‘Watch Dogs’ Movie Coming From Ubisoft & Sony Pictures

Published 2 years ago by

Watch Dogs Movie Ubisoft Sony Watch Dogs Movie Coming From Ubisoft & Sony Pictures

It’s no secret why a successful video game franchise is adapted into a live-action film, but in the case of Watch Dogs, the deal can apparently get done before the game even hits store shelves. Today, Ubisoft – publisher of game franchises like Assassin’s Creed, Splinter Cell, and Ghost Recon announced a deal with Sony Pictures and New Regency to bring Watch Dogs to the big screen.

No production or projected release dates were given during the announcement at Gamescom 2013, beyond stating that Ubisoft Motion Pictures would be working with the two partners in adapting what is quickly becoming Ubisoft’s most anticipated new franchise.

Ubisoft has taken it upon themselves to blaze a trail in the tumultuous field of bringing video games to film audiences, and are already forming bonds in the industry. The publisher has already partnered with Sony to bring the Michael Fassbender-starring Assassin’s Creed to theaters, and are still working with New Regency to adapt Splinter Cell with Tom Hardy already on board.

Watch Dogs Game Movie Announced Watch Dogs Movie Coming From Ubisoft & Sony Pictures

But while each of those series required multiple sequels to prove their staying power, Watch Dogs has already generated enough buzz despite its release still being months away. Set in near-future Chicago, the game follows the exploits of hacker Aiden Pearce: a man capable of breaking into every camera, bank account, traffic light, and digital device connected to a city-wide information network.

It’s that all-too-relevant exploration of privacy and technology that president of Production for Columbia Pictures Hannah Minghella claims attracted the studio, and has the makings of a blockbuster:

“The themes and open gameplay of ‘Watch Dogs’ lends itself perfectly to the big screen. The game has intense action and adventure, but the story focuses on information and the control of information, which we think will lead to an exciting thriller. It has tremendous potential as a motion picture and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work closely with Ubisoft’s internal creative team on the development of the project.”

We’re less than shocked to see a deal announced so soon; Ubisoft had made it clear they were looking to make Watch Dogs a cross-media franchise, and a quick look at the company’s upcoming releases reveals that nearly every game is a movie pitch as well (expect to see a deal announced for The Division by 2015).

Take a look at the E3 2013 trailer for Watch Dogs, driving home the point that in today’s world, nobody is anonymous:

But before movie fans declare in one voice that ‘Ubisoft has done it again,’ we’d offer a few words of caution. As our brethren over at Game Rant will attest, the majority of excitement and enthusiasm surrounding Watch Dogs doesn’t have as much to do with the plot (with a style and action sequences already attempted on film) as it does the actual gameplay – something that can’t be adapted to film.

The opportunity to tell an interesting story, or introduce some new blends of gadgetry and real-world implications is certainly present; but without an eye-catching theme or element like Assassin’s Creed, Sony and Ubisoft will have an interesting challenge on their hands. Especially if Watch Dogs receives even a slightly disappointing reception among mass audiences.

What do you think about the movie deal? Does this news hint that Hollywood studios may be changing their minds when it comes to video game adaptations; that a good pitch is a good pitch, not one that must be proven if used for a game first? Sound off in the comments.


Watch Dogs releases this November. No release date for the film has yet been given. For more information, check out Game Rant’s Watch Dogs preview.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Follow Andrew Dyce on Twitter @andrew_dyce
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  1. I recommend Jim Caviezel for the role of the main character. He wouldn’t have to adjust too much, coming from Person of Interest.

  2. Aaron Paul or Paul Walker as Aiden Pierce!
    Well i feel the movie will not be as interesting as AC but still it could deliver a nice punch

    • Even though I am not a huge fan of Edward Norton, I can see him playing the role. He looks like the main character from the game at least.

  3. Game isn’t even out yet and they’re making a movie? If the game is a total bomb are they still gonna go through with the big screen or are they just gonna scrap the whole project right away?

    • The game isn’t out yet and it’s already *not* a bomb – Ubisoft are very proud of their pre-orders. Don’t forget that Watch Dogs was the first taste of next-gen power. A huge number of people are picking it up with their PS4/Xbox One and next-gen pre-orders for the ‘transitional’ Ubi games like Watch Dogs and Assassin’s Creed IV are out-doing current-gen pre-orders by a long way.

      The reason that only the gameplay has been praised thus far is because, despite the number of trailers released, the story hasn’t been delved into too much. ‘Something’ happened to Aiden Pierce and prompted him to hack into the computers that control everything in Chicago. A group of hackers that already did this publicly say that he is nothing to do with them. Aiden becomes a vigilante, using the internet to defeat baddies. That’s all the story we know, really.

      If the story is decent and the film has a nice, clean CGI augmented-reality-style ‘interface’ showing how whoever-plays-Aiden interacts with the world, I think it could be pretty decent. Sherlock has shown that even if someone that uses a phone all the time, there can still be interesting and entertaining moments.

      • It’s not the internet well it is but to be more accurate it’s a network called Ctos that Aiden has managed to hack into and is using to take control of aspects of the city (In the game you do this by taking over a place similar to the forts in Far Cry 3 allowing you to hack into the area’s Ctos server)

        • It is more of a central operating system which connects the different individual aspects of technology in the city which would be controlled individually to become one and under one system making it easier to catch criminals, detect crimes before it happens and more. The problem is that if someone were to hack it, it would cause wide scale panic and put the hacker in the seat of the controller. If you want a history lesson on ctOS in real life and how watch dogs could happen in real life comment YES after this comment

  4. Aren’t they working on an Assassin’s Creed script/movie? Ubi’s first movie with their new studio. They need to dip their toe before diving in.

  5. Am I the only one who thinks a movie of how Andrew Ryan founded/ran/destroyed Rapture would be pretty good, if done right?

    • You might see some of that in Bioshock Infinite’s Burial at Sea DLC, which takes place in a slightly alternate Rapture… I think. Time travel hurts my brain. We’ve seen glimpses of the glory days of Rapture and the audio diaries over the first two games give a pretty clear picture of what went wrong.

      Unfortunately, a Bioshock movie would apparently be too expensive to make given the niche market for a videogame-based R-rated ‘niche’ film. On top of that, the story’s twist is fairly well known. Kinda spoils it. Unless you were one of the people that noticed that ‘it’ kept popping up throughout the story…

  6. *yawn*

  7. Why do I think this is gonna be horrible? They are already making it befre it even comes out, or before any kind of recepiton from the audience.

    Hey weren’t they working on the Assasin’s Creed movie? WHat’s with that? No update on it ever since Fassy mentioned he would star in it. I hope he leaves, he would have better things to do.

  8. The moment I read what the game would be about, I immediately thought it would make for a great movie.
    Looks like Ubisoft’s on a role!

  9. Ethan Hawe for main role!

  10. I think Hollywood might be starting to learn that of you don’t deviate too far from the source material that comic books and video games are a treasure trove of untold stories… and unearned dollars.

  11. I am a big fan of the mortal instruments series of books and was excited when I heard the books were being transformed into a film. However after waiting over a year, you can imagine my disappointment after watching the film and finding every scene totally inaccurate to the book.

    I do not understand how authors can allow their books to be trashed like this, as if the director or script writers had ‘not even read the books at all’.

    I hope that if sony decide to make another film they seriously think about comments from the ‘book fans’ and stick to the ‘facts in the book’before attempting a sequel. if they had stuck to the book, the film would have been just as big as twilight, but instead it was just another film and they might have given it another name.

  12. Am I the only one who thinks that TOM CRUISE WOULD BE PERFECT FOR THE ROLE? He’s got the voice the looks and, judging from all his other movies, can definitely pull off the personality.

  13. Sophia Bush = Clara Lille

  14. Chris Evans as Aiden Pearce

  15. I think Thomas Jane would be a good Aiden Pierce in the watchdog movie.

  16. Why do this Why not Assassins Creed Assassins creed would be so much cheaper than this with the lack of explosions

  17. Christian Bale would be the perfect match for Aiden in a movie

  18. Its been so long and there’s no update on the Watch Dogs movie! Im getting very worried I wish Ubisoft would just tell us whether they will do it or not. Anyways, I REALLY HOPE THEY DO!!! the movie industry is REALLY lacking in something fresh, original. We had “Black Hat” but that was terrible. I dont understand why everyone thinks Watch Dogs is such a let down. The story of Watch Dogs was the best ive ever seen in a game. Please Ubisoft! Make this movie!

  19. i recommend tom cruise for the main character. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: WATCH DOGS HAHAHA