Chloé Zhao has gone from intimate dramas in the American West to massive Marvel blockbusters, and now she’s entered the world of gaming. Kind of. The Oscar winner has teamed up with video game publisher Blizzard to direct a live-action trailer for their upcoming video game “Diablo IV,” set to release in two weeks.
The trailer, which Zhao co-directed with Kiku Ohe, is set in the video game’s 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, Rogue, and Necromancer — fighting various monsters and ending with a shot of the game’s primary antagonist, the demon Lilith.
“Working with Blizzard, we had the wonderful opportunity to bring the dark, thrilling and imaginative world of ‘Diablo IV’ to life,” 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 right by the fans, honor the game’s rich lores and visceral world-building while evoking the strong emotions the players feel while immersing in the game.”
Created by David Brevik, the “Diablo” franchise is a series of action role-playing games that see players traverse a series of procedurally generated dungeon levels on a quest to kill 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 saw Blizzard launch “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 a few upcoming non-trailer projects in the pipeline. The “Eternals” and “Nomadland” director is attached to a sci-fi western version of “Dracula” for Universal, which has been in the works since 2021. Most recently, she boarded 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 son. Jessie Buckley and Paul Mescal are both in talks to star in the upcoming historical drama.
“Diablo IV” launches on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PCs on June 6. Watch Zhao’s live-action trailer for the game below.