The Assassin’s Creed film adaptation may not have done what it was supposed to at the box-office (or with critics for that matter) but that doesn’t mean Ubisoft, the company behind the video games, is slowing down on that front. Long in development alongside it has been Splinter Cell, a Tom Clancy-inspired first person shooter that has had Tom Hardy attached as the lead since 2012. Now, with Assassin’s Creed continuing its international roll-out (and talk of a sequel or even a trilogy very much a question mark), Collider got to ask producer Basil Iwanyk, who is promoting John Wick: Chapter 2, for an update on the proposed feature film.
Iwanyk confirmed he is still a producer on the project, which has followed a similar path as Creed by attaching an up-and-coming male actor at the inception and involving them as a producer. That is clearly the case here, as Iwanyk noted the script, while “a little long,” incorporated notes made by Hardy and the plan is for the British actor (currently threatening his way through 19th century London on FX’s miniseries Taboo) to read the new draft next month. As far as how Assassin’s Creed box office performance impacts Splinter Cell‘s development, Iwanyk delineated.
“They’re separate kind of things. 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.”
He also said, unlike the John Wick franchise with its gleefully hard R-rated action, Splinter Cell will be a “hard PG-13.” The biggest challenge, as he noted aboved, was crafting a mythology from the ground up. The goal was to differentiate the story from those of other spy heroes like James Bond or Jason Bourne.
“It’s more of what we’re digging away from. 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?”
If Splinter Cell does finally get going this year, a late 2018/early 2019 release seems reasonable. John Wick: Chapter 2 hits theaters February 10.