It’s difficult to create a movie. Even low-budget thrillers require a level of competency that is way beyond the average person, and big-budget action movies usually feature hundreds of skilled hands working together to create a single feature-length film. Thus, it should come as no surprise that Ubisoft’s newly-formed film wing (appropriately dubbed “Ubisoft Motion Pictures”) will not be going it alone as it starts churning out movies.
This morning Ubisoft and New Regency announced that they have solidified a deal for the two studios to work side by side on the upcoming film adaptation of Ubisoft’s Splinter Cell video game franchise. The project already has Tom Hardy attached to star as protagonist Sam Fisher, so what more could Ubisoft possibly require? Apparently, a partner that is willing to do some of the heavy production lifting without impugning on Ubisoft’s creative vision.
“With actor Tom Hardy attached and screenwriter Eric Warren Singer to write the script, Ubisoft Motion Pictures will lead the development with the support of New Regency to bring the franchise to the big screen in a dynamic way,” said Ubisoft Motion Pictures CEO Jean-Julien Baronnet. “For Ubisoft Motion Pictures, creative control is key and New Regency shares our commitment to respecting the creative freedom of our team. Their ability to produce both blockbusters and intriguing indie hits is an ideal fit for the Splinter Cell franchise.” Plus, though Baronnet fails to mention it, Ubisoft’s deal with New Regency gives the former company access to the latter’s distribution network. This level of access would be otherwise unattainable for the video game company, thus New Regency’s help is a huge boon for this project.
If this all sounds intensely familiar, you aren’t imagining things: This deal is almost identical to the agreement New Regency and Ubisoft Motion Pictures have struck up for the imminent Assassin’s Creed movie. We brought you word of that deal in October, and while it is quite similar to today’s arrangement — Baronnet uses almost the exact same words to praise New Regency in that story as he does in this one — the two are legally distinct and have nothing to do with one another. Obviously the assumption is that Ubisoft and New Regency will continue to strike up deals like this for each new game-to-film adaptation the two firms can devise, either because there is an overarching agreement between the two companies that we aren’t yet aware of, or because they simply enjoy working with one another. Either way, it’s nice to see Ubisoft both retain control of its own characters and enlist the aid of an experienced Hollywood player. Perhaps this agreement might spawn the first legitimately good, source-accurate video game movie to date (though we won’t be held responsible for anyone who feels disappointed by the Splinter Cell feature film once it hits theaters — that’s up to Ubisoft … and now New Regency).