Studios are still working to crack the code to make a successful video game movie adaptation. 2016 saw both Warcraft and Assassin's Creed get ripped by critics, which resulted in a small box office return than hoped. Still, there is hope for video game movies with Tomb Raider recently beginning production, but another long in development project is that of Splinter Cell. The movie was announced back in 2012 and has since had Tom Hardy attached to star, but currently sits without a director.
Ubisoft is once again hoping for this to be their breakout video game film, as they still are figuring out what to do moving forward with Assassin's Creed. Despite the struggles of the latter, they are not going to stop moving forward on the Hardy-led action flick. Instead, one of the film's producers has given several updates on the possible production schedule and discussed how it can avoid comparisons to other films.
Collider spoke to producer Basil Iwanyk about the state of Splinter Cell and he confirmed that they still have plans to move forward with it. In fact, he says the have the best draft of their script to date and will soon let Hardy take a look at it with the hope of getting the movie into production sometime this year. Even with these plans, there will undoubtedly be comparisons made between Ubisoft's two video game based film franchises, but Iwanyk does not think they are one in the same:
They’re separate kind of things. The story of the financial success of Assassin’s Creed is yet to be told because we do live in an international world; it’s still rolling out. Assassin’s Creed had a very specific world to it and a very specific storyline, character, all that stuff. Splinter Cell really is a first-person shooter game. And so the challenge of making Splinter Cell interesting was we didn’t have this IP with a very specific backstory. That allowed us to make up our own world and really augment and fill out the characters. I don’t think one applies to the other because I don’t think our movie will feel like a movie that came out of a video game, I think it’ll feel like a badass, Tom Hardy action movie, which is what we wanted.
With any movie featuring a heavy amount of gun fights and violence, the tone and rating of the desired film comes into question. Iwanyk says that Ubisoft does not intend to make an R-rated Splinter Cell in the vein of John Wick, but instead looks to differentiate Splinter Cell's tone and character from the likes of James Bond and Jason Bourne:
It’s more of what we’re digging away from. The good and the bad news is that, obviously, the Bond movies have had a resurgence and the Jason Bourne movies are the Jason Bourne movies, so we’re trying to stay away from those movies in terms of tone, in terms of bad guys, in terms of settings. What’s a world that we haven’t seen yet? What’s an area of the world and a conflict that we haven’t really touched upon in movies in a long time, to make it feel fresh?
Even though there is plenty of skepticism that comes with any video game getting a live-action treatment, there is reason to be excited for Splinter Cell in particular. Hardy is still one of the biggest names in the business and his desire to make the film is strong. If the studio focuses more on making this a great action movie led by Hardy as opposed to figuring out how to directly adapt the video game, Ubisoft could be in line for success.
Ubisoft should be in a very different position with Splinter Cell than they were with Assassin's Creed. The need for heavy CGI and old world sets are not required, but instead could see the movie have a very small setting as Hardy's character goes on whatever mission they have thought of. This will not only make it feel smaller than the films Iwanyk is hoping to stay away from, but also help with the budget, giving them a better chance at making a profitable movie. While Ubisoft is hoping for a Splinter Cell movie franchise, the first installment has to prove it's worthy of that from the get-go.
We will let you know when Splinter Cell gets an official release date.