As much as we hate to keep saying it, Assassin’s Creed is a project that didn’t turn out too well for Ubisoft. This was the one that should have brought home the bacon and gave them the credibility needed to bolster the next project. However, if you were a video game fan who was worried that this may slow them down, you’re in luck. Ubisoft seems to be moving forward with their next big ticket I.P. with gusto.
Next on their plate is an adaptation of Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, a third-person stealth game that follows field agent Sam Fisher. Like Assassin’s Creed before it, this is a franchise that is easily adaptable to the big screen and, in fact, it’s already made the jump to several books.
Tom Hardy has been attached to this project for some time now, but we’ve heard very little in terms of its progress. Speaking with Collider, producer Basil Iwanyk gave a status update:
“We've got a script. It's a little long, but it's the best script we've had. Now that I'm back from Mexico City, we're going in there to figure out how to cut some pages and give it to [Tom] Hardy. This draft kind of addressed Tom's notes. We're going to give it to Hardy in the next couple of weeks and hopefully try to get it done this year.”
That all sounds well and good. Hardy seems to be a harsh judge of projects, and I doubt he’d align himself with an absolute turd — then again, I thought the same of Michael Fassbender before Assassin's Creed, but that’s a topic for another day. And speaking of Assassin’s Creed, one has to wonder if the failure of that project has any adverse effect on Splinter Cell.
“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.”
So I got two takeaways from this. The first was a positive one: they aren’t being shortsighted about their prospects. Yes, Splinter Cell and Assassin’s Creed are both video games, but as narratives, they are fundamentally different in their genres. As such, it would make little sense if the studio started to get cold feet here.
The second takeaway I had was a red flag. Perhaps it was just a slip of the tongue, but Iwanyk called Splinter Cell a “first-person shooter.” Last I checked, it was a third-person stealth game. This makes me call into question just how familiar this producer is with the material, and therefore makes me question if they have any idea what they’re doing with it. Again, it could have just been a slip of the tongue on his part, but it was a comment that did not sit well with this writer.
These weren’t the only comments the producer made. He confirmed they’d be shooting for a “hard PG-13” rating, and that it would be along the lines of John Wick. When asked about what they were “digging towards” in terms of story, he said:
“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?”
That is something that, in the age of remakes, reboots, and rehashes, is nice to hear. We don't need any more ripoffs of other big properties. We've seen those. We should get something new from this property that operates on stealth. We’ll have to see where it all goes.
What did you think of Iwanyk’s comments? Does it worry you that it’s not clear whether or not he understands the game? Let us know in the comments down below!
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