It's a strange, exciting time to be both a film fan and a gamer. Even though conventional wisdom and dozens of cinematic misfires state that video games make for poor material for adaptation, some very respected franchises are currently on track to be made into movies. Among these are Ubisoft's Splinter Cell and Assassin's Creed, both of which feature general brand recognition and up-and-coming stars as headliners.
Now it looks as if Ubisoft is going to adapt yet another one of its video game franchises onto film. The company has apparently begun talks to sell a movie adaptation of its Ghost Recon first-person shooter series.
Indie Wire has reported that Ubisoft has begun shopping a preliminary pitch for a Ghost Recon film to various studios. The software company's Ubisoft Motion Pictures unit definitely wants to bring the military shooter franchise to the big screen as a possible tent-pole project for future Ubisoft properties.
This would not be the first time the Ghost Recon brand has received a major live-action treatment. Last year, Ridley Scott's production company RSA helped create a twenty-minute short film, Ghost Recon Alpha, as part of the promotional campaign for the release of Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (read Game Rant's review). Featuring more-than-decent special effects and interesting cinematography, the short calls to mind the Halo films Forward Unto Dawn and Landfall (the latter of which was directed by Neil Blomkamp to promote Halo 3).
Ghost Recon shares a pedigree with the already-in-development Splinter Cell – both were created by Red Storm Entertainment, a company partially founded by author Tom Clancy. Many of the studio's games are based on the themes and characters in Clancy's writing.
Originally released as Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon in 2001, the tactical first-person shooter franchise has seen six iterations, along with several expansion packs and one turn-based RPG on the Nintendo 3DS. The hallmark of the games has always been that they take place in a "near-future" setting – for instance, the original Ghost Recon portrayed a Russian civil war taking place in 2008. More recent installments have moved their future wars to more nebulous dates, but still show U.S. Special Forces deploying technology that's considered "just around the corner" in the present day.
It will certainly be interesting to see if the movie adaptation of Ghost Recon retains its source's "not-quite-science-fiction" hook. In a video game market glutted with military shooters, Ghost Recon stands out as more mannered and nuanced than explode-'em-all shooters such as Call of Duty.
However, of the three major properties Ubisoft looks to adapt into films, Ghost Recon is neither as well-known or well-loved as Assassin's Creed or Splinter Cell. If the games' adaptation strips away their most defining characteristic – that "IN A FUTURE NOT SO FAR AWAY" setting – it will be difficult to sell to a public that will no doubt soon be tired of generic, U.S. Special Forces-centric action films.
So far, Ghost Recon has no projected release date.
Source: Indie Wire