The Splinter Cell movie has been in the development stages for nearly three years; ever since Ubisoft announced in 2011 that they would revert the rights of their video games to their own production company, Ubisoft Motion Pictures, it has been a ‘slow-burn’ of trickling information. So back in 2011 they announced three video game adaptations: Assassin’s Creed, Ghost Recon, and Splinter Cell. Jean-Julien Baronnet, the CEO of Ubisoft Motion Pictures, explains why it was so important to keep the productions ‘in house:’ “We want to keep ownership, retain control over the film content, and we’re open to work with studios on the development of our projects, and eventually collaborate on the pre-casting, pre-budget and script.”
And at the moment, the new production company has not disappointed with their choices for stars, writers, and producers. Last year, around the same time that Michael Fassbender was cast in Assassin’s Creed, Tom Hardy was cast as Sam Fisher in the Splinter Cell movie. Now throughout the rest of 2013, other information about Splinter Cell has been slowly trickling out; for instance, the scribe of American Hustle and The International, Eric Warren Singer will handle the script. On top of that, Basil Iwanyk will produce the feature under his Thunder Road banner, with New Regency handling the distribution; Iwanyk has produced The Town, The Expendables series, and The Clash of the Titans remakes. So it is easy to say that with this writer and producer, Ubisoft Motion Pictures has gotten serious talent who has experience with bigger budget affairs.
Finally, the director for the Splinter Cell movie has been announced: it will be Doug Liman, the auteur who rose to fame for The Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Swingers. Now he has directed the critically maligned Jumper, however, Liman is an upgrade from Peter Berg: a short time ago, Berg was supposed to direct with Paramount and Dreamworks producing and distributing. With that said, Doug Liman will co-produce Splinter Cell with his partner David Bartis, and the aforementioned, Iwanyk and Baronnet.
This is incredibly exciting because Doug Liman is a talented director who only makes films periodically; his newest film will be the Tom Cruise vehicle Edge of Tomorrow, which will be released on June 6th. On top of this, one has to have faith in Ubisoft’s video game adaptations because Ubisoft Motion Pictures has been patient and smart about their production choices. They could have rushed the three properties and made a ton of money; instead, they slowly but surely collected the proper talent. Now only time will tell about Michael Bay’s produced version of Ghost Recon, but at the least, Ubisoft has earned ‘blind faith’ for their choices with Splinter Cell and Assassin’s Creed. And it is hard to use ‘blind faith’ when talking about video game movies, but Ubisoft Motion Pictures seems to be the company that could ‘break the mold’ of terrible adaptations. Now add these adaptations with the recent The Last of Us announcement, and some optimism is allowed when talking about video game films.
With this said, there has not been a confirmed start or release date for the Splinter Cell movie. Hopefully, the addition of Doug Liman will make the pre-production process faster, but at the same time, Ubisoft Motion Pictures has shown that they will take as much time as needed.
So what do you think of Doug Liman as the director of the Splinter Cell movie? What do you think of Ubisoft’s other adaptations? Is there any optimism allowed with the recent history of bad adaptations? For any updates or the latest in gaming news, please continue to read Gamer Headlines.