Myst Comes to Hulu

On Tuesday, May 5th it was announced that Rand Miller and other members of Cyan had signed on Hulu, the popular streaming service, to help create a TV series based around the popular and surreal adventure game, Myst.

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Cyan created Myst in the early 90s, and immediately the adventure game series that took the world by storm. Myst remains a game like none other. It is a puzzle game set in stunning scenery, woven with a compelling plot. But instead of simply telling you the story, you are actually a part of it. You solve puzzles, open locks, read journals, break codes, and travel to other worlds in search of clues. The first game was an overwhelming success, leading to a host of sequels. A trilogy of books was written with David Wingrove, detailing more of the history and back story of the worlds. They were published by Hyperion, and all three of them became bestsellers.

Hardcore Myst fans have known for years about the Mysteriacs–a team of writers named Adrian and Patrick who have been writing film scripts based on the Myst books, and marketing them around. The Mysteriacs have been around almost as long as the Myst universe itself, and therefore the desire to see Myst on the big screen is nothing new. The scripts never found a market, however, and two years ago the Mysteriacs vanished from the internet. The website was taken down, and to this day no one knows where they made off to. There were brief rumours that Mark Johnson, the producer of Voyage of the Dawn Treader had acquired the rights for the now-infamous script, but nothing has been heard since.

As a result, the Myst community, (as well as anyone else remotely aware of the Myst movie adventures,) has adopted a resigned “We’ll believe it when we see it” attitude regarding all rumoured adaptations of the beloved game series. There is no denying the ripples of excitement caused by this announcement, however, made even more legitimate by the fact that this isn’t brand new. It is, in fact, progress.

hulu-logo1In late 2014 it was announced Legendary was developing a TV series based on the popular game franchise. It’s considered a passion project for Evan Dougherty, the director, as well as many other of the team members at Legendary. This week’s signing with Hulu is proof that the Legendary announcement wasn’t just another false lead–apparently they’re confident enough that they’re actually going to produce this show to actually sign a distributor.

Creating a movie or series around a video game isn’t nearly as strange of a concept as it was when the Mysteriacs first proposed it. It’s not strange at all, given the influx of movies based on everything from amusement park rides to popular board games. The fact that the Myst world already contains a compelling story simply begs for it to be dramatized and expanded. The real mystery is why it’s taken this long to actually come to fruition.

Cyan says they will be creating a companion game to go with the new show. Everyone seems to agree that they want to challenge the definition of storytelling, and do something as unique and creative as the original game. Cyan is also set to release their new game, Obduction at the end of this year. Obduction was a Kickstarter success, and the first time that the Miller brothers have worked together on a project since Riven, the original sequel to Myst. With all these new project announcements it appears that Cyan is poised to emerge from a decade-long period of obscurity, just in time to embrace the new virtual gaming reality, and stun the world with creative brilliance once again.


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