For sheer Hollywood-worthy entertainment value, leave it to the French, or at least French videogame publisher Ubisoft among all the pre-E3 presentations so far. The company’s presentation to journalists and analysts at the Orpheum Theater in downtown Los Angeles mixed stunning trailers and intense game play with distinctive music and the very entertaining emcee work of comedian/actress Aisha Tyler (in her third straight year in the gig). Hollywood types may find little new to mine for spinoff potential, but in truth, Ubisoft already has licensed several of its most film-worthy franchises to Hollywood and the cupboard may be a bit light for the moment. The biggest news today was the return of Rainbow Six, a long-beloved and long-missing franchise based on the books of the late techno-thriller writer Tom Clancy and focused on tactical small-group interactions. The company showed early-early-stage multiplayer gameplay of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, a gripping hostage-extraction title involving five-on-five play. It would be the first new Rainbox Six title in six years, a couple of lifetimes in the game universe. Afterward, Tyler exclaimed, “Have you ever been so excited you’re laughing and crying at the same time?”
Kurzel isn’t a household name in the action arena just yet, but he and Fassbender just came off Macbeth. They wrapped that Weinstein Company film, with Fassbender in the title role, and the actor must have really liked what he saw. No deal yet, but they are eager to get this film started, so it’ll come soon. Regency and Ubisoft are also moving quickly on Splinter Cell, which Doug Liman will direct with Tom Hardy starring. Kurzel is repped by CAA and 3 Arts.
EXCLUSIVE: Zombieland scribes Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese have been set to script Watch Dogs, a live-action feature based on the upcoming Ubisoft video game. Sony and New Regency are developing the film with Ubisoft. The story centers on Aiden Pearce, a hacker who turns the city of Chicago into his personal stomping grounds to carry out his own brand of justice after a violent family tragedy. He is certainly adept physically, but his true gift is his ability to tap into a citywide computer system and control everything from traffic lights to accessing intel that allows him to engage the bad guys, and thwart attempts to kill innocents.
Wernick and Rheese are currently developing Epsilon, a spec they sold to Sony for Greg Berlanti to direct and for Michael De Luca to produce. The scribes are repped by WME and Hansen, Jacobson. This is the third screen collaboration for New Regency and Ubisoft: Tom Hardy is starring in the Doug Liman-directed Splinter Cell, and Michael Fassbender is starring in Assassin’s Creed, which will have a director shortly. Here is a trailer that gives a better idea of Watch Dogs‘ movie potential.
EXCLUSIVE: Adam Cooper and Bill Collage are rewriting for New Regency and Ubisoft Assassin’s Creed, the live-action adaptation of the Ubisoft vidgame that is coming together as a vehicle for 12 Years A Slave star Michael Fassbender. Cooper and Collage have been on a roll of late. They most recently scripted the original draft of Exodus: Gods & Kings, with Steve Zaillian rewriting the biblical epic that Ridley Scott is directing with Christian Bale starring as Moses. They also scripted the George Washington pic The General for Noah helmer Darren Aronofsky and his Protozoa Pictures banner. That film is set at Red Granite.
The scribes take on this high-profile job as they are adapting the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Devil In The Grove for producer Allison Shearmur at Lionsgate, and the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced earthquake movie Shake at Paramount. They also are working with Aronofsky and Protozoa on the epic The Maccabee for New Regency Television, as well as the limited event series Pinkerton for FX Studios and Fox, which is produced by Marc Abrams and Michael Benson. The scribes are repped by WME and lawyered by McKuin Frankel Whitehead.
New Regency and Ubisoft Motion Pictures have found a director for the movie adaptation of the vidgame series Splinter Cell. Pic will be helmed by Doug Liman. The film’s being produced by Basil Iwanyk and it will star Tom Hardy, whom New Regency president/CEO Brad Weston and Ubisoft Motion Pictures CEO Jean-Julien Baronnet confirmed they’d attached to star in a script by Eric Warren Singer. Liman just helmed the Tom Cruise-starrer Edge Of Tomorrow for Warner Bros. John Julian is producing with Dave Bartis and Liman. Production will start in August and the film will be released in 2015.
Hardy, who’s coming off The Dark Knight Rises and wrapped Mad Max: Fury Road, will play Sam Fisher, a highly-trained special operative in a fictional black-ops sub-division, “Echelon”. Sam Fisher and the agents of Echelon utilize combat skills, weapons and cutting-edge gadgets to neutralize international terrorist threats and rogue forces in modern, realistic stories ripped from the headlines. Liman met Hardy because they are working together on another project, Everest, about the attempts of George Mallory to be first to scale the mountain.
Sony Pictures and Ubisoft Motion Pictures are teaming on a full-length feature film based on the Rabbids, the bad guys from Ubisoft’s Rayman video games that have spawned spinoff TV series, merchandising, comic books and even a theme park attraction in France. It’s the latest feature film play for Ubisoft based on its vidgame properties. Ubisoft is working with New Regency on developing Splinter Cell starring Tom Hardy, with Fox on Assassin’s Creed starring Michael Fassbender, and again with Sony based on Watch Dogs. Here’s today’s release:
LOS ANGELES — February 10, 2014 — Today, Ubisoft and Sony Pictures Entertainment announced that the studios are partnering to develop a full-length feature film based on the Rabbids, the irreverent, wacky characters from the popular TV series and video games.
The Watch Dogs video game is scheduled to debut later this year on Sony Pictures‘ parent Sony’s next-gen PlayStation 4, which just got a November 15 release date in the U.S. The collaboration on the “blockbuster movie” with New Regency is the latest deal for Ubisoft‘s movie unit Ubisoft Motion Pictures, which is also teaming with New Regency on a Splinter Cell movie starring Tom Hardy and an Assassin’s Creed adaptation with Michael Fassbender toplining among other projects. Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillamot said onstage during Sony’s press event at GamesCon in Germany that in 20 years, he and PlayStation executives would look back on the tie-up as a game changer in the game space. Here’s Sony’s release:
Culver City, CA August 20, 2013 – Today at the Sony Computer Entertainment press conference at GamesCom, Ubisoft® announced that its film and television division, Ubisoft Motion Pictures, is collaborating with Sony Pictures Entertainment and New Regency on development of a feature film based on Watch Dogs™, Ubisoft’s highly anticipated open world action-adventure video game, available for Sony’s PlayStation 4 this holiday.
“Sony Pictures and New Regency are ideal partners for us,” said Jean-Julien Baronnet, chief executive officer, Ubisoft Motion Pictures. “Their deep production expertise and willingness to allow us to maintain a strong creative voice in the film means that we’re on track to deliver a movie that can build upon the excitement that Watch Dogs already is generating as a game.”
Commenting on the announcement, Hannah Minghella, president of Production for Columbia Pictures, said, “The themes and open gameplay of ‘Watch Dogs’ lends itself perfectly to the big screen. The game has intense action and adventure, but the story focuses on information and the control of information, which we think will lead to an exciting thriller. It has tremendous potential as a motion picture and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work closely with Ubisoft’s internal creative team on the development of the project.”
Frank Marshall will produce Assassin’s Creed, the co-production between New Regency and Ubisoft that has Michael Fassbender attached to star. This comes after Basil Iwanyk boarded Splinter Cell, the other vidgame transfer between these companies. That project has Tom Hardy starring and Eric Singer writing the script.
EXCLUSIVE: Looks like things are getting serious on the New Regency and Ubisoft Motion Pictures adaptation of Splinter Cell, the mega-selling video game series. They’ve brought in Basil Iwanyk to produce the film through his Thunder Road banner. He’s a seasoned hand at big tent pole projects, making a career of them both as an executive and a producer at Warner Bros. Last I reported, New Regency president/CEO Brad Weston and Ubisoft Motion Pictures CEO Jean-Julien Baronnet confirmed they’d attached Tom Hardy to star in a script by Eric Warren Singer, who wrote the Tom Tykwer-directed The International and had just teamed with David O Russell to script American Hustle. That drama that stars Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams, Christian Bale and Robert De Niro. They’ve yet to set a director for Splinter Cell, but that’s coming soon. This is one of two Ubisoft projects heading for the big screen through New Regency; the other is Assassin’s Creed.
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell has sold over 23 million copies since its debut in 2002. Hardy, who’s coming off The Dark Knight Rises and wrapped Mad Max: Fury Road, will play Sam Fisher, a highly-trained special operative in a fictional black-ops sub-division, “Echelon”. Sam Fisher and the agents of Echelon utilize combat skills, weapons and cutting-edge gadgets to neutralize international terrorist threats and rogue forces in …
BREAKING: Tom Hardy has become attached to star in the film based on Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell video game, and Eric Warren Singer has been set to write the script. The project isn’t set up at a studio yet, but is moving forward with the game universe’s France-based company Ubisoft.
Studios have been vying to make a deal for the franchise, with Warner Bros and Paramount recently rumored to be knocking on the door earlier this summer. Singer, who wrote the thriller The International, also scripted the Black List script American Bullshit, which is being made as an untitled drama that David O Russell is directing with Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner starring.
The original game, revolves around Sam Fisher, a covert operative who so far has been put on six missions covering six installments of the game that has sold 22 million units and spawned several novels. Hardy will play Fisher. After his recent turns in Warrior, The Dark Knight Rises, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Inception, Hardy is on everybody’s most wanted list. He’ll next star in the George Miller-directed Mad Max: Fury Road and is being offered just about every movie these days, it seems.
Related: WME Signs Author Tom Clancy
BREAKING: New Regency has made a deal to finance and distribute Assassin’s Creed, the screen adaptation of the Ubisoft video game that has Michael Fassbender attached to star. The project was hatched by the game maker’s Ubisoft Motion Pictures division, and the company will have strong creative input as the projects moves into the script stage. Details of the deal were not disclosed, but this is a whopping commitment for a franchise that has sold 37 million games, with the latest installment arriving in stores on Halloween.
“This is the perfect intersection of what we have been trying to do, and that is to work with top quality talent like Michael Fassbender,” said Regency CEO Brad Weston. “We see this as our first big commercial action franchise property. Fassbender just did 12 Years A Slave with us, and he is as good an actor as there is right now. The storyline we are pursuing has a great narrative and because Ubisoft’s games are so character- and story-driven, Assassin’s Creed lends itself perfectly to our goal to re-brand Regency as a filmmaker-driven company.”
Weston said he respected how selective the Paris-based company has been in turning their vidgame properties into features, and said he recalled taking the pilgrimage to Paris six years ago to try coaxing the company to make a deal. Ubisoft Motion Pictures is separately percolating two features based on the Tom Clancy-branded Splinter Cell and Ghost Recon video games.