Ubisoft Lines Up WATCH DOGS, FAR CRY and RABBIDS for Feature Film Treatment

by     Posted 1 year, 77 days ago


With French videogame studio Ubisoft already set to turn Assassin’s Creed, Splinter Cell and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon into feature films, they’re now lining up another trio.  Word has it that Ubisoft is seeking movie adaptations for Watch Dogs, Far Cry and Rabbids.  Perhaps this will mark a new wave of competent video game adaptations since each project has already landed some heavy Hollywood hitters.  Michael Fassbender (X-Men: First Class) has signed on to star in Assassin’s Creed, which is slated to open Memorial Day 2015; Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises) will take on Splinter Cell; and Michael Bay will now be developing Ghost Recon as a franchise for Warner Bros.  So what’s in store for the next wave of video games-turned-feature films?  Hit the jump to find out.

Variety reports that Ubisoft is interested in proceeding with phase two of their adaptation plans.  The studio will also maintain creative control over their projects, meaning that the hiring of screenwriters, directors, cast, production companies and distribution studios will all be decided in part by CEO Jean-Julien Baronnet, with Ubisoft financing development of the scripts.

Far Cry and Rabbids are already familiar franchises to fans and Ubisoft hopes that Watch Dogs will be a new hit when it’s released November 19th.  The stealth game lets players hack into people’s phones and other devices, as well as the city’s infrastructure to carry out missions and stop criminals.  Basically, it lets the player use our overly-connected technology both as a means of accessing information and as a weapon.  Check out the latest trailer from E3 below to see what I mean:

(Call me crazy, but I could see Tom Cruise as the protagonist in this one.  The delivery and dialogue is 100% Cruise, but I don’t know if he’s got another franchise in him.  Or, just let Noam Jenkins transition from his voice role to the live-action role itself for once.)

As for Far Cry, each game has been different, with the first following an ex Special Forces operative who searches for a missing journalist on a mysterious island when the sailboat they were traveling on is destroyed by mercenaries.  Last year’s best-selling Far Cry 3 centers on American tourists who are abducted by pirates on an unmarked set of islands, and must try to survive in the jungle as they’re hunted by an insane drug trafficker.

Now for the more family-friendly franchise, Rabbids.  A spin-off of the studio’s hit Rayman,  Rabbids features an animated group of hyper, mischief-causing rabbits.  Nickelodeon will air “Rabbids Invasion” as an interactive TV show this fall, which will let viewers use Xbox One’s Kinect to play mini games featuring the characters.  Here’s the trailer from E3:

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  • Lex Walker

    At what point does it become redundant to adapt the increasingly cinematic games of current and next-gen consoles? It’d be cool to see a Watch Dogs movie or a Mass Effect movie (not mentioned here), but when some of these games are already so story intensive and presented beautifully in their own right, what’s the point of adapting them save for an easy cash grab from the fanbase who’ve essentially already seen it/played through it?

    • mbmarquis69

      This is a great point. Video games are immersive, personal, experiences. Much in the same way that films often can’t live up to the novels they are inspired by, a movie based on a game will suffer in comparison to the gaming experience.

      I think for me, the reason I would love to see something like a Bioshock movie would be the chance to experience that world in a more realistic format. But there is certainly a trade off when condensing 15-20 hours of gameplay, mood, and story into 2 hours. The first truly great game-to-movie adaptation will take a game’s premise, setting, etc. and build a story that is more suited to film. That might irk a few purists who want to see THE GAME on the big screen.

      But as you’ve already pointed out, they have already had the best experience possible by playing the original. A movie can never hope to match that.

      • mbmarquis69

        On a related note to Bioshock: I wonder if, given the nature of the Bioshock universe(s) revealed by the most recent game, a film based on Bioshock could be completely original. Just use the premise: A man, a lighthouse, a city. Go from there and create something new, in much the same way Bioshock Infinite veered away from Rapture and Big Daddies and instead focused on Columbia and Elizabeth.

      • Lex Walker

        That seems like the only way to do it, take the skeleton and the most prominent themes of a game, and find a unique way to spin it as a narrative.

      • Lex Walker

        While it was a flop, and kind of out there, I consider Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within a perfect example of taking a games elements/themes and creating a free-standing movie. The first Resident Evil also did a decent enough job, but it only did so by cutting the corners off the game and removing that problem solving aspect to make it a straight up action and horror mix. It worked, it had enough original elements of the franchise to make it recognizable and it was somewhat enjoyable.

        The sad truth might just be that any game with too intricate a plot might be too much too adapt (at least as one film), which might mean that the games that lend themselves best to film would be the more action intensive ones (though there are more than a few examples where even that didn’t translate well).

        As you said, it’s that issue of going from active to passive storytelling, so if we hold that as a theory for why adaptations of games with too complex a premise don’t work, it would suggest that first-person shooters really are the best option as it incorporates a rough facsimile of the playing experience in a well-filmed action sequence while then having plenty of time to pad out the loose story. It’s just unfortunate because the games with some of the best stories tend to not be straight up first-person shooters. It’s a hard line to walk.

      • mbmarquis69

        I had forgotten about the Final Fantasy movie, but there is a good example where I didn’t even associate it with the game series because it was so different. That can be a double edged sword.

        I guess I’m only interested in seeing someone try to tackle a game-to-film where the story is already strong. Action vehicles based on games don’t interest me. But even with games that have lots of story, such as the Assassin’s Creed series, the movie must be careful not to confuse plotting with narrative. The convoluted plot of a game can quickly turn into a train wreck in a 2-hour screenplay.

  • Jan

    Person of Interest is Watch Dogs on the small screen.

  • Joe Canton

    I’m an aspiring filmmaker. After playing Far Cry 3, I wondered why Ubisoft would take to films with Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell but not Far Cry. Then I remember that Uwe Boll trainwreck. I thought I could make a decent Far Cry film off the third game’s storyline, but they are beating me to it. Here’s hoping they cast Michael Mando as Vaas and newcomers for the rest.

  • beetleborg33

    ….So Vaas is coming to the big screen


    Well Well What A Surprise…..No not really Watch Dogs is the only thing near movie status. The other two have no chance this not like how Captain America redeemed it
    self,Far Cry Should not be touched again! Rabbids I think will bomb! What happened to The Suffering Movie that would have made a great film! Hope they can bring that back and make better the 2nd one was ok but I think the story was kind of off
    But they can retool it. The first one alone is merit for a try like Resident Evil It could be a sleeper hit and make for franchise if it is well received! Collider you should think about an adapt this because Paramount was on this before.

  • Tom

    Thomas Jane for Watch Dogs.

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