The future of Sleeping Dogs is questionable at best, particularly after the closure of United Front Games and subsequent cancellation of Triad Wars and the ambitious, embryonic sequel, Sleeping Dogs 2.
But just because a property fails in one medium doesn’t necessarily mean it can’t succeed in another; Deadline is reporting that Original Film and Square Enix – the publishing house behind United Front Games – have struck a deal for a live-action movie based on Sleeping Dogs, and it’s currently courting Chinese superstar Donnie Yen to headline. Best known as the IP Man, Yen has found international success recently through the likes of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and action threequel xXx: Return of Xander Cage – two Hollywood tentpoles that fared remarkably well in China thanks to the inclusion of the actor.
With Sleeping Dogs, Yen will have an opportunity to circle back to his roots. Chronicling the journey of Wei Shen, an undercover Hong Kong-American police officer who infiltrates a criminal organization from the inside, United Front Games’ brooding crime saga is simply oozing with cinematic potential. Yen will presumably take point as Wei Shen, with Deadline noting that actor Will Yun Lee voiced the character in the original video game.
It’s early, early days for Square and Original Film’s live-action interpretation of Sleeping Dogs, but both parties have a bona fide ace in the hole in the form of Donnie Yen. This, coupled with the fact that Original Film has a pedigree for action following its work on the Fast and Furious franchise, leaves us feeling cautiously optimistic that the story of Wei Shen can be engineered into a compelling action film.