A musical adaptation of the iconic computer video game The Oregon Trail is in the works from the team behind the recently released Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile.
The news comes following an interview with Collider with filmmakers Will Speck and Josh Gordon. The duo revealed that they have been collaborating with the songwriting team of Pasek and Paul (comprised of Benji Pasek and Justin Paul), with whom they worked on the recently released musical comedy film Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, on a film based on the game.
“People are very protective of their IP as they should be,” Speck said. “These guys have so far been great partners in allowing us to take it and run with it. Also, we’ve made them producing partners, basically.”
As of now, there is no studio attached to the film, although the filmmakers said that they are currently in the process of obtaining the rights. Despite that, the group said that the project is in “active development” and discussed how they’re coming into a project based on a game as dark as The Oregon Trail.
“[The game] always had this dark band of humor running through it, because your chances of dying from everything from dysentery to a cut to anything was … Basically, every move you ended up dying,” Gordon shared. “[We’re] returning a little bit to our roots in comedy, marrying it with the fun of doing a big musical, and also just the ambition of taking that very seriously as well and making a big historical westward expansion epic that’s also about dying from dysentery.”
Originally released in 1971, The Oregon Trail was designed to teach schoolchildren about the realities of 19th-century pioneer life. Instead, it became a sort of cult classic video game and has since been re-released throughout the years, with the latest being a mobile version of the game on Apple Arcade in 2021.