Ubisoft may be best known as proprietors of fine videogames, but their reach will soon extend to the realm of action-based motion pictures. An adaptation of Assassin’s Creed is in the works, with Michael Fassbender set to take the lead role, and handle some of the co-producing duties as well. Elsewhere, Tom Hardy will head up a live-action Splinter Cell movie. Next up on their plate, they’ll attempt to bring Ghost Recon to silver screens everywhere.
Videogames are getting more and more cinematic, both visually and in a storytelling sense, so they’re rife with potential storylines, already established characters, expansive worlds, and come with a built in fan base. Still, something often goes wrong in translation, and we’re left with steaming piles like Max Payne, Tekken, and two Silent Hill movies. Ubisoft’s Motion Pictures unit hopes to avoid some of the pitfalls and booby traps that have befallen their predecessors.
According to the LA Times, Ubisoft, and Motion Picture unit head, Jean-Julien Baronnet, “takes a hands-on approach to translating his company’s intellectual property from interactive to linear media.” This includes heavy involvement in decisions like casting, and the scripts. They also spent years turning down offers to adapt their games so the could increase the prominence of their products, and have been willing to spend money in order to develop concepts they are happy with, rather than just churn out subpar films in order to make a quick buck.
Ghost Recon is one of two Ubisoft games to bear the “Tom Clancy” signature above the title (Splinter Cell is the other). The games—of which there are many, over almost every platform you can imagine—let you take control of a US Special Forces unit. Gameplay is heavily focused on the tactical side of things.
Who knows if this approach will prove to be more successful than other videogame movies, but you know what, they can’t be much worse.