It may seem a bit premature, but it looks like Ubisoft has already decided that they will be making a Watch Dogs movie. Now, with the amount of hype surrounding this game since it’s unveiling, I wouldn’t be surprised if it did well, and it really does look like one of the more promising games to come out this holiday season, but if there is one thing we’ve learned about gaming, it’s that nothing is a sure thing. Look no further than the lackluster sales of Tomb Raider and Dead Space 3 from this past year, which, while both were great games, sold far below what was anticipated. For those of you who haven’t yet heard the concept behind this game, here a brief description:
Watch Dogs centers on Aiden Pearce, a brilliant hacker bent on revenge and inflicting his own brand of justice after a violent family tragedy. Using all of his skills, Pearce hacks into Chicago’s Central Operating System (ctOS), which controls the city’s infrastructure, including security cameras, traffic lights, and public transportation, as well as databases containing key information on the city’s residents. In the game, Pearce turns the entire city of Chicago into his ultimate weapon.
That does sound like it would make a great movie, and considering Ubisoft has previously announced that it plans on turning Splinter Cell and Assassin’s Creed into movies, the announcement isn’t all that shocking, but it does make me curious. Columbia Pictures’ president of Production, Hannah Minghella, thinks that the adaptation is one that makes perfect sense.
The themes and open gameplay of Watch Dogs lends itself perfectly to the big screen. The game has intense action and adventure, but the story focuses on information and the control of information, which we think will lead to an exciting thriller. It has tremendous potential as a motion picture and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work closely with Ubisoft’s internal creative team on the development of the project.
So, what do you think? Is this something that should be getting a film adaptation, before it’s even released (which will be on November 15th, by the way)? Personally, I’d say, whether the game is successful or not, it’s film adaptation has just as good of a chance of being a success as any other video game-film adaptation, considering how different the two forms of media are. Maybe, Watch Dogs will be the video game movie to give us hope.
Ubisoft has had itself a fantastic run, making some great narrative games over the last few years. The cinematic adaptions of some of their hit games however (Prince of Persia wink, wink) have missed their mark. Call it the inevitable “video game curse” that countless other video game based movies has suffered through, but there is still hope thanks to Michael Fassbender and New Regency.
This past summer it was announced that the Prometheus star had not only landed the lead role in Ubisoft’s film adaptation of their video game, Assassin’s Creed, but that he would also co-direct. After that came… silence, that is until some new financing for the picture and a partnership with New Regency.
Ubisoft Motion Pictures is hard at work developing both their Splinter Cell and Ghost Recon franchises for a live -action treatment as well, but Assassin’s Creed is the first to really have solid fan support since Prince of Persia. Ubisoft Motion Pictures CEO Jean-Julien Baronnet said:
“Bringing aboard New Regency’s renowned production and distribution expertise while maintaining our own creative and financial flexibility ensures that Assassin’s Creed will be a high-quality film that respects the lore and fans of the video game franchise.”
The Paris-based studio said Fassbender was their first choice for the lead role with Conor McCaughan set to join the actor for the second half of the directing duties and according to New Regency CEO Brad Weston:
“This is the perfect intersection of what we have been trying to do, and that is to work with top quality talent like Michael Fassbender… We see this as our first big commercial action franchise property. Fassbender just did 12 Years A Slave with us, and he is as good an actor as there is right now. The storyline we are pursuing has a great narrative and because Ubisoft’s games are so character and story driven, Assassin’s Creed lends itself perfectly to our goal to re-brand Regency as a filmmaker driven company.
Yes, much like Jake Gyllenhaal in Prince of Persia, Fassbender doesn’t quite fit the ethnicity of Assassin’s Creed’s Desmond Miles, assassins Altaïr ibn-La’Ahad and Ezio Auditore da Firenze or new assassin Connor Kenway, but who really cares? If played right in the next few years we’re going to have a sex symbol leaping off buildings into haystacks and stabbing people with hidden blades. A perfect date night movie for everyone involved.
What do you think about Ubisoft letting Fassbender take a crack at their little money pit idea?
Special thanks to The Mary Sue for spreading the joy.