The World of Darkness line of tabletop roleplaying games is being developed into a shared universe of movies and television shows. Eric Heisserer, the showrunner of Netflix's Shadow and Bone series, is developing a shared universe entertainment franchise based on World of Darkness, the line of games that includes Vampire: The Masquerade, Mage: The Ascension, and Werewolf: The Apocalypse. Heisserer is working with Christine Boylan, a writer/producer of TV shows such as The Punisher and Constantine. The production company Hivemind, which produced The Witcher and The Expanse, will also be involved in the new project.
"Eric and Christine are among the most extraordinary creators working today," said Hivemind president and co-founder Jason Brown said in a press release, "and they’re also gamers who have played in WOD since it began. It’s a rare opportunity when the connection between storyteller and story runs this deep, and that is the alchemy which has led to many of our favorite and most culturally resonant franchises."
“The World of Darkness story universe is deliberately and unapologetically inclusive and diverse,” added Boylan in the same press release. “It has always made a point of including equal gendered characters, protagonists and antagonists of every race, and representation of all creeds – bringing a female and diverse audience to gaming like nothing prior. Its games and fandom are a place where women, POC, and the LGBTQI community feel welcome and we are very proud to bring these stories to life.”
Vampire: The Masquerade launched the World of Darkness line back in 1991 and quickly became a fan-favorite among tabletop roleplayers. Vampire: The Masquerade focused on the relationships of various vampire clans spread throughout the world as they balanced their ambitions and interpersonal relationships with their never-ceasing hunger for blood. At one point, Vampire: The Masquerade was the second-highest selling tabletop RPG in existence, trailing only Dungeons & Dragons. Like other roleplaying games, World of Darkness has a deep lore and multiple storylines that are ripe to be adapted into a film or TV project.
Surprisingly, this new project isn't the first live-action adaptation of a World of Darkness franchise. In 1996, Fox briefly ran Kindred: The Embraced, a vampire TV show based on Vampire: The Masquerade. That TV show lasted only eight episodes before being cancelled.