Last year, the internet and gamers went wild over Stray, a platformer about a lone cat wandering around a futuristic city. Now, Annapurna’s animation studio is actively developing an animated film based on 2022’s most famous cat game.
Stray was first announced during the 2020 PS5 reveal event, and it immediately went viral due to the fact that people online like cats. Oh, and the game—which stars a cute cat—looked very nice. In our review of Stray, former Kotaku traitor writer Ari Notis called the game a “deeply profound meditation on what it means to be alive,” and praised its urban exploration through dense environments. Anyway, a “profound” experience starring a cat in a robot city sounds like it could make for a pretty good movie, which is probably why it’s becoming a movie.
On Tuesday, Entertainment Weekly exclusively revealed that Annapurna Animation—the animated films division of Annapurna—is developing a feature film based on Stray. According to EW, this is just one of many upcoming films from the studio, following the success of its first feature on Netflix, Nimona.
“This is a game that’s all about what makes us human, and there are no humans in it,” Annapurna Animation boss Robert Baird said.
“It’s a buddy comedy about a cat and a robot, and there’s such a hilarious dynamic. So, there’s comedy inherent in this, but there’s not one human being in this movie. 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. How did they pull that off, and how are we going to pull that off in the movie?”
Baird told EW that even though it at times feels “impossible” to recreate that point of view in a film, they have to as its “essence of the game” a key to its popularity.
Why Annapurna picked Stray for its first game-to-film adaptation
According to the folks at Annapurna Animation, the company has plans to adapt other Annapurna Interactive indie hits into movies, though stopped short of telling the EW which other games were on the table.
However, Annapurna Animation’s other head honcho, Andrew Millstein, did explain Stray was picked first for adaptation because it is just “wildly popular.”
“People engage in the game for a variety of reasons, and I think for us at Annapurna, working with different creative people, it’s a puzzle,” explained Millstein. “What is it about this game that is so popular? Then the question is, how do you adapt a game into longform 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.”
No specific release window was given for Stray’s feature film adaptation, nor was it announced if the film will come to Netflix or other streamers first, or if it will be a theatrical release.
While you wait for Stray the film, you can always play Stray the game, which is currently out on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC. Or don’t.