A feature film based on the 1980s video game Spy Hunter has been in the works at Universal Pictures since the early 2000s with very little progress being made. Though Dwayne Johnson had been attached to star and first John Woo and then Paul W.S. Anderson were lined up to direct, all had dropped out by 2008 and it seemed as though the project was never going to get underway.
Now, the film is getting some new life, as Nelson Greaves and Sam Chalsen of Sleepy Hollow fame have been brought in to rewrite the script in hopes of finally getting the feature off of the ground.
Spy Hunter was originally intended for release in 2006, and even had a tie-in video game titled Spy Hunter: Nowhere to Run that featured Johnson's likeness which did see release. The Greaves and Chalsen version of the script will be the fourth version since the project was first announced, though, so any connections with Nowhere to Run will have long been left in the dust. It's unknown at this time whether the new script will follow Alec Sects of the 2001 SpyHunter reboot, Alex Decker from Nowhere to Run, or an as yet unnamed character.
Greaves and Chalsen are taking over writing duties for Carter Blanchard, who most recently wrote the screenplay for Independence Day: Resurgence. They became attached to the project after setting up a blind feature deal with Warner Bros., the film's distributor.
Given that the original game was inspired by the James Bond franchise, there's the potential for a fun action film here. Even if it doesn't borrow much from any of the existing games, you can still expect to see crazy car chases, bullets flying and possibly even a transforming supercar. If the script is inspired by the games, things could get more over-the-top; one of the games even had the main character trying to stop a CEO who thought he was the Antichrist from using EMP weapons to wipe out technology.
The problem here, of course, is that there's a lot that could go wrong with a Spy Hunter movie. It's obviously a hard concept to get down, given that it's been through four directors, four scripts and has even lost the star that was attached from the beginning. Greaves and Chalsen have their work cut out for them if they're going to craft an enjoyable action movie that doesn't go too far into the unbelievable and become a parody of itself like so many similar films have.
Spy Hunter does not currently have a release date scheduled.
Source: The Tracking Board