A Settlers of Catan Movie is In The Works
No, you don’t need to reread that headline. Yes, it’s true. According to Variety, Sony Pictures is in negotiations to acquire the rights to adapt the popular eurogame Settlers of Catan (now just known as Catan) to be made into a film. In fact, they are hoping to make more than one film out of the game. According to the article, “The studio is fast-tracking the project toward production with the goal of launching a possible franchise.”
OK, let’s be real here for a second. Catan is probably one of the biggest selling board games out there, despite being decades old. It is not only a staple in game stores, but can also be found on the shelves of big box retailers like Target. It was also recently revealed that they are working on a VR version of the board game. So I get it, it’s still a popular game. And my guess here is that someone at Sony thought “what’s the most popular board game out there with gamers?” and immediately arrived at Catan.
But Catan also doesn’t really lend itself to story telling. It’s a eurogame through and through. It’s about using resources to build settlements, roads, and cities. There is no direct conflict and not much in the way of action. I can think of dozens of board games that would lend itself to better stories than Catan. But here we are. Its popularity, combined with the fact that the tabletop gaming industry is still very small compared to other media, means that outsiders are going to pick what’s popular and somewhat well known.
While I may be wrong, I have a hunch that this movie is going to be terrible. We have yet to see a good movie based on a video game (and they’ve been trying for DECADES), so I can’t imagine Catan will fair much better than Battleship did. Although I will admit I did like the Clue movie, but that one is really more of an outlier. Good luck Sony, you are really going to need it.