Producer Basil Iwanyk sheds some light on the state of the Splinter Cell movie, set to star Tom Hardy.
We’re still waiting for the first truly great video game adaptation. With all the hype around Warcraft and Assassin’s Creed last year I was certain that at least one of them would break the curse and give us a commercial and critical success, but both failed to deliver. I’ve been harping for a while now that I felt video game’s were the next medium to be mined for film ideas (much like the comic book genre has taken Hollywood by storm), but thus far the movies based on games have been uninspiring and have given studios (and gaming companies like Nintendo) reason to be cautious about putting big investment dollars into projects that aren’t a sure thing.
That said, there are still some popular game adaptations on the horizon. Tomb Raider, with Academy Award winner Alicia Vikander set to star, will begin shooting shortly now that they have a finished screenplay. Dwayne Johnson and Naomie Harris will headline an adaptation of Rampage that certainly has box office potential. Collider is now reporting that the long-gestating Splinter Cell movie may finally be moving forward as well.
Collider spoke with producer Basil Iwanyk about the Splinter Cell movie, which actor Tom Hardy has been attached to for quite some time now. It appears as though the movie is closer to the start of production, however his comments also seem to indicate that the finished product could differ from the video game and the character of Sam Fisher that gamers have come to embrace. Check out the full interview below.
Collider: Are you still producing Splinter Cell?
Basil Iwanyk: 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.
Does the financial box office of Assassin’s Creed play into Splinter Cell or are these separate things?
Iwanyk: 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.
Tom Hardy has talked about, for years now, Splinter Cell, and I think he’s a gamer.
Iwanyk: He is a gamer. He’s also a guy who has a lot of friends in that world, not the gaming world but the Special Ops world. He wants to play this character really, really badly. That’s what makes it exciting for all of us because Tom playing this character is an event.
Do you envision this as an R-rated kind of thing?
Iwanyk: No, but we’re definitely going to make it a hard PG-13. No, it’s not going to be like [John] Wick, but it’s going to be badass.
Did you guys look at a real-world event to go with or what are you digging towards for this story?
Iwanyk: 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?
What do you think? Are you excited that a Splinter Cell movie is getting closer to being a reality? Does it bother you that the writers/producers could be digressing from the established backstory and character of Sam Fisher and making up their own lead? How do you feel about his comments about trying to create a new aesthetic that could stand apart from the Bourne/Bond films? Share your opinions int he discussion board below. There’s no target release date yet for the movie, but I will keep you posted as soon as any new information comes out.