Longtime YouTuber Mark “Markiplier” Fischbach has revealed that he is directing and starring in an adaptation of Iron Lung, last year’s breakout indie horror game from Dusk developer David Szymanski. Markiplier has uploaded a teaser trailer of the project to his YouTube channel.
Szymanski’s most famous creation, Dusk, is one of the tent pole entries of the recent retro shooter renaissance. 2022’s Iron Lung, meanwhile, shares a similar retro rendering aesthetic but goes for more of a “claustrophobic horror” vibe than a “sliding around at 60mph serving both barrels to cultists” one. You play as the sole crewmember of the titular Iron Lung, a windowless submarine under an ocean of blood. You have to navigate this alien seafloor with the help of various analogue instruments and a grainy, black and white camera mounted to the exterior of the sub while something stirs out there in the rusty depths.
Markiplier, meanwhile, uploaded a full let’s play of the game last year. If the fact that he’s making a movie out of the thing didn’t clue you in, the YouTuber loved it, declaring, “That was excellent, that was incredible; I really loved that experience” at the end of the playthrough and praising Iron Lung’s pervasive sense of dread. This isn’t Markiplier’s first experiment with more narrative, cinematic content either—he’s previously produced the series “In Space with Markiplier.”
The movie’s teaser begins with a shot of the chunky, low-fi interior of the in-game submarine while a voice crackles through on a loudspeaker describing the hull integrity of the submarine and conditions outside. It cants to the side, as if it were sinking, before the camera reaches the floor and transitions to a real-life mockup of the same set.
Back in February, Szymanski pretty much just tweeted an announcement of the project: “This summer. Starring Markiplier as John Iron Lung and Jacksepticeye as The Fish. Soundtrack by [Dusk and Doom Eternal composer Andrew Hulshult].” It was the perfect non-reveal, because it scans as a classic shitpost. Well, Markiplier and Hulshult are in, but YouTuber Jacksepticeye and a summer release window remain unconfirmed.
This summer.Starring Markiplier as John Iron Lung and Jacksepticeye as The Fish.Soundtrack by @AndrewHulshult https://t.co/39TBQIMiVOFebruary 16, 2023
New Blood head Dave Oshry clarified to us that he and the other developers in the collective have no direct involvement in the project, stating that the Iron Lung movie “is all David and Mark,” but (perhaps jokingly) allowing that “if this goes well maybe we can make a Dusk and Faith movie.” That just begs the question of how they’ll handle the cart dogs.
I’m definitely intrigued—as far as videogame adaptations go though, Iron Lung seems like hard mode: a largely one-man, one-room show, something like 127 Hours or That Movie Where Ryan Reynolds Got Buried Alive With a Cell Phone. Maybe it’s not all that different from streaming, once you think about it. In the meantime, Iron Lung itself is well worth a play and also 15% off in celebration of the announcement—that’s right, a far more affordable five bucks down from an overly princely and sumptuous six.