May 10, 2008 in Business

‘Myst’ might hit the silver screen

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Two Midwest fans have persuaded Spokane’s Cyan Worlds to help them develop a movie based on the legendary world of “Myst” characters and legends.

“Myst,” originally released as a CD-ROM game in 1993, has sold millions of copies and spawned books, a string of sequel games and an ambitious Internet venture called URU, or Myst Online.

Over the years Cyan Worlds has discussed ideas for movies or miniseries based on characters and storylines in “Myst.” But no previous video projects ever met Cyan’s approval or moved forward with the company’s blessing, said Rand Miller, the company’s president.

More than a year ago, Adrian Vanderbosch and Patrick A. McIntire, who live in northern Indiana, sent a proposal to Miller outlining their idea for a film based on “Myst.”

On a Web site, they describe themselves as “Mysteriacs.” The site, at mystmovie.com, provides brief biographical information, noting they’re both 29 and have worked on small independent movie projects.

They later sent Miller a five-minute video that included animated sketches showing their vision of how to tell the story.

That video and the animated scenes convinced Miller and his associates that the two fans had a passion worth assisting, Miller said.

“I’m not sure we have enough energy or expertise to make a ‘Myst’ movie,” he added. “But these two guys put a lot of time and effort into something that’s substantial that we consider really valid.”

Cyan told the two men by phone to move ahead and try to round up others who would back the project.

The two sides have not exchanged any money. Cyan still has all rights to the “Myst” story and would only begin negotiating a movie deal once Vanderbosch and McIntire have moved the project farther along.

Several years ago a production company considered developing a TV miniseries based on “Myst” for the SciFi Channel. Miller said a number of other projects have fallen by the wayside as well. In some cases, Cyan regarded proposed scripts as formulaic and silly.

“Some of them were just atrocious,” he added.

Feature movie ideas typically start with an idea, then generate support as writers, artists and producers become excited about the project. That method of boot-strapping a “Myst” movie would be a challenge but not impossible, Miller said.

“We all know stories of pretty high-end authors who sold rights for books that were shoo-ins for movies. And they sat in development hell forever. So this (project) may have better odds than some of those,” he said.


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