Iwanyk Offers “Splinter Cell” Film Update

Ubisoft’s “Assassin’s Creed” feature hoped to be THE one to break the video game to movie curse, and sadly failed to do so. Internationally it did decent business at the box-office, but it was a domestic and critical flop despite the starry pedigree.

That hasn’t stopped the company with pursuing its other game-to-film adaptations in the works, most notably the “Splinter Cell” film with Tom Hardy both starring in and producing along with “John Wick” producer Basil Iwanyk. This week Iwanyk spoke with Collider and offered an update on the film’s progress:

“We’ve got a script. It’s a little long, but it’s the best script we’ve had. Now that I’m back from Mexico City, we’re going in there to figure out how to cut some pages and give it to [Tom] Hardy. This draft kind of addressed Tom’s notes. We’re going to give it to Hardy in the next couple of weeks and hopefully try to get it done this year.”

Iwanyk won’t comment on the box-office success much as the film’s stagged global release means there’s numerous markets it hasn’t hit yet:

“The story of the financial success of Assassin’s Creed is yet to be told because we do live in an international world; it’s still rolling out. Assassin’s Creed had a very specific world to it and a very specific storyline, character, all that stuff. Splinter Cell really is a first-person shooter game.

And so the challenge of making Splinter Cell interesting was we didn’t have this IP with a very specific backstory. That allowed us to make up our own world and really augment and fill out the characters. I don’t think one applies to the other because I don’t think our movie will feel like a movie that came out of a video game, I think it’ll feel like a badass, Tom Hardy action movie, which is what we wanted.

He is a gamer. He’s also a guy who has a lot of friends in that world, not the gaming world but the Special Ops world. He wants to play this character really, really badly. That’s what makes it exciting for all of us because Tom playing this character is an event.”

“Splinter Cell” is a military-themed action game series with a focus on stealth operations to neutralise villains. Iwanyk adds that they’re trying to avoid being compared to two other high profile franchises:

“The good and the bad news is that, obviously, the Bond movies have had a resurgence and the Jason Bourne movies are the Jason Bourne movies, so we’re trying to stay away from those movies in terms of tone, in terms of bad guys, in terms of settings. What’s a world that we haven’t seen yet? What’s an area of the world and a conflict that we haven’t really touched upon in movies in a long time, to make it feel fresh?”

Finally, he also confirmed that the plan is to make the film a “hard PG-13” and not an R. “Splinter Cell” should, if all goes to plan, hit cinemas in 2018.