El Paso, Elsewhere, a Max Payne-inspired shooter about keeping your vampire ex-lover from destroying the world, is being made into a movie

2 months ago 94
El Paso, Elsewhere key art - man in a trenchcoat firing dual pistols (detail)
(Image credit: Strange Scaffold)

The Max Payne movie really sucked. It sucked so bad that I can't remember a thing about it even though I'm pretty sure I watched it, a bit of selective amnesia that I assume is my brain protecting me from the trauma of seeing my beloved Max done so dirty. But that's not keeping the team behind El Paso, Elsewhere from taking a run at the big screen: A Variety report says the Max Payne-inspired indie shooter is being made into a movie of its own.

LaKeith Stanfield, known for his work in Get Out, Sorry to Bother You, Uncut Gems, Knives Out, and Judas and the Black Messiah—for which he earned an Academy Award nomination—is in talks to star in the film, according to the report. Film and television production company Di Bonaventura Pictures, best known for the Transformers and GI Joe films, is signed to produce.

Max Payne—the game, not the film, which despite watching some trailers and clips remains a big blank spot on my memory—has some weird stuff going on, but El Paso, Elsewhere dives much, much deeper into those waters. From the Steam page:

Hunt werewolves, fallen angels, and other damned creatures in a vivid slow motion love letter to action classics. Fight your way through a reality-shifting motel, floor by bloody floor. Save the victims of Draculae, lord of the vampires. Destroy the villain you loved—even if it means dying yourself.

Initial reaction? That could be very cool. I'm envisioning something like Daniel Baldwin's character from John Carpenter's Vampires on a redemption arc through Control's Oldest House, which is almost certainly not what it's going to be. Whatever's cooking, that's a hell of a setup. 

Here's the El Paso, Elsewhere story trailer from 2023.

Strange as it is, El Paso, Elsewhere was very well received: It was nominated for Best Indie Game at the 13th New York Game Awards and Outstanding Achievement for an Independent Game at DICE, and holds a "very positive" use rating on Steam. 

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PC Gamer contributor Dominic Tarason likewise gushed about the game, calling it "one of the boldest, freshest games" of 2023.

"It is a modern gothic love story, with gut-wrenchingly good writing and voice acting carrying a script that would be overwrought in any other context," he wrote. "It is a heartfelt and personal dive into the world of bad breakups and cycles of abuse, accompanied by a huge high-energy soundtrack (80+ songs, all bangers) including an entire bespoke horror-themed hip-hop album.

"This mashup feels like a disaster in the making, like injecting the most philosophically resonant moments of Disco Elysium into a classic Quake deathmatch then bunny-hopping and rocket-jumping your way to self-realization. It sounds like a joke. It absolutely should not work. But it does."

Commenting on the announcement of the El Paso, Elsewhere film, director and Strange Scaffold founder Xalavier Nelson Jr (also a past PC Gamer contributor) said, "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH"

LAKEITH STANFIELD DI BONAVENTURA STRANGE SCAFFOLD EL PASO ELSEWHERE MOVIE EL PASO, ELSEWHERE MOVIE IS HAPPENING AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

(Image credit: Xalavier Nelson Jr)

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.

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