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Ubisoft’s ‘Watch Dogs’ heading to the big screen

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Check out our full written Watch Dogs review.

For a film company that has yet to release a movie, Ubisoft is showing a huge amount of confidence in its properties. An Assassin’s Creed film is in development. Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell has been announced. Ghost Recon is in pre-production. And at Sony’s Gamescom press conference, Ubisoft took the stage to announce that it will also be adapting the upcoming, and as yet unreleased title, Watch Dogs. The setting for the announcement was especially apt, as Ubisoft is partnering with Sony Pictures, as well as New Regency, to create the film.

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“Since both Sony and Ubisoft have movie and video game branches, this deal creates exceptional opportunities for us to merge the realms of the story-based cinematic experience with the interaction of the video game,” Jean-Julien Baronnet, Ubisoft Motion Pictures’ CEO, said in a statement. “In addition, Sony Pictures and New Regency have deep production expertise and are letting us maintain a strong creative voice in the film’s development. Together, we’re confident we can deliver a movie that builds upon the excitement that the game is already generating.”

Watch Dogs‘ protagonist is Aiden Pierce, a skilled hacker living in the near-future “smart city” of Chicago, which is controlled by a Central Operating System (CtOS). Following a personal tragedy, Pierce becomes a vigilante and avenging angel. Using his abilities, Pierce is able to hack into the city’s mainframe and take control of anything from the CCTV system to the traffic lights to the train. Pierce engages in information warfare – a timely subject given how often surveillance laws have been in the news of late.

Watch Dogs marks the fifth movie Ubisoft’s Motion Pictures has greenlit without having released a film yet, and more are likely to be announced as soon as it can finalize partnerships. A new Far Cry film (not to be confused with the Uwe Boll adaptation that most gamers would like to forget), for example, is said to be high on Ubisoft’s list and could be announced any day, and others are likely to follow.

The first film due out from Ubisoft Motion Pictures is Assassin’s Creed starring Michael Fassbender, who is also attached to produce. The movie is tentatively scheduled for 2015, with a rumored May release date. Next up will be a big screen adaptation of Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell with Tom Hardy attached to star. A Ghost Recon film is in the works with Warner Bros., and Michael Bay has been brought on to develop and possibly direct. A live action version of the popular Rabbids series is also in development.

As for Watch Dogs, no casting or release date info was provided. Ubisoft is pushing hard on its various properties, so expect to hear news on that sooner rather than later. 

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