For a while now, rumours have been swirling around Sicario 2 director Stefano Sollima, suggesting that he’s the frontrunner in the race for the director’s chair on the highly anticipated film adaptation of the Activision game, Call Of Duty. Now that Activision Blizzard is stepping up talk of work on that project, all eyes are on Sollima for some kind of hint as to what he might be planning, were he to be confirmed for the job.
Speaking to Metro in a recent interview, the director took the opportunity to single out two specific actors that he greatly admires and would like to work with on the Call of Duty movie – specifically, Tom Hardy and Chris Pine.
“I mean, I like almost everything [Tom Hardy has been in]. I’m waiting for his Venom. Even in Mad Max, he was great.
“[Chris Pine] is tough, but he’s smart and he can have a sense of humour but he can [also] be in such a dramatic role. I like when you feel that an actor can play with different nuances and tone because this means they’re a good actor.”
Both actors have repeatedly proven themselves eminently capable of delivering action movie performances that are compelling and nuanced, and have also demonstrated noteworthy onscreen chemistry when they appeared together in the 2012 action-comedy This Means War. The prospect of these two stars being brought together with a director that’s also a fan of their work is therefore very intriguing indeed.
The real question, though, would be whether Tom Hardy and Chris Pine would be enough to elevate what could potentially be yet another failed video game adaptation. The genre is renowned for its flops, as Hollywood studios have yet to hit upon the winning formula to turn internationally popular games into narratively coherent stories on the big screen. Even 2016’s Assassin’s Creed spectacularly underperformed at the box office, despite having the loyal fanbase.
Call Of Duty is a property that simulates warfare, and this is something that we’ve seen time and again in cinemas over the years. The gimmick that could potentially set it apart – and make it more than just another war movie – is the fact that it’s a first-person shooter. Clearly, to have the film follow this format, it would make it difficult to have Tom Hardy and Chris Pine star, unless the story has the audience in the position of first-person shooter, and Hardy and Pine as fellow soldiers. In light of recent events in America, such a premise might be a difficult sell, though – because times and attitudes have changed a great deal since the video game first launched in 2003.
This is, of course, entirely speculative – as Stefano Sollima has yet to be confirmed as the director of Call Of Duty. As and when he is, though, it’ll be interesting to see how his casting process unfolds.