Dredge, the vibes-heavy indie hit about fishing on a sea of otherworldly horrors, is being made into a movie

Dredge Abyssal and Hadal fishing - a guy driving a boat
(Image credit: Team17)

Some videogames are obvious candidates for big-screen translations, and some are not. The fishing-horror game Dredge, I think, falls into the latter category, but guess what? A Variety report says a movie based on Dredge is now in the works.

It's not that Dredge isn't a good game. It is in fact very good. We gave it our "Best Setting" award for 2023: Features producer Mollie Taylor said it "has the most immaculate vibes of any game" she'd played that year. "By day it's a relaxing and serene fishing game, but once the sun sets it turns into an unsettling realisation of how isolated your tiny boat is on those big dark waters. Dredge plays to that polarity wonderfully, crafting a delightfully spooky world that has my usual horror-averse self desperate to dig deeper into its mysteries."

The issue is that vibes are what it's all about: You go fishing and, if you're not careful, you wind up in a "brilliantly unnerving" world of Lovecraft-flavored unpleasantness. That could serve as an effective framework for a creepy horror flick, but there's not exactly a lot of plot and characters in the game to build a movie around.

On the other hand, Dredge developer Black Salt Games has partnered with production company Story Kitchen to make the film, and Story Kitchen seems to know a thing or two about turning story-light concepts into full-blown flicks: One of its founders is Dmitri Johnson, the co-producer of the shockingly successful (after some work) Sonic the Hedgehog film. Story Kitchen has also signed deals to make films out of hit games (but thin narrative gruel) including Sifu, Vampire Survivors, and Slime Rancher.

"We are excited to partner with such an experienced studio team to bring the world we created to live action and ignite the imagination of audiences across the globe," Black Salt Games said in a statement. Johnson, the Story Kitchen co-founder, described Dredge as "a captivatingly eerie and profoundly rich story that had us completely hooked from the very beginning!"

This is all very early in the process, so don't expect to be heading off to the theaters to see the Dredge film anytime soon. In fact, things are still at the stage where the traditional "who would you cast" question is being asked:

(Image credit: Black Salt Games (Twitter))

I really have no idea on that one just yet—the best I can come up with off the top of my head is throwing Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson together again for a sort of Lighthouse successor, an idea that'is probably both impractical and ill-conceived. Staff writer Harvey Randall has somewhat stronger feelings about it: He wants to see Nic Cage and Markiplier cast in the film, for reasons he didn't explain and I cannot fathom—another metaphorical mystery of the murky black sea.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.