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Film studio buys rights to Terraforming Mars board game

Production company Cobalt Knight has optioned the screen rights to sci-fi strategy board game Terraforming Mars and hopes to adapt the tabletop game for TV

Terrforming Mars screen rights - Terraforming Mars card, Nuclear Zone

The sci-fi strategy board game Terraforming Mars could soon become a movie or TV series, as a production company called Cobalt Knight has optioned the screen rights. According to an exclusive from media outlet Deadline on November 29, the company is “leaning towards a series” that will highlight the game theme’s “existential tropes like class struggle, colonialism, and ecological collapse”. However, a feature film hasn’t been ruled out, either.

Terraforming Mars is a tabletop game set on Mars in the 25th century, and each player represents a massive corporation that wants to turn the big red rock into a habitable planet. While everyone has the same goals (breathable air, liveable temperatures, and enough water), players compete to be the best at advancing humanity’s progress on the planet.

Terraforming Mars is known for its crunchy rules, but Cobalt Knight will more likely be drawing on its setting and core themes for a screen adaptation. “The Terraforming Mars world offers incredible storytelling potential,” Cobalt Knight co-founder Christopher Kaminski tells Deadline. “We are excited to explore the unique human drama that inherently comes along with running a company tasked with literally creating oceans, building prosperous cities, and balancing the ecology of plant and animal life.”

“In many ways, the game exhibits strong parallels to the Age of Discovery when European superpowers were sailing around the globe trying to lay claim to everything they touched,” adds co-founder Christopher Knox. “This makes it the perfect choice for adaptation, using a distinct and hyperrealistic setting to revisit a familiar narrative conflict.”

Terrraforming Mars screen rights - photo of Terraforming Mars board game box

There’s very little information publicly available about Cobalt Knight. A Stage32 profile for its creative executive, Collin Lieberg, says Knox and Kaminski founded the production company in 2020. Cobalt Knight is apparently interested in producing sci-fi, fantasy, and horror features – and Deadline reports it plans to adapt videogames, manga, and comic books as well as board games. There are already a number of horror, thriller, and fantasy projects announced for the studio on IMDb, though little is known about them at this time.

Wargamer has reached out to Cobalt Knight for further details on Terraforming Mars, but it has not received a response yet.

For more tabletop goodness, check out our guides to the best strategy board games. Or, y’know, you could jump right into the best board games, like, ever.