Ghost Recon, Splinter Cell and Assassin's Creed becoming films
Well those people who love to hate videogame adaptations for being, well, videogame adaptations, are going to love this one. Those of us who have played these games and seen the potential of the rich storyline possibilities are probably getting a little bit excited right now. I know I am.
After all Splinter Cell has a fabulously rich storyline to it that had Tom Clancy all the way through it, and Ghost Recon has some great possibilities too, as does Assassin's Creed. These days videogames are built on stories and the rich backdrops, and cinematically these three are screaming for adaptation.
That's just what the ever moving games company Ubisoft have realised as they've created their Ubisoft Motion Pictures division and began developing film and television projects, their latest work will be 3D feature films of Ghost Recon, Splinter Cell and Assassin's Creed.
It's not really something new for Ubisoft, back in February 2007 it was announced that they were expanding their studios and branching into CG animated shorts, starting with something for Assassin's Creed. Since then, and for a while before, we've known that there were plans for films about Rainbow Six (2008) and Splinter Cell.
Then in March 2008 their plans seed to kick into high gear as they bought the rights for Tom Clancy and his properties, it seems they had big plans back then. However the Chief Executive of the company, Yves Guillemo said something rather interesting:
"We're extending the video game rights forever and getting complete freedom to complete all other projects. We don't have the rights for a Rainbow Six movie, however. Those aren't part of this deal...
...Step by step we have to learn how to give more emotions to our consumers. This will help us get closer and closer to creating movies or internet products that will entertain. A year ago we started to create Ubisoft Digital Arts in Montreal so we can have a group capable of creating animations and movies in the future."
Those were the seeds of Ubisoft Motion Pictures and they were clearly thinking about not only securing all the future Splinter Cell and Ghost Recon games they could, but also the rights to turn them into films.
Now Variety tells us that they're kicking it off with two of these games, and one that's their own, Assassin's Creed.
Assassin's Creed is a story set in the days of the Templar Knights, filled with stories of secret societies who have influenced history for as long as we know. The setting is rich with knights and swordplay and offers a lot of potential.
Ghost Recon is about an elite team of soldiers sent on dangerous missions, each one with specialist training and up against impossible odds, usually behind enemy lines.
Splinter Cell is what would happen if Jack Bauer was on some relaxants and was a lot less rushed and gung-ho. For me it's perhaps the most attractive of the three and would fit the idea of a Hollywood film really well.
EuropaCorp CEO Jean-Julien Baronne spoke about the move and was very clear that the stories in the games were first and had to be consistent through the properties. They've been working with the games teams to identify what each franchise was actually about.
"Our strategy is not to diversify but to bolster the appeal of our franchises - that's why we want to make sure our films will reflect the brands accurately and consolidate our fan base while expanding beyond the games' primary target audience"
Neither are they selling out on the games either.
"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."
Now I've had a good look through the story and I'm not sure if I just keep missing it or not, but I'm not sure which project is up first. Baronne says that they'll have a script read for the end of the year, but for which project?
Personally I have my fingers crossed for Splinter Cell.