Ubisoft is no stranger to shopping around in Tinseltown. Just last year, the company launched its own production house, Ubisoft Motion Pictures, and began laying the foundation to mold the Assassin’s Creed, Ghost Recon, and Splinter Cell franchises into feature films. It wasn’t long before Assassin’s Creed caught the attention of Sony Motion Pictures, and even though Ubisoft’s controversially stringent demands for creative control have since stalled the proceedings, the interest – an emerging theme between games and film – remains.
Now, it could be Sam Fisher’s turn to sneak onto the big screen, as a new report is placing Splinter Cell at the center of Ubisoft’s film negotiations du jour.
Deadline has reportedly heard rumblings of talks between Ubisoft and Paramount Pictures, and asserts that an offer to begin producing a Splinter Cell film is close to being placed on the table. Warner Brothers was also purportedly in the mix for the Tom Clancy game’s adaptation until recently, but those talks have since broken down. Paramount was cited as the ‘frontrunner’ in the bargaining, with Ubisoft (again, thankfully) mandating full creative control.
Paramount only commented with the caveat that no deal has been reached yet, but it wouldn’t be the first time the studio was attached to the Splinter Cell name. Back in 2005 – when Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory arguably took the series to its zenith – a teaser trailer appeared for Splinter Cell: The Movie (“You don’t know the whole story yet…”) under Paramount’s name. No doubt, then, they’d be find the Clancyverse to be familiar territory – not only from prior plans but also due to concurrent projects with the Jack Ryan series and Clancy’s novel, Without Remorse.
For gamers, in 2012, there’s hardly any room to debate the silver-screen potency of the interactive medium. Between powerful, emotionally resonant narratives, charismatic casts, and audiences the size Hollywood would love to see strolling past the box office window, Ubisoft’s film aspirations are just the tip of the iceberg for game franchises seeking a serious movie studio partnership (in other words, Uwe Boll isn’t invited).
That Splinter Cell - already in the early production phase under Ubisoft – now finds itself as an attraction for studios is no surprise, either. It’s a safe bet that Ubisoft, at least originally, would choose to emphasize Sam’s tactical endeavors as opposed to the Bourne-like “rogue secret agent” motif we witnessed in Splinter Cell: Conviction. Splinter Cell: Blacklist – with Sam returning to his distinctive stealth suit and finding new support from the U.S. government – would serve that purpose nicely, doubling as a timely bit of synergy between the two industries.
Ranters, how well would the Splinter Cell canon – either from past games or the upcoming Blacklist – adapt to a motion picture? Would you want to see a direct game tie-in, or should Sam Fisher receive an all-new mission?
Follow me on Twitter @Brian_Sipple.