Splinter Cell gains big lead, finally getting made?
I really never thought it would happen, after all talk of a film based on the successful videogame series Splinter Cell started way back even before I first mentioned it in 2006 and has been on and off ever since along with talk of a Ghost Recon film, another successful and excellent videogame series.
However it looks like Splinter Cell is finally going to get made as a lead has been announced to play the character of Sam Fisher, and no it's not Michael Ironside.
I first mentioned the film back in January 2006, and in June of that year we heard that Peter Berg's version had James Avery, the father in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, set to play Irvine Lambert, Fisher's boss.
Come the news in February of 2007 that Ubisoft, the game studio behind the Splinter Cell and Ghost Recon series, was starting a small animation development studio in the hope of beginning live-action film development of their own projects, the story of Splinter Cell had still not moved forward any.
While Hollywood went off to make their own Jack Ryan film Ubisoft bought the rights to almost the entire brand of Tom Clancy, their plans were clear. That was March 2008.
June 2012 and still nothing had happened but a rumour came that despite Warner Bros. beginning talks with Ubisoft for a Splinter Cell film they had moved onto Paramount Pictures and talks were moving forward, although no deal was made at that time.
July 2012 showed us that Ubisoft Motion Pictures was serious as they had just secured a certain Michael Fassbender to play the lead in the film adaptation of Assassin's Creed, was Splinter Cell far behind?
It looks not as news has come through The Hollywood Reporter that Tom Hardy has signed to play Sam Fisher in the film adaptation of Splinter Cell with Ubisoft Motion Pictures developing the film before going to studios for a deal. That's interesting and would suggest that deals with Paramount and Warner fell through when they approached them to jointly create the adaptation.
This fits well with how videogame adaptations are being made at the moment, the companies who have developed and owned the games want to have some control over the property so it doesn't turn out a disappointment to fans and where this has been a necessity studios have been pulling out, happy to keep creating huge blockbuster bombs that they have been - Battleship anyone?
Videogame adaptations that are getting made are either being done independently or by studios who are making them in the Hollywood system, ignoring the original property, and ending up with a film that the fan base aren't happy with and one that continues to suggest that videogame adaptations are never going to work.
Well perhaps once Ubisoft Motion Pictures deliver their independently made Assassin's Creed studios will renew their interest, or perhaps UMP will manage to up their game for their next adaptation, Splinter Cell with Tom Hardy leading?
I'm not sure of the timescales for the film but the next videogame adaptation, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, is due for release in 2013 and will undoubtedly give them a great marketing opportunity for the film version.
It's early to be announcing an actor for the role though and I think this is an interesting way to move the production forward, with a star leading the project there's going to be much more interest in it than without, after all without Hardy's name it's a videogame company attempting to make a feature film, even if they have had great success in games, animated films and other markets.
Tom Hardy as Sam Fisher, now that's a good piece of casting although I always envisioned Fisher as an older operative than Hardy. Still, Hardy's a top class actor.
For those of you who don't know Sam Fisher is a operative for American black-ops team within the NSA, a team called Third Echelon and who operate on their own rules, above all scrutiny, both abroad and on home soil. Fisher has some high-tech gear at his disposal headed up by the iconic night vision goggles. The idea of the game is not to leap in shooting everything up and is actually to sneak around undetected or disable guards and surveillance equipment, to be a one man team sneaking right into the heart of the bad guys and disable it at the source.
It would make for a great thriller, packed with tension and less all out action. Will it finally get made?