1 Production becomes the first Taiwanese company to adapt a locally produced PC game to film with Detention (返校).
Originally created by Red Candle Game from a concept by company co-founder Shun Ting Yao, Detention is a survival horror game set in the 1960’s White Terror era, while Taiwan was under martial law. The game, which incorporates elements of Taiwan mythologies and religions, follows two teenagers who are trapped in a rural high school. While hiding from evil creatures, the two uncover clues about the haunted school.
The game was released last January on online game distributor Steam, followed by a novelization in February. It’s currently ranked the 13th best PC game of 2017 with an average score of 83, according to Metacritic.
The film adaptation will be directed by John Hsu, who has made several award-winning short films, including 2008 short Intoxicant (匿名遊戲), which was screened at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. He is also the founder of AFK Pl@yers, a group that creates machinima movies, or short videos produced using computer graphics from video games. This is Hsu’s feature film debut.
The script for the NT$100 million (US$3.28 million) production is being written by Chien Shih-keng, who wrote The Tag-Along (紅衣小女孩) (and its upcoming sequel) and shared co-writing duties on David Loman (大尾鱸鰻) and Richie Ren’s All You Need is Love (落跑吧愛情). Actress-producer Li Lieh and Aileen Li (Formula 17 十七歲的天空, Young Dudes 騷人, Forêt Debussy 德布西森林) will serve as co-producers. Shun will also serve as a consultant.
The film is expected to go into production later this year for a tentative 2018 release, but Li revealed at the press conference today that only a part of the funding has been secured. The supernatural subject matter probably means that it will not be suitable as a Taiwan-China co-production, even though the White Terror-era setting has been covered in co-production Where the Wind Settles (風中家族). Gameplay videos from the game are available on at least one Chinese video site.
Nationwide auditions will be held for the lead roles.
According to local media, Public Television Service has already obtained the television adaptation rights to the game. However, it’s not known whether PTS will adapt it into a TV film or a series.