If you thought the lukewarm reception to Warcraft and Assassin's Creed was going to have a negative impact on Hollywood's attempts to make video game movie, that's apparently not the case. The good news is that a fantastic actor has been cast in a potentially great role. Donnie Yen has come on board an adaptation of the popular open-world crime game Sleeping Dogs.
Donnie Yen is a huge movie star in China and is becoming such in the United States following high profile roles in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and XXX: Return of Xander Cage. Now, Deadline reports that he is attached to the new video game adaptation being planned by Original Film, one of the production companies behind the Fast & Furious franchise.
Sleeping Dogs follows an undercover cop in Hong Kong who infiltrates the organized crime organization known as the Triad. From there the player completes several missions, some involved committing crimes to prove your loyalty to the Triad while others had you working against them.
Sleeping Dogs was originally designed as the third part of the True Crime game series, an open world action series similar in concept and execution to the Grand Theft Auto games, expect that True Crime let the player play as law enforcement rather than as the criminals. Eventually, the title was canceled by publisher Activision/Blizzard but was then picked up by Square Enix, who retitled the game without the True Crime name and released it.
Donnie Yen certainly feels like a solid choice for the lead in a Sleeping Dogs game. Physical combat was one of the places where the game excelled and there are few martial artists working today who can match Donnie Yen in skill in that department. We can also expect extensive gunplay and car chases to be included in the film as well as they were also major parts of the game.
Of course, a great lead actor is only part of what makes a great movie. The Assassin's Creed adaptation had Michael Fassbender in the lead we all saw how much good he was able to do on his own. The difficulty in making video games into movies seems to be in the screenwriting process. It's difficult to take these games, which have stories that are designed around gameplay, and give them a strong narrative that still captures the feel of the game itself. Sleeping Dogs is on of the popular "open world" games that give players an immense amount of freedom regarding how they interact with the game. How exactly do you bring that into a movie while still telling a single story?
Few details about the plan for the Sleeping Dogs movie are known beyond Yen's casting so we'll be keeping our eyes on this one to see where it goes. Are you looking forward to a Sleeping Dogs movie? Let us know in the comments.