Activision Blizzard's live-action Call of Duty movie may recruit Sicario 2: Soldado's director. Hollywood is obsessed with franchises and cinematic universe like never before. With several studios looking for new franchises of their own, many have turned to video game adaptations to do just that. Unfortunately, the "video game curse" has yet to be truly broken, but it hasn't stopped studios from lining up more attempts. One of the biggest untapped IPs is Call of Duty, which has been in development for a theatrical showing for many years.
Activision Blizzard took the initiative to launch a film studio of their own and immediately set their sights on bringing their popular shooter to the big screen. The studio's co-presidents have teased their hope for a "Marvel-esque" universe based on Call of Duty, but they've yet to even get the first film off the ground.
The status of Call of Duty just got a big update with Variety reporting Sicario 2: Soldado director Stefano Sollima is in negotiations to direct. Sollima has a long history in television but also has feature film experience with A.C.A.B. and Suburra. However, it looks as though Soldado will be his big break and it's possible Blizzard's already seen close to the final product as they move towards making this deal.
If it is Sollima's work on Soldado that drew Blizzard's interest, it could also be an indication of their vision. While they compared the hope for a sprawling franchise to Marvel, they could (and likely should) take a much more serious, grounded, and brutal approach. The first trailer for Soldado solidified that Sollima was matching the look, feel, and violence Denis Villeneuve infused in first film, so hopefully he can bring some of that over to Call of Duty.
The deal is not yet official, but should it close, it will mark a big step forward for the project. The movie currently has a draft written by Kieran Fitzgerald (Snowden), who will stay onboard and further develop with Sollima. There are no plot details available at this time, so there's no telling what era of Call of Duty the first movie will tackle. The video game series has explored several different points in time. World War II, Modern Warfare, and Black Ops have all been popular directions for the franchise, but the decision to go back to WWII more recently paid off big. Considering that is where the franchise began on consoles, they could look to do the same on the big screen.
Call of Duty is currently in development but does not have a release date.