We’ve seen adaptations of everything from books to comics to theme park rides. But how many TV shows can you think of based on paintings? Anyone who looks at the works of Simon Stålenhag knows that his gorgeous illustrations of mechanical creations in mundane Swedish countrysides absolutely need to be seen in motion. But what’s the story that ties them together?
Tales From the Loop wants to be that story.
Tales From the Loop is an Amazon Prime Video original that “explores the mind-bending adventures of the people who live above the Loop, a machine built to unlock and explore the mysteries of the universe.” The results are lots of images that seem to juxtapose nostalgia with futuristic tech. Lots of parents playing with their kids and also robots. It’s like Black Mirror but warmer or Amazon’s own Electric Dreams. However, it is a bit disappointing, if not surprising, to see the special effects budget of a streaming show fail to fully capture the majesty of the original art.
We don’t know exactly what the story will be, but adding narrative to Stålenhag’s digital art isn’t that much of a stretch. Tales From the Loop is also the name of one of his art books that featured a narrative joining the disparate drawings. It even inspired a crowdfunded tabletop role-playing game of the same name.
Tales From the Loop starts streaming on April 3. Cast members include Rebecca Hall and Tyler Barnhardt. Executive producers include Mark Romanek and Matt Reeves, who is also currently working on the next theatrical Batman.