Chloé Zhao made the leap from intimate dramas in the American West to blockbuster Marvel blockbusters, and now she’s entered the world of gaming. Guy. The Oscar winner has teamed up with video game publisher Blizzard to direct a live-action trailer for their upcoming video game ‘Diablo IV’, which is due out in two weeks.
The trailer, which Zhao co-directed with Kiku Ohe, is set in the video game world of Sanctuary, the realm of humans constantly caught in the middle of the battles between heaven and hell. The trailer features actors portraying the game’s five playable classes – Barbarian, Sorcerer, Druid, Thief, and Necromancer – battling various monsters and ending with a shot of the game’s main antagonist, the demon Lilith.
“Working with Blizzard, we have had the wonderful opportunity to bring to life the dark, exciting and imaginative world of ‘Diablo IV,'” Zhao said in a statement. “’Diablo’ fans are very passionate, and many have been with the game for over two decades. We want to do the right thing for the fans, to honor the game’s rich lore and visceral world-building by evoking the strong emotions players feel as they immerse themselves in the game.
Created by David Brevik, the ‘Diablo’ franchise is a series of action RPGs that see players traverse a series of procedurally generated dungeon levels in a quest to slay the titular antagonist, the demon lord of terror. The first game launched in 1997, and the first two sequels followed in 2000 and 2012. Last year, Blizzard launched Diablo Immortal, an MMORPG extension of the series. The franchise overall is one of Blizzard’s most critically acclaimed and has sold over 24 million copies worldwide.
Zhao has some upcoming non-trailer projects in the works. The ‘Eternals’ and ‘Nomadland’ director is attached to a sci-fi western take on ‘Dracula’ for Universal, which has been in the works since 2021. Most recently, she embarked on an adaptation of Maggie O’Farrell’s novel ‘Hamnet ,” which focuses on the marriage between William Shakespeare and his wife Anne Hathaway and the death of their only child. Jessie Buckley and Paul Mescal are both in talks to star in the next historical drama.
“Diablo IV” will launch on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC on June 6th. Check out Zhao’s live-action trailer for the game below.