‘Driver’ TV Series Lined Up For Binge, The ‘Netflix For Gaming Shows’
When it was announced during E3 2021, Binge–a “Netflix for gaming shows”–appeared to promise a lot, but initially lacked a laundry list of games to create entertainment with. Today, the service has made a huge announcement to start the ball rolling on its vision, introducing a PlayStation classic to its service in the coming months.
In collaboration with Ubisoft Film & Television, Binge has unveiled its plans to bring Driver to life. A live-action take on the driving action series will be produced by Ubisoft in conjunction with Binge’s Allan Ungar and Vincent Talenti, and could be the first of many creative partnerships between the two organizations.
Driver, released for the original PlayStation in 1999, was one of the first true 3D open-world driving games and followed the trials and tribulations of racecar driver turned undercover NYPD detective John Tanner, whose mission was to take down a crime syndicate across Miami, San Francisco, LA, and New York.
It was the brainchild of British developer Reflections Interactive, a Newcastle-based company responsible for the first two Destruction Derby games. The studio would later be acquired by Ubisoft and rebranded as Ubisoft Reflections, before going on to work on series as diverse as Just Dance, Watch Dogs, and The Division.
Driver’s runaway popularity spawned a sequel the following year, though the series has been on hiatus since 2011, following the release of the widely praised Driver: San Francisco on Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, and PC. Ten years on, the TV show’s creators are hoping to recapture some of its magic on the small screen.
Danielle Kreinik, head of television development, Ubisoft Film & Television, said: “We’re always open to new vehicles for storytelling so we’re thrilled to partner with Binge, an exciting new platform that’s uniquely dedicated to creating premium entertainment for gaming fans.
“Our mission at Ubisoft is to bring our games to life in new and exciting ways and create content set in the world, culture, and community of gaming. Working with Binge will allow us to bring a Driver series directly to the audience who is most passionate about seeing this franchise come to life.”
Ungar said the opportunity to adapt Driver with Ubisoft Film & Television is “a dream come true,” adding: “As longtime fans of the franchise, we’re excited to deliver an original, premium, and rich storytelling experience that will take fans and newcomers on a thrilling ride.”
One thing yet to be confirmed by the show’s creators, however, is whether an episode will be dedicated to Driver’s infamous tutorial mission. Let me go on record to say I, for one, demand to see Tanner repeatedly failing to complete a list of tricks in a parking garage in under one minute, while a sardonic onlooker claims he’ll only call on him if he “needs a ride to the grocery store.”