The Splinter Cell movie has been in the works for years and is now back in the headlines – or so it seems. Producer Basil Iwanyk, who previously worked on the likes of John Wick and The Expendables, gave an interview to Collider about the upcoming adaptation of Ubisoft’s popular franchise, making it clear that the recent Assassin’s Creed movie – another Ubisoft IP, which didn't perform as well as expected at the box office – won’t have any impact on the development of the Splinter Cell film.
“They’re separate kind of things. The story of the financial success of Assassin’s Creed is yet to be told because we do live in an international world; it’s still rolling out,” Iwanyk told Collider.
“Assassin’s Creed had a very specific world to it and a very specific storyline, character, all that stuff. Splinter Cell really is a first-person shooter game. And so the challenge of making Splinter Cell interesting was we didn’t have this IP with a very specific backstory. That allowed us to make up our own world and really augment and fill out the characters. I don’t think one applies to the other because I don’t think our movie will feel like a movie that came out of a video game, I think it’ll feel like a badass, Tom Hardy action movie, which is what we wanted.”
Tom Hardy was confirmed in the role of lead protagonist Sam Fisher as far back as 2012 and will be given a script in the coming weeks, Iwanyk added.
“We’ve got a script. It’s a little long, but it’s the best script we’ve had. Now that I’m back from Mexico City, we’re going in there to figure out how to cut some pages and give it to [Tom] Hardy. This draft kind of addressed Tom’s notes. We’re going to give it to Hardy in the next couple of weeks and hopefully try to get it done this year.”
Iwanyk also explained that he wanted to distance the Splinter Cell movie from recent action films such as his own John Wick, or the Jason Bourne movies.
“We’re definitely going to make it a hard PG-13. No, it’s not going to be like [John] Wick, but it’s going to be badass,” he said when asked about whether or not the film would be R-rated.
He then added: “The good and the bad news is that, obviously, the Bond movies have had a resurgence and the Jason Bourne movies are the Jason Bourne movies, so we’re trying to stay away from those movies in terms of tone, in terms of bad guys, in terms of settings. What’s a world that we haven’t seen yet? What’s an area of the world and a conflict that we haven’t really touched upon in movies in a long time, to make it feel fresh?”
Splinter Cell currently has a 2017 release date on IMDb’s website. It will be the second movie released via Ubisoft’s motion pictures division, after Assassin’s Creed hit theatres last December. It currently stands at No.6 in the list of the most successful games-based movies of all time, with over $210m in box office revenue.
The movie can be considered as a success if you look at other movies based on games, but its box office performance remains disappointing, as the movie has been undermined by Star Wars: Rogue One, which launched at the same time.