Video games movies are often quite terrible, which is trend that’s proven almost impossible to shake. Still, it isn’t stopping A-list stars like Michael Fassbender from giving it a go (ASSASSIN’S CREED), and Oscar-nominee Tom Hardy will enter that ring with SPLINTER CELL. But trying to make a “video game” movie isn’t a real concern for the filmmakers, who in the end just want to make it the most amazing action movie possible.
The movie is being produced by JOHN WICK producer Basil Iwanyk, who sat down with Collider to talk about why this movie will try to break the constraints of the genre:
…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.
The movie will center on the character Sam Fisher (Hardy), and though the character does have an interesting background it seems the movie will try and throw him into a world we haven’t seen before, even in the game. On that note, Iwanyk says the screenplay is coming along nicely, but it’s currently it’s “too long”, and they will try to get it trimmed down and address Hardy’s notes, hopefully having it done and ready to go by the end of the year. If it seems like Hardy has a bigger hand in this than you thought he would, well, it’s because he’s a big nerd as well as a badass:
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.
Iwanyk also spoke to the rating the movie will aim for, and how it will try and step away not just from being like other video game movies, but other spy movies as well.
…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.”
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?
There probably isn’t a single video game movie out there that I like. I just haven’t seen many try to do something different with the source material, instead trying too hard to cater to fans. Most of them come off too silly as a result, or worse, take the silliness of the story waaayyyy too seriously. Finding the right balance will be hard for the SPLINTER CELL team, but I think Hardy and Co. can do it. I’m sure fans will want a faithful adaptation, but should also remember to keep their minds open to a unique experience. This movie does have some JOHN WICK folks behind it, so at least we can expect some swift headshots.
The Iwanyk-produced JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2 hits theaters February 10 (next friday!!!!)