Despite a consistent track record of failures, Hollywood is pushing forward with many more video game adaptations. Over the next several years, more and more video game IPs will be picked up and turned into big budget feature films. Video games will become what the comic book movie genre already is and all it needs is one successful and critically acclaimed hit to open the floodgates.
Over the years we’ve seen major projects like the Halo, Gears of War and Mass Effect movies go nowhere, but Resident Evil is here to stay, inFamous may eventually get a movie and most interestingly, Ubisoft created their own studio to develop their major franchises into true-to-source blockbuster movies.
Below are updates from the last several weeks regarding video game movie news relating to inFamous, Assassin’s Creed, Splinter Cell, Ghost Recon and Resident Evil 5. All are in their infancy stages of development, with some certainly coming to fruition in the near future and others not likely at all for a while.
Resident Evil 5
Resident Evil: Afterlife, the fourth film in the series and first to shoot in 3D, earned an incredible $300 million at the worldwide box office and instantly got an official release date for a fifth film for September, 2012. We know Paul W.S. Anderson and wife/star Milla Jovovich are interested in the fans’ ideas for the next movie and thanks to Milla’s Twitter, we now know parts of the film will shoot in Tokyo and that the movie is likely called Resident Evil: Retribution. Does this mean the Japanese branch of the Umbrella Corporation will be involved even though the villainous Albert Wesker blew up that one base in Afterlife?
Ubisoft: Assassin’s Creed, Ghost Recon, Splinter Cell
Video game publisher/developer Ubisoft officially announced the formation of Ubisoft Motion Pictures in the beginning of May, 2011 and they’re already at work developing script treatments for Ghost Recon, Splinter Cell and Assassin’s Creed. For fans, this is incredibly exciting because all of these properties have a large amount of installments that allows for extended film franchises and more importantly, Ubisoft maintains control of the films, unlike the disappointing Prince of Persia movie of 2010.
They made it clear that they want the films and TV projects to “reflect the brands properly” and hopefully that means they’re planning the films out long-term and not jamming multiple stories into the first movie. Assassin’s Creed for example, can benefit the most if the first film only features Altair, then in the sequel we get both him and Ezio, just like the games. It allows for a more interesting long-term franchise.
“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.”
There’s an incredible amount of potential here and we can only hope Ubisoft does it right from the get-go.
Sucker Punch co-founder and inFamous 2 producer Brian Fleming explains that a scripted was penned for a potential inFamous film after the first game debuted but that it hasn’t gone anywhere. He also shares the same sentiment most fans do in that video game movies that alter the main story or protagonist lose purpose and are disrespectful for the game.
“I don’t know, I get asked this question a lot and I should have been prepared for it but the reality is I’m a video games guy and I know there’s been Uncharted and Halo and there was even a script written for an inFamous movie two years ago.
“It feels like we’re still infinitely far away from having an inFamous movie. Could it happen? Absolutely it could happen. Will it happen? I’m pretty sceptical, I don’t know.”
“You know you hear these weird stories. I heard some weird rumors about one of these video game movies where they changed the character to a guy so that they could cast this actor and you’re like, ‘What the heck is going on?’ It seemed kind of disrespectful to the game.”
Of all the game movies examined, inFamous is the least likely to happen and Resident Evil 5: Retribution is the only certainty, with a release date already set. We’ll have to wait on Ubisoft Motion Pictures for a potential timeline for development on their properties.
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