Earlier this year Ubisoft, one of the world's most distinguished video game developers and publishers, announced that it was creating its own movie studio. All we knew was it would be called simply Ubisoft Motion Pictures, and while plenty could wager safe guesses as to what their first foray into solo features would be, the newly minted studio hadn't announced specifically which titles it would be developing. Now it has: Assassin's Creed, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell and Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon will all be getting the big screen treatment.
At this point in time no writing or directing talents are attached to the various projects, but it's hard to imagine that some of the most popular video games of the last decade will have a difficult time attracting talent and studios. Assassin's Creed, a sci-fi period piece that takes place in Renaissance-era Italy, alone has already spawned four video games, two novels, a graphic novel and a short film. Splinter Cell, which follows the adventures of black ops agent Sam Fisher, has been even more popular, resulting in some six games and another six novels since the first hit in 2002. Ghost Recon, a futuristic military shooter, is perhaps least popular of the three properties, despite being the oldest, but even it has a half-dozen standalone games to its name.
If you're a fan of any of these properties but you also know how Hollywood has a tendency to completely miss the point when turning video games into movies, perhaps the words of Ubisoft Motion Pictures honcho Jean-Julien Baronnet (via Variety) will encourage you, "We want to keep ownership, retain control over the film content, and we're open to work with studios on the development of our projects, and eventually collaborate on the pre-casting, pre-budget and script." Which is basically his way of saying, "Yeah, we hated Disney's Prince of Persia movie, too; we're not letting that happen again."