Video game publisher/developer Ubisoft launched a film division last year (titled Ubisoft Motion Pictures), tasked with overseeing the adaptation of its most well-renowned series into feature-length films.
The goal (in essence) is to replicate the successful production model used by Marvel Studios with its comic book properties – resulting in film adaptations that satisfy the fiercely loyal fanbase, which is generally a difficult demographic to please. Furthermore, Ubisoft hopes to shatter the stereotype that movies based on video games… well, simply cannot be good, even on the occasions where they perform well at the box office (see: the Resident Evil series).
Progress is currently being made on a (3D?) feature based on Ubisoft’s extremely popular Splinter Cell franchise (a.k.a. Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell). The latest report from Deadline indicates that Paramount is on the verge of locking down a deal to back the project, on which Ubisoft will retain creative control.
Such a deal might prove to be better for all concerned parties, considering that Paramount’s been under fire of late for its (mis)handling of established properties. To be specific, we’re referring to the much-publicized, eleventh-hour delay of G.I. Joe: Retaliation - and the treatment of the Joe franchise in general for that matter – along with the gestating World War Z adaptation, which is currently undergoing significant reshoots and rewrites.
Splinter Cell revolves around Sam Fisher, a deadly agent (readily identified by his iconic trifocal goggles) who works for the fictional black-ops NSA sub-division, known as Third Echelon. Earlier installments in the (now, decade-old) video game series were more mission-oriented, following Fisher as he employed his stealth training to infiltrate enemy locations and gather intelligence. However, in later games, the protagonist ended up stepping away from Third Echelon and going undercover (for personal reasons). The source games have also given rise to a Splinter Cell novel tie-in series (for more on Splinter Cell, visit our sister site, Game Rant).
That’s all to say: there’s certainly potential for Splinter Cell to be translated into a lucrative movie franchise, with Fisher being a great role for any actor looking to establish their action star chops. Ubisoft’s active role in the project offers fans assurance that the series will NOT be given an unnecessary makeover as it is re-fashioned for the film medium. Of course, the quality of the final product will also depend heavily on who is eventually hired to write and/or direct the movie…
We will continue to keep you up to date on the status of the Splinter Cell movie as more information is released.