Everyone’s Favorite Feline Video Game Is Being Adapted for the Big Screen · The Wildest

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Everyone’s Favorite Feline Video Game Is Being Adapted for the Big Screen

Stray is going to become an animated film, thanks to Annapurna Animation.

by Nisha Gopalan
September 18, 2023
Cat Video Game Stray to Get Animated Film Adaptation From Annapurna Studios.
Courtesy of Annapurna

If you’re someone who’d rather hang out with cats than people, we have some good news for you. Stray, your absolute favorite feline-adventure video game, is on track to become an animated film from Annapurna Animation. 

The rapturously reviewed Stray, which has picked-up numerous gaming awards, was developed by BlueTwelve Studio and published by Annapurna’s interactive division. It’s a heartfelt narrative that follows the vivid, post-apocalyptic journey of a cat after they fall through a hole and land in the ruins of an underground city. The Tabby navigates this expanse — in which no humans exist anymore, but too many nefarious robots and mutant bugs do — with an AI drone buddy. Think Lady and the Tramp meets The Last of Us (the latter also based on a video game).

From game to big screen

“This is a game that’s all about what makes us human, and there are no humans in it,” Robert Baird, co-head of Annapurna Animation, told . “It’s a buddy comedy about a cat and a robot, and there’s such a hilarious dynamic.” He explains that the movie will assume a bummer-free “ hopepunk” tone, with its heroes on an optimistic quest to fight for positive change. “If we are going to do this adaptation justice, this is going to be the first and greatest hopepunk movie that’s ever been made.”

Annapurna Pictures, the company behind films, such as Vice and Hustlers, debuted its animated division early this year with Nimona, Netflix’s acclaimed sci-fi adventure about a teenage shape-shifter who joins forces with a knight. The studio is highly motivated to make a hit, especially in light of the runaway success of The Super Mario Bros. Movie, another animated video-game adaptation. To date, it has grossed more than $1.35B internationally, according to Variety. And that bodes well for Stray fans, who want even more cyber-punk cats in their lives.

Fans are already ready for a Stray movie

Not surprisingly, Stray was chosen as Annapurna’s first video game adaptation because of its intense fanbase. “What is it about this game that is so popular?” Andrew Millstein, who heads Annapurna Animation with Baird, told EW. “How do you adapt a game into long-form storytelling that is incredibly respectful to the game itself and the audiences, but then also is film worthy? The process of that is always part of the challenge.”

“I think it’s one of the reasons why the game was incredibly popular, that you are seeing the world through the point of view of an adorable cat,” Baird added. “How did they pull that off, and how are we going to pull that off in the movie? We will, even though sometimes it feels impossible, but we know that’s the essence of the game and the key to telling the story.”

Despite no release date being set, fans are already into the idea of a Stray movie. “I hope they don’t give the cat any dialogue other than his amazing meows [and] other cat noises. One of the things that made the game special was the fact this cat was just a regular cat,” said one fan of the game on Reddit. Added another: “As long as they show him meeting up with his other kitty pals, I’ll be here for this.”

nisha gopalan illustration

Nisha Gopalan

Nisha Gopalan has been a writer/editor for The New York Times, New York magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and NYLON magazines. She currently resides in Los Angeles.

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