Sleeping Dogs, Square Enix’s Hong Kong open world action title, is reportedly in production to be made into a film starring Donnie Yen. Sleeping Dogs is about an undercover cop taking on the notorious Hong Kong organized crime syndicate, the Triad. Yen will take on the role of Wei Shen, a San Francisco police officer who transferred to the Hong Kong Police Force in order to infiltrate and dismantle the triad. As the film is early in production, no release plans have yet been established.
The film is being produced by Original Film, founded by Neal H. Moritz. Moritz and his production company are have grown rapidly over the past decade on the back of several major franchises. Original Film is known for the Fast and the Furious series, as well as XXX, Cruel Intentions, and more recently 21 Jump Street and Goosebumps. They’ve had plenty of hits (and misses), but must see something special in Sleeping Dogs.
Of course, Sleeping Dogs‘ appeal isn’t too mysterious. It’s one of the scant few games that stars an Asian protagonist. The film industry’s newfound love for the Chinese market is completely understandable, as it’s hugely profitable, and Sleeping Dogs hits all the check boxes in terms of maximizing profits in both North American and Chinese markets. High energy action film a la John Wick or Fast and the Furious? Check. Is it a video game adaptation like Resident Evil or Assassin’s Creed, which do spectacularly well in the Chinese market? Yes. Does it star a martial artist and Chinese actor who is hugely successful in the Eastern country and also has Western fame after Rogue One? Yep. On paper, Sleeping Dogs sounds like an instant winner.
If there is a negative associated with Sleeping Dogs getting an adaptation, it’s that Sleeping Dogs is rather a dead franchise in the gaming world. The game’s developer, United Front Games, never recuperated from the game’s lack of profitability. United Front closed in late 2016 after its Sleeping Dogs multiplayer spin-off, Triad Wars, was just weeks into its Early Access launch. Despite that, Sleeping Dogs has maintained a faithful fan-base since its launch in 2012, and a film adaptation will absolutely be celebrated in the gaming industry.
Expect more information on the Sleeping Dogs film, starring Donnie Yen, in the months to come.