Ubisoft is following Marvel Studios’ example and bringing its own properties (video games, in this case) to the big screen with its Motion Pictures division. The Assassin’s Creed movie will start production in Fall 2015, with Michael Fassbender headlining and Justin Kurzel (Macbeth (2015)) calling the shots. Meanwhile, Ubisoft’s Splinter Cell film will continue make it way through pre-production, at a slower pace it seems.
Mad Max: Fury Road star Tom Hardy has long been (and still is) attached to headline Splinter Cell as Sam Fisher, a deadly special operative who carries out black op missions for the (fictional) special operations and counter-terrorism unit, Echelon. The project, as mentioned before, is actively moving forward, but is now undergoing another script revision.
Deadline is reporting that actor/screenwriter Frank John Hughes (who played Tim Woods on 24) is currently putting together a fresh script draft for the Splinter Cell film adaptation. Previous screenplay drafts for the project were penned by the Oscar-nominated scribes Eric Warren Singer (American Hustle) and Sheldon Turner (Up in the Air, X-Men: First Class), respectively, but it remains to be seen which of these screenwriters ultimately receive credit for their work.
Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed film adaptation project also went through several script revisions during pre-production, so the screenplay re-writes on Splinter Cell are par for the course for the company’s Motion Pictures division, at this stage. Video game movie adaptations are notorious for not being very good, so there’s all the more reason for Ubisoft to carefully fine-tune the scripts for its additions to the genre – especially seeing as IPs like Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell are the organization’s own prize ponies.
Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow) was previously attached to direct Splinter Cell, but he reportedly left the project in the first half of 2015 (which may explain the project getting a fresh script draft). Liman has demonstrated a knack for making smarter-than-average genre thrillers, so the hope is that Ubisoft can find someone of a similar caliber to replace him as helmsman. Joseph Kahn (the Power/Rangers short film) was rumored as a possible replacement, but it’s not clear how much truth there was (or is) to that assertion.
Kurzel, like Liman, has relevant directorial experience to his upcoming video game adaptation, so Assassins’s Creed (and possibly Splinter Cell) has the potential to start Ubisoft Motion Pictures’ run on a strong note. Combine that with the ongoing enthusiasm surrounding Duncan Jones’ Warcraft movie adaptation (which just made a splash at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con) and there may yet be light waiting at the end of the tunnel – for those hoping to see the video game cinematic adaptation genre gain some respectability in the near future.
Splinter Cell does not currently have an official release date. We’ll let you know when that changes.