The World of Darkness universe is expanding.
Eric Heisserer, who earned an Oscar nomination for penning 2016’s Arrival, is developing a shared universe based on the games that began life in the 1990s. He will work with Christine Boylan, a writer and producer on TV shows such as The Punisher, Castle and Constantine, alongside production company Hivemind, known for The Witcher and The Expanse. They will work in concert with Paradox Interactive, which has controlled the rights to the franchise since 2015.
World of Darkness launched in 1991 with the tabletop role-playing game Vampire: The Masquerade and expanded to titles such as Werewolf: The Apocalypse, Mage: The Ascension, Orpheus and Hunter: The Reckoning. The games have spawned novels, comics, virtual reality experiences and board and card games. They feature monsters as the protagonists, and earned praise for their complicated themes and making heroes out of outsiders.
“The World of Darkness story universe is deliberately and unapologetically inclusive and diverse,” said Boylan in a statement. “It has always made a point of including equal gendered characters, protagonists and antagonists of every race, and representation of all creeds — bringing a female and diverse audience to gaming like nothing prior. Its games and fandom are a place where women, POC, and the LGBTQI community feel welcome and we are very proud to bring these stories to life.”
Added Heisserer, “The legacy of these stories is way ahead of its time, inviting issues and perspectives other games ignored. This feels like the next step for genre.”
On Friday, Heisserer launched his expansive Netflix series Shadow and Bone, an ambitious adaptation of Leigh Bardugo’s novels. He serves as showrunner.
“Eric and Christine are among the most extraordinary creators working today,” said Hivemind president and co-founder Jason Brown, “and they’re also gamers who have played in WOD since it began. It’s a rare opportunity when the connection between storyteller and story runs this deep, and that is the alchemy which has led to many of our favorite and most culturally resonant franchises.”
Heisserer and Boylan are both repped by Art/Work Entertainment and WME.