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Heavenly Sword Animated Feature Film Coming in 2014

Brad Foxhoven's Avatar + Posted by Brad Foxhoven on Oct 30, 2013 // Producer

*This movie has not been rated.

Today we’re proud to announce the Heavenly Sword feature film. This is a CG animated film based on the game that originally launched in 2007. The Heavenly Sword film is slated to be released digitally worldwide, as well as theatrically in select global markets, in Spring 2014. The film stars Anna Torv, Alfred Molina, and Thomas Jane.

Heavenly Sword is a dramatic tale of revenge that sees Nariko (Anna Torv), a fiery red-haired heroine, embark on a quest of vengeance against the invading King Bohan (Alfred Molina) and his army. Once considered the failure of a legendary prophecy, Nariko must wield a sword that was ultimately meant for another. This ancient Heavenly Sword, once belonging to a powerful deity, can never be wielded by a mortal without slowly and inevitably killing them. For Nariko, it’s a race against time to avenge her clan before her life is irreparably overtaken by the omnipotent Heavenly Sword.

Heavenly Sword Feature Film, 01Heavenly Sword Feature Film, 02

I think it’s important to understand where Heavenly Sword stands for us, as many of you know Blockade Entertainment from our Ratchet & Clank movie announcement. In fact, Heavenly Sword came before Ratchet & Clank, and ultimately started everything for us. You see, we had an idea we presented to Sony a few years back. We asked them to allow us to use the existing game assets and development materials from a Sony game to make a movie. Sony could pick the franchise we would adapt, as we loved all of the franchises within PlayStation — how could we go wrong?

They chose Heavenly Sword.

We’re fortunate to work with the Heavenly Sword game franchise. Andy Serkis, along with Ninja Theory, had created an extensive library of material to access and use in the film. In addition, Anna Torv, while a relatively unknown actress when voicing the video game, has grown tremendously in popularity thanks to her role on Fringe.

Initial feedback on early cuts of the film encouraged Blockade, Sony, and the film’s financial partners to take the film to the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year with TriCoast WorldWide. The reaction to the film was very positive, with multiple buyers looking to release the film theatrically in their markets.

After a few exhausting years, working with a very small crew, the film is done and we can tell the world about it. We hope you enjoy it!

//Add Your Own

74 Comments   10 Replies

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1

+ Gorvi on October 30th, 2013 at 9:32 am said:

This looks really good, hopefully we’ll see another game in the franchise at some point too. :)


2

+ TomHoang on October 30th, 2013 at 9:34 am said:

I’m glad this IP still lives. One of my all time favorite games.


3

+ Elvick_ on October 30th, 2013 at 9:37 am said:

I think it looks great.

I hope that the franchise lives on after this movie, with perhaps a sequel on PS4? PS Vita? Something. I don’t really care. I just don’t want it to be dead after this. The characters are far more interesting than most in the genre.


4

+ KidCommando on October 30th, 2013 at 9:40 am said:

Great news! Looking forward to checking it out.

Hopefully this will improve the chances of a sequel happening.


5

+ nbnt on October 30th, 2013 at 9:42 am said:

Heavenly Sword 2 pls :(


6

+ Vinland_Krauser on October 30th, 2013 at 9:42 am said:

“We asked them to allow us to use the existing game assets and development materials from a Sony game to make a movie.”
Ah, so THAT’s why it looks so much like the game. Can we expect some significant changes to the story or will it follow the same events that we already played back then?
Also, no Andy Serkis as Bohan? :(


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    + Brad Foxhoven on October 30th, 2013 at 12:41 pm said:

    Sorry about Andy – his schedule didn’t match up with our production. We think Alfred does an amazing job in the film though. As for the story – we alter one element. There is a “chosen one”, and Nariko has to get to him before King Bohan. What happens when they meet up is a great moment in the film. I won’t spoil it for you. :)


7

+ YungShep on October 30th, 2013 at 9:42 am said:

would really love a sequel, granted understanding what happens when you wield the sword, i still would hate to be without a part 2. maybe a different story arch?????????????????


8

+ Elvick_ on October 30th, 2013 at 9:44 am said:

@6: IGN had an interview that addresses both. You should go check it out, I’d link to it, but then I’d have to wait for moderation. *eye roll*


9

+ KuroiHanshou on October 30th, 2013 at 9:46 am said:

Yes! Tbh I’ve never logged in to comment but I’m so psyched about this. Such a great IP, so happy to see it’s gotten some love, six years after release.


10

+ AriesWarlock on October 30th, 2013 at 9:48 am said:

Great news! Always eager for some more Nariko. Please, keep giving us more news!


11

+ SarshelYam on October 30th, 2013 at 9:48 am said:

I imagine the changes in performance are something we’ll never be privy to. Serkis was a special level of crazy as Bohan…and I’m unsure how Molina will translate, or if the character is being reduced from the role we saw in the game, less nutty, more possessed and tyrannical.

So happy to hear Anna Torv returns, but I have to ask. You mention digital and theatrical releases, but nothing for those of us considered as physical junkies. Any chance you might do a limited run on Blu-Ray? I think that would be an amazing buy, especially if you include some bonus content like, perhaps, the animated short films that released prior and through the games release?


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    + Brad Foxhoven on October 30th, 2013 at 12:44 pm said:

    Yes, we really wanted Andy (as I address in another comment thread). The schedules just didn’t work on our favor, though we love Alfred’s performance and hope you do too. No matter what, its the same Bohan character in tone and performance. To your other question – this will also be on Blu-Ray and DVD. Thx!


12

+ SarshelYam on October 30th, 2013 at 9:49 am said:

…I don’t mean to imply Molina isn’t capable or accomplished. He’s great! Though I do feel we’re being treated to a very different Bohan in this version.


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    + Brad Foxhoven on October 30th, 2013 at 12:44 pm said:

    Yes, Alfred does bring a slightly different take on it, but equally disturbing (in a good way).


13

+ AriesWarlock on October 30th, 2013 at 9:49 am said:

Also, the mandatory: please, make HS 2!!


14

+ Robbie_G_lrish on October 30th, 2013 at 9:50 am said:

Just as long as we get some Twing Twang… Kai was my favourite character in that game. Is her voice actor returning?


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    + Brad Foxhoven on October 30th, 2013 at 12:47 pm said:

    Sadly the actor who played Kai is not in the film (Lydia Baksh). That said, we think the actress who came on for the role (Ashleigh Ball) does an amazing job. Make sure to stay to the end of the film for a cool moment with Kai.


15

+ tonydamiani on October 30th, 2013 at 9:50 am said:

Wow! I can’t believe this! This is awesome. Hopefully the movie boost up the popularity of the game and maybe Sony make a sequel. It’s one of my all time PS3 favorite games.


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    + Brad Foxhoven on October 31st, 2013 at 4:07 pm said:

    Love that – we agree! :)


16

+ wocyob on October 30th, 2013 at 9:52 am said:

Man iv been waiting many years to hear something about Heavenly Sword. Ugh hate knowing I now have to wait for this :(


17

+ Heisem on October 30th, 2013 at 9:54 am said:

Heavenly Sword 2!!!!


18

+ spoonTRex on October 30th, 2013 at 9:54 am said:

I hope there’s a blu-ray release of this, and not just a digital download. :)


19

+ Xcaligamer1 on October 30th, 2013 at 9:58 am said:

had lost hope for anything heavenly sword, still want a sequel but this is nice. canceled ps4 pre order for financial reasons but if HS2 were a launch title then cancellation would’ve been out of the question


20

+ ixnine on October 30th, 2013 at 10:01 am said:

OMG I CANT WAIT! I’ve been hungry for more Heavenly Sword!


21

+ DRAQ-520 on October 30th, 2013 at 10:04 am said:

Hey that’s great, however I’d love to see Heavenly Sword in the PSN store with some trophy support alongside Folklore, both great games that I’ve been looking like crazy around my city, but can’t find :/


22

+ Ryumoau on October 30th, 2013 at 10:18 am said:

Was anyone really screaming for more Heavenly Sword? It was decent when it first came out but the story wasn’t exactly the most memorable.


23

+ saab01 on October 30th, 2013 at 10:20 am said:

This was one of my Favorite games from 07 I love that a movie is being made. This game really went under the radar and tons of people have probably never even played it. I am sure this movie will be good just like the game was.


24

+ langdon on October 30th, 2013 at 10:23 am said:

Awesome! Will the film cover much of the incredible back story that was originally told through the 5-part animated series?

I’m also very interested in more Heavenly Sword games. :)


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    + Brad Foxhoven on October 30th, 2013 at 12:49 pm said:

    We our true to the game’s mythology with one exception – there is a “true wielder” who was born, and Nariko has to deal with that bit of news in the film. We felt it added a great moment for Nariko, and increased the drama and pressure on her heroic journey.


25

+ Joey-Wan on October 30th, 2013 at 10:25 am said:

I have three issues with this:

1.) No Andy Serkis.

2.) This is a great property. Why isn’t Sony Imageworks doing the animation?

3.) Games are better than movies. Why aren’t these resources being put into a PS4 sequel?

Sorry, I’m out.


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    + Brad Foxhoven on October 30th, 2013 at 12:51 pm said:

    Sorry about Andy – I mentioned why he isn’t involved on other posts.

    Sony Imageworks is a busy place, with different types of films being produced there. We proposed the idea of this film to SCEA, and received their blessing to move ahead.

    I can’t speak to what games are made. Rest assured, there are many Heavenly Sword fans in the halls of Sony.


26

+ Figboy on October 30th, 2013 at 10:30 am said:

That CG looks rough as heck, but I absolutely love Heavenly Sword, and I hope this is the start of a rebirth for the franchise on the PS4 in the future (and while you’re at it Sony, how about making a Folklore for the Vita? Reboot or remake, I don’t care. I want more Folklore and a Heavenly Sword 2!)


27

+ diablo103 on October 30th, 2013 at 10:32 am said:

AMAZING NEWS!!! I hope this means that Heavenly Sword will make a return at some point on the PS4!


28

+ diablo103 on October 30th, 2013 at 10:39 am said:

On a side note after viewing the trailer it appears as though the musical score will be different…Please incorporate the music from the original soundtrack. Thanks!


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    + Brad Foxhoven on October 30th, 2013 at 12:52 pm said:

    We added a new soundtrack that would match the type of film (and story) being made. We loved the game’s musical score as well.


29

+ KazeEternal on October 30th, 2013 at 10:42 am said:

3 Questions:

1) Does this open up the possibility of Heavenly Sword 2 for PS4 if this does well and rekindles interest in the series?

2) How much respect is being given to the source material which holds a special place for us fans of the series? (Andy Serkis as Bohan etc. Nariko (Anna Torv-confirmed), Bohan(Andy Serkis), Kai (Lydia Baksh), and Flying Fox(Steven Berkoff) voice actors need to return) Dialog updates are fine so long as the spirit of the character is maintained.

3) Visual upgrades being done? While the original game looked great it is dated by what has come after it. I feel the images above have lost a lot of visual fidelity when compared to the original games character models. What happened?

I look forward to seeing the end work, but I’m hoping this isn’t a cheap money grab. I really loved this game for all of its flaws and was hoping to see Nariko or even Kai continue the original tale.


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    + Brad Foxhoven on October 30th, 2013 at 12:57 pm said:

    We can’t speak to the game’s development, but I would imagine if the film does well it would have an impact.

    We brought in some new actors for a variety of reasons (timing, availability, etc). As mentioned on other posts, the story is consistent with the game with the exception of the existence of the “chosen one”.

    As for the film – this is an independent film, with a limited budget. We were fortunate to have worked with great game assets and artwork. We pushed to improve their quality across the board. If the fidelity seems off, it could be that you are not watching the video in HD. All assets were improved, so each of them should appear better than in the game, not worse. :)

    If anything this is a labor of love from a small team who were fans of the game franchise. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did in making it.


30

+ FearMonkey on October 30th, 2013 at 10:47 am said:

Add me to the list of people who desperately want a Heavenly Sword 2. :(


31

+ Artemisthemp on October 30th, 2013 at 10:56 am said:

Heavy Sword 2 coming exclusive to PS4


32

+ Gamerzlimited on October 30th, 2013 at 11:22 am said:

Will the voice actor for Nariko be the one from Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale? Just wondering because they couldn’t get the original VA from the Heavenly Sword game.


33

+ FilooGaroo on October 30th, 2013 at 11:38 am said:

I will bocoy all Heavenly Sword stuffs until TROPHIES are added to the first AMAZING game…


34

+ AizawaYuuichi on October 30th, 2013 at 11:56 am said:

Wow. Just wow.

Heavenly Sword was actually the reason I finally bought a PS3, first game played and completed. I’ve been very disappointed in the lack of a sequel in the years since then. Hopefully this will revitalize the franchise and we might finally get one of two things, a trophy patch for the game, or a sequel. Or heck, why not both?!

Will definitely go see this in a theatre if it opens in my area. Tired of Seattle getting all the small film releases, 200 miles away. The Portland-Metro area in Oregon has a decent-sized anime/gamer enclave as well. It’d be nice to get some recognition with a local release like this.

And if you release it on Blu-Ray after the theatrical run, I’ll pick that up for sure. :)

@ Elvick_: Pro-tip, friend. If you leave off the first part of the URL (http://www.) and just link the site name and everything after that, it avoids the moderation filter because it doesn’t recognize it as a link. Feel free to link us that article you were talking about.


35

+ AizawaYuuichi on October 30th, 2013 at 11:57 am said:

Hahaha, and my last comment just got moderated, even though there’s no actual link in it… oh, the irony…


36

+ OahuGrown on October 30th, 2013 at 12:09 pm said:

mmm i smell a sequel in the future…HS 2 FOR PS4!!! Who is with me?


37

+ hevela on October 30th, 2013 at 12:09 pm said:

It’s me, or the game has better graphics?
BTW Andy Serkis was great as Bohan, have nothing against Alfred Molina, but I liked Andy better.


38

+ tusunami on October 30th, 2013 at 12:14 pm said:

This will be most welcomed indeed followed up by heavenly sword 2 of course.


39

+ Kchow23 on October 30th, 2013 at 12:17 pm said:

Wonder if this boosts the chances of a sequel.


40

+ Rezolution77 on October 30th, 2013 at 12:37 pm said:

I know this game had me starstruck ,
when PS3 had first been displaying it in Game Stop, a few years back.

It can sometimes be much more interesting, to tail behind a heroine. (GoW, DMC, although great)

Look forward to the trailers, and have a good feeling it will be one worth watching.


41

+ Major_Hoare on October 30th, 2013 at 12:37 pm said:

The BIG QUESTION is: will it be as good as the game?


42

+ enano_javi on October 30th, 2013 at 12:56 pm said:

King Bohan just doesn’t seem right… He always sounded like a mad person, not like this all serious and bad guy. Andy Serkis why are you not there helping? :(

For those asking for Andy Serkis, heres IGN’s interview:
-”Our next challenge was Andy Serkis, who not only directed the game’s cinematics, but also played King Bohan in the game. He wasn’t available when we were making the film, so our challenge was how to replace him? Fortunately we were able to bring Alfred Molina aboard.”

Also read the story it will now have:
-”The film follows the overall plot of the game, with one major deviation. In the game you never actually get to see the true “chosen one,” because he was never born. In the film, though, we introduce him—and give Nariko the task of getting the Heavenly Sword to him. This creates a driving element through the second act of the film, and places even more pressure on Nariko when everything falls apart.”

Are you really going with this just because of gender? Thats what made the story interesting for me, the whole game her people hated her cause she was a blasphemy to the legend, and at the end she is the actual savior.


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    + Brad Foxhoven on October 30th, 2013 at 1:00 pm said:

    Appreciate the comments. The twist with the chosen one is just that, a twist. The overall path of Nariko stays the same with this little curveball thrown in. Nariko’s clan is still against her, and she is still the outcast. Thx!


43

+ ngreatshark on October 30th, 2013 at 1:25 pm said:

This is great news, but Im really looking forward to this game getting a proper sequel. I didn’t get a chance to play this until last year and it was easily one of the best produced games on the console, which is amazing since it was a year one game yet still holds up today. Everyone did an excellent job on this game, and my hope the movie captures the games magic. It’s a shame HR isn’t even on PSN.


44

+ Lord_Orpheo on October 30th, 2013 at 1:26 pm said:

Yes, I’ve been looking forward to this since I first read about it. I still believe both “Folklore” & “Heavenly Sword” are two of the best games this gen and would love to see sequels to both.

I’m looking forward to this move though I’m a bit apprehensive concerning the twist of the Chosen One. In the game I was always under the impression that Nariko really was the Chosen One, but that the prophecy of the gender of the Chosen One was really more an assumption because the original wielder of the sword was male. The movie’s twist takes away from the justification and deeper meaning behind the identity of Nariko, BUT I will wait to make a concrete call on this until I see the film. There may be some trickery involved that would still reinforce this theme. ;)

Here’s a question. If this movie does well, do you think you may try to make a “Folklore” movie?


45

+ ngreatshark on October 30th, 2013 at 1:37 pm said:

I wonder what Thomas Jane’s role is in the film


46

+ TLSBill on October 30th, 2013 at 1:46 pm said:

+1 to Orpheo on Folklore & Heavenly Sword. It was funny to see all kinds of games go to the bargain bin early, but those two held their price for a long, long time.

Can’t wait to see this movie, it’s one of those “shut up and take my money!” moments.. Just tell me where and when. It will be great to see Kai again (personal favorite), and I hope she’s still as funny a character. Congratulations!


47

+ M-Easy on October 30th, 2013 at 2:02 pm said:

This is great. HS is one of my all time favorite games. No use your powers of persuasion to get SCEA to make Heavenly Sword 2.


48

+ remanutd5 on October 30th, 2013 at 2:02 pm said:

I hope this leads to Heavenly Sword 2 on ps4 and Heavenly Sword on psvita!!!!! i want to see more of Nariko.


49

+ Kaiser499 on October 30th, 2013 at 2:33 pm said:

Hopefully we get Heavenly Sword 2 for Playstation 4 after this movie.


50

+ xClayMeow on October 30th, 2013 at 2:33 pm said:

If Sony wants to boost Vita sales, they need to make Heavenly Sword 2 a Vita exclusive. That’ll certainly push units!


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