactive and was developed by BlueTwelve Studio.
The upcoming animated film will be directed by Nick Bruno, who also helmed Nimona. According to the press release, Julie Zackary from Blue Sky Animations will be working on the project as the head of animation production for Annapurna Animations. Zackary was also one of the producers for Nimona which was released on Netflix earlier this year.
Robert Baird, who leads Annapurna Animations with Andrew Millstein, revealed that Stray's buddy comedy plot is perfect for an animated adaptation. However, he shared that it sometimes feels impossible to adapt such an incredibly popular video game into a movie. Nonetheless, Baird is positive that his team will succeed in capturing the essence of the game.
"This is a game that's all about what makes us human, and there are no humans in it," Baird said. "It's a buddy comedy about a cat and a robot, and there's such a hilarious dynamic. So, there's comedy inherent in this, but there's not one human being in this movie. I think it's one of the reasons why the game was incredibly popular, that you are seeing the world through the point of view of an adorable cat."
"How did they pull that off, and how are we going to pull that off in the movie? We will, even though sometimes it feels impossible, but we know that's the essence of the game and the key to telling the story."
Annapurna Interactive has published a number of hit titles including Outer Wilds and Twelve Minutes. However, Millstein explained that Stray is the first project to be adapted into an animated movie due to its popularity.
"First off, it is just wildly popular," Millstein shared. "People engage in the game for a variety of reasons, and I think for us at Annapurna, working with different creative people, it's a puzzle. What is it about this game that is so popular? Then the question is, how do you adapt a game into longform storytelling that is incredibly respectful to the game itself and the audiences, but then also is film worthy? The process of that is always part of the challenge."
Director Nick Bruno is also reportedly working on several other projects within the studio. However, Annapurna has not yet revealed which other games are coming to the big screen.
Stray does not yet have a release date as of writing.