Ubisoft is perhaps the most aggressive third-party publisher in the industry when it comes to boldly forging creative paths. Among these is the inevitable rise of video game-inspired movie adaptations, which has so far seen limited success. Despite the solid box office and acclaim of movies like 1995’s Mortal Kombat movie, Sony Pictures’ long-running Resident Evil movies, the 2001 Tomb Raider movie that launched the A-list career of Angelina Jolie, and Ubisoft’s own highly successful adaptation of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time that they delivered with Disney, video game movies are still seen as dead-on-arrival bastardizations rejected by most moviegoing audiences.
The times however, they are-a-changing, and Ubisoft plans to lead the charge! No doubt motivated by the massive international success of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, and the successful fast-tracking of the Assassin’s Creed movie (which recently snatched the coveted Memorial Day weekend spot of 2015), the French mega-publisher has optioned an incredible four more of their franchises for the big screen treatment! They made the news official at E3 this year, amongst a sea of other news related to their many promising current-gen and next-gen game projects.
While insiders already confirmed development on two of these movies, this is the first official confirmation from Ubisoft that they are in fact developing feature film adaptations of their Rabbids and Ghost Recon franchises. Rabbids had limited details, despite preparing to launch an ambitious ‘interactive television series’ with Nickelodeon on Xbox One, but Ghost Recon has already tapped Michael Bay and his Platinum Dunes studio for the producing gig. Bay also has his eye on the director’s chair for Ghost Recon, if he can work the movie into his busy schedule. Warner Bros. has also been confirmed as the distributing studio of the Ghost Recon movie, marking Bay’s first collaboration with them.
The two remaining movie adaptation plans are being announced for the first time, though both are certainly interesting cases! The first of these is confirmation that Ubisoft is starting work on a Far Cry movie. European audiences in particular are probably aware that a Far Cry movie has already been made by video game adaptation-churning, schlock-heaping director, Uwe Boll in 2008. As you can imagine however, Ubisoft had absolutely no creative input or control of that movie. We’re assuming that their actual sanctioned attempt will be a far superior product!
Second, Ubisoft has declared that their upcoming, cyberterrorism-themed open-world blockbuster, Watch Dogs is getting the big screen treatment, no doubt in response to the game’s enormously positive pre-release reception! Despite not releasing until the Fall, Watch Dogs has quickly become one of the most anticipated games of 2013 for many gamers, and its novel premise is certainly ripe with big screen potential!
Ubisoft and Disney’s highly enjoyable Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is readily available for home viewing, making a strong case for the potential of these projects! Ubisoft will follow their well-received 2010 blockbuster with Assassin’s Creed for Memorial Day 2015, with Michael Fassbender starring in the unconfirmed lead role, and a 3D release for the upcoming video game-inspired movie being confirmed. Ubisoft is also hard at work on a movie adaptation of Splinter Cell, which has no release date or director at present, but has already attached Tom Hardy to the lead role of stealth operative, Sam Fisher. This has them juggling six of their properties for the big screen at present, with more likely to come later.
Ghost Recon most recently released a free-to-play shooter, Ghost Recon Online for the PC, with a Wii U version planned, but currently ‘on hold’. Rabbids will be pioneering interactive television technology on Xbox One in the future with Rabbids Invasion, previously releasing Wii U launch title, Rabbids Land, and 3DS collector-based fighter, Rabbids Rumble last year. Far Cry released its most widely beloved and successful game to date, Far Cry 3 on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 at the end of last year. The game received an equally acclaimed and successful comedic, 80’s-themed standalone expansion, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, on the same platforms’ digital channels just last month. Lastly, as mentioned, Watch Dogs has yet to debut for public consumption, but will be finally releasing this Fall after loads of high-profile marketing and hype. It will come to PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii U on November 19th of this year, with next-gen versions set to release on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as launch titles for both consoles, before 2013 has ended. While available and identical an experience on all platforms, Watch Dogs will have ‘one hour’ of exclusive bonus content in the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 editions.
Are you excited for these movies? Hoping for even more Ubisoft properties to get the big screen treatment? Let us know your opinion in the comments below!