Lots of movies fall prey to development hell, but sometimes it feels like it's a necessity for video game movies. Films based on video games seem to have a longer gestation period than most projects -- just look at how long it took to get this far for Uncharted! Now the Splinter Cell adaptation is closer than ever to that coveted start date. There's just one more crucial step remaining, and then Splinter Cell can finally step out of the shadows...metaphorically speaking. You step out of the shadows in the game, and you're as good as dead.
A movie based on the popular stealth-based first-person shooter Splinter Cell has been in development for years now. Tom Hardy is attached to star, but even his star power hasn't been enough to expedite the process (he first signed on to star four years ago). When speaking to Collider, producer Basil Iwanyk (John Wick, The Town, Sicario), revealed that he is still producing the Splinter Cell movie and that they are closer than ever to getting the camera's rolling. According to Iwanyk, a script is almost finished, and then it just needs the final approval from Hardy.
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.
We've seen a lot of movies based on video games roll out over the past few years, and most have failed to leave any lasting impressions on viewers. While they may do well overseas, films like Assassin's Creed and Warcraft are poorly received both critically and at the box office domestically. When asked if the box office reception to Assassin's Creed affected Splinter Cell, Iwanyk felt that they were two separate things and that the challenge of making Splinter Cell lies in its source material.
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.
Now, that's a confusing statement because the Splinter Cell series is composed of seven video games and tie-in novels filled with characters and backstory that are up for grabs for any adaptation. Splinter Cell is a stealth based first person shooter that follows Sam Fisher, a highly trained special agent, as he undertakes dangerous missions to preserve peace. The games are modern and grounded, based in complex and often times realistic political issues. I think fans would probably disagree that there isn't much source material to work with.
Still, most video game movies usually stick close to their source material and it hasn't worked out too well so far. Maybe by deviating away, Splinter Cell will finally be the one to crack the code to a good video game movie. There's bound to be more news about Splinter Cell down the road, so keep checking back in with CinemaBlend and we'll keep you updated as soon as more information becomes available.