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New Myst Film and TV Show Are Coming 25 Years Too Late

Bust out your skorts and your babydoll dresses, we're going back to 1993.

myst computer game

Good news older millennials: the 90s are making a comeback! More specifically, film and television studios are mining video game franchises from that most radical decade to reboot for modern times. Netflix resurrected Carmen Sandiego for an animated series and upcoming movie, Tomb Raider returned to theaters last year. Now, Village Roadshow is attempting to dust off the adventure puzzle game Myst for a new film and television series.

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Myst creators Rand and Robyn Miller have teamed up with Village Roadshow to bring their classic computer game to life. Myst was published in 1993, where players find themselves on Myst Island. Myst was a first-person puzzle-solving game that allowed players to walk through an interactive world, forcing them to unravel the games’ mysterious inner workings. Unlike other games of the time, Myst was designed for adults: there were no rules, no background story, no character development or tangible goals.

The synopsis for the game followed “the primary saga follows Atrus, the grandson of a woman named Anna who sets off a momentous series of events when she discovers a mysterious civilization, the D’ni, in a cavern deep beneath the New Mexico desert. The D’ni possess a unique ability to pen books that connect distant worlds, which serves as the catalyst for the Myst games and novels.”

As a child, this made Myst pretty boring. I remember playing the game at nine years old, only to give up quickly and go back to more narrative-based games like Carmen Sandiego or Oregon Trail. After all, esoteric puzzles just don’t hold a candle to international thievery or dying of dysentery.

The game and its spin-offs were massively successful, selling millions of copies and creating a new genre of gaming. Various Myst films and television series have been in development since the 90s, but none of these attempts ever came to fruition. Which begs the question: why now? Is there still a die-hard following of Mysties out there clamoring for content?

You have to wonder who the audience (if any) would be for a Myst reboot. No one under the age of 30 is familiar with the property, and anyone who grew up or played the game as an adult has likely aged out of the interest range. Compared to other gaming properties that are targeted at kids, like Super Mario Bros. or Sonic the Hedgehog, Myst simply doesn’t have the cultural relevancy or cache to merit a re-exploration.

Granted, this could be a project that borrows from Myst in name only, crafting a storyline and characters independent of the game. But at that point, couldn’t an island adventure film or series stand on its own? How much name recognition is Myst bringing to the table at this point?

This strikes me as another uncreative attempt to reboot a franchise that is no longer relevant. Consider the latest Shaft film, which bombed last weekend at the box office coming in at 11th place. Or 2015’s stylish The Man From U.N.C.L.E., a title entirely irrelevant to anyone under 50.

So often, it seems that these reboots are handpicked by film executives and producers in their 50s and 60s, who are trying to revive properties that lack the brand recognition or fan base outside of their own age group. But maybe I’m wrong. If you’re pumped about a Myst reboot, tell me why in the comments. In the meantime, I’ll keep waiting patiently for the gritty R-rated Monkey Island movie of my dreams.

monkey island


(via /Film, image: Brøderbund)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.

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