The 2012 game Sleeping Dogs took many gamers by surprise with its dark tale of organized crime in Hong Kong and its martial arts combat system. Although the franchise has mostly laid dormant since then, we heard last year that a film starring Rogue One: A Star Warts Story actor Donnie Yen was being produced. We now know that production has begun on the project.
“Sometimes great things take a bit of time,” Yen wrote on his Instagram. “[Sleeping Dogs] is [in] motion — you guys ready for this?”
Yen is best-known to American audiences for his role as Chirrut in Rogue One. He also recently appeared in xXx: Return of Xander Cage, alongside Vin Diesel.
Original Film, a company known for action films like The Fate of the Furious and R.I.P.D., is producing the film. The production company is also in charge of a Sonic the Hedgehog adaptation.
Yen’s Instagram message was accompanied by an image of Yen and the game’s protagonist, Wei Shen. This could mean that the film will be a direct adaptation of the game, rather than a movie set in the same universe. Developed by the now-defunct United Front Games, it starred Shen as an undercover cop infiltrating the seedy underground crime world of Hong Kong, and it even featured a voice performance from Oscar winner Emma Stone.
The game didn’t manage to attract a very large audience, leading to the sequel reportedly being canceled in 2013. A “Definitive Edition” was released on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 in 2014, and it was free through Xbox Live’s Games With Gold program in December 2016.
A free-to-play online PC spinoff game called Triad Wars was also in the works and even ran a closed beta, but United Front shut it down in 2016.
Sleeping Dogs isn’t the only video game adaptation in the works. In addition to the Alicia Vikander-led Tomb Raider movie launching in March, Illumination and Nintendo are collaborating on a Super Mario Bros. animated film. Little else is known about the project, but it’s being distributed by Universal, which is also creating Nintendo-themed areas in its Universal Studios theme parks around the world.