Though the radio silence had left many fans feeling apprehensive, the Splinter Cell movie is still very much alive over at Ubisoft and New Regency.
Collider caught up with the movie’s producer, Basil Iwanyk, to talk all things Sam Fisher, including Tom Hardy’s commitment to the role and why Ubisoft is angling its latest live-action adaptation as a “hard PG-13.” Still simmering on the brink of development, Iwanyk began by confirming that Ubi’s Splinter Cell movie is awaiting the official go-ahead from Hardy, who will soon give the script another read-through before the cameras can start rolling.
At first, Collider asked Iwanyk if he’s still attached to produce the video game movie, to which he replied:
“I am. We’ve got a script. It’s a little long, but it’s the best script we’ve had. Now that I’m back from Mexico City, we’re going in there to figure out how to cut some pages and give it to [Tom] Hardy. This draft kind of addressed Tom’s notes. We’re going to give it to Hardy in the next couple of weeks and hopefully try to get it done this year.”
In the wake of scathing reviews and a lowly box office return – $210 million at press time – Basil Iwanyk then addressed the elephant in the room: Assassin’s Creed. Will its failings have much of a bearing on Ubisoft’s planned Splinter Cell film? Not necessarily, because Iwanyk believes they’re two separate beasts.
“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.”
Sam Fisher is a Tom Clancy character who’s been kicking around since 2002, and though he’s yet to make his big screen debut, Iwanyk is confident the Splinter Cell movie can stand on its own two feet – far from the likes of James Bond and 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?”