Netflix taps Steve Blackman to write ‘Horizon Zero Dawn’ adaptation

In a nutshell: PlayStation Productions is officially in the preproduction stage of creating a Horizon Zero Dawn series for Netflix. It’s unclear how far along it is, but the program already has a well-known writer and showrunner.

On Thursday, Netflix announced that it had renewed The Umbrella Academy for a fourth season. It also noted that it would be the conclusion of the series. Frankly, it’s nice to see a show close out with a proper ending rather than being run into the ground and canceled because its popularity tanked. However, that was not likely Netflix’s motivation for making Season 4 the last.

The show’s creator Steve Blackman is looking at a pretty full plate, as Netflix has tapped him to work on two other projects. One is a thriller called Orbital, which takes place on the International Space Station. The other is a television series based on Horizon Zero Dawn.

In May, Sony told investors it had greenlit several movies and TV show adaptations of popular PlayStation games. It said one was based on the Horizon universe. As it turns out, it’s not just in the franchise’s universe; it’s an adaptation of Horizon Zero Dawn and features Aloy as the primary character.

“Horizon Zero Dawn is an exceptionally well-crafted game with wonderful characters not often seen in the rank-and-file of the gaming world,” Blackman told Tudum. “Yes, Aloy will be a main character in our story.”

Blackman is co-writing the adaptation with Michelle Lovretta, who worked with him on The Umbrella Academy. Although unconfirmed, Blackman will likely accept additional duties as Zero Dawn’s showrunner and director. He already serves all three roles on Academy.

Fans had speculated that the show would be set 1,000 years before the events in Horizon Zero Dawn. The hopes were to get a glimpse into how the Horizon world came to be ruled by mechanical animals. Now that Blackman has confirmed the show is set in Aloy’s time, the best fans longing for a prequel can hope is that he and Lovretta write in some flashback material.

PlayStation Productions has been busy greenlighting and starting production on well-known PlayStation game adaptations since 2019. So far, the only completed work under the division’s banner is the mediocre movie Uncharted, based (very loosely) on Nathan Drake’s adventures with Victor “Sully” Sullivan.

The next project coming out is an HBO series based on The Last of Us, starring Pedro Pascal (Joel), Gabriel Luna (Tommy), and Bella Ramsay (Ellie). Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin are the show’s principal writers. It is set to air sometime next year.

Peacock’s Twisted Metal should be the next production after TLoU, considering it has already cast Anthony Mackie (John Doe), Stephanie Beatriz (Quiet), Thomas Haden Church (Agent Stone), and Neve Campbell (Raven). Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick have been working on the screenplay, but Sony has yet to hire a director.

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