We’ve apparently hit that point where publishers – or, well, Ubisoft – have decided that, hey, games should be on the silver screen! As such, Variety is reporting that Ubisoft are trying to get more of their franchises made into movies.
Ubi are already working on Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell movies (the former starring Michael Fassbender, the latter starring Tom Hardy). This week, they’ve apparently announced that Michael Bay will be developing Ghost Recon into a “potential film franchise” at Warner Bros, and there are three more…
… No. We’ll talk about the other three franchises they’re trying to turn into movies in a moment. First: Michael Bay doing fucking Ghost Recon? Who the hell thought that was a good idea? Last year, I made a video looking back at the original Ghost Recon game with a few tongue-in-cheek comparisons to Future Soldier, noting that the series has moved from rock-hard tactical stealth games into bombastic and explosive shooters with a few tactical elements. And now Michael Bay is doing a Ghost Recon movie? The man who makes films that can basically be summed up as “explosions, with the torn shreds of a plot and the dignity of any actors involved loosely flapping in the breeze behind them”? Fuck off. Just fuck off.
Okay. So the other three franchises they’re trying to turn into movies are Watch Dogs, Far Cry, and Rabbids, surprising literally no-one. Watch Dogs is basically already has a TV series thanks to Person of Interest, and while I can’t see that being any good I’m not entirely surprised. Far Cry was unexpectedly huge and had a pretty heavy focus on character and story, so okay, whatever. And Rabbids is the kid-friendly franchise they keep pushing, and that will apparently be a live-action film with CG Rabbids. Sort of like The Smurfs or Alvin & the Chipmunks, both of which took the box office by storm and received rave critical reviews oh wait no I was looking at an alternative universe for a moment there. And let’s not forget that there already was a Far Cry film, made by Uwe Boll! On second thought, no, I’d much rather forget that.
Ubisoft have sort of dipped into films before with the abominable Prince of Persia, although I think that was more Jordan Mechner than them. Either way, it was bloody terrible. In fact, the only two good live-action game movies I can think of are Mortal Kombat (which was mostly good because it was camp, cheesy, and hilarious) and Silent Hill (which took some serious liberties with the game lore, but wasn’t bad as a stand-alone horror flick).
I suppose they’re at least making the right noises – Variety reports that the company is treating the movies as standalone titles with their own plots, with Ubisoft Motion Pictures CEO Jean-Julien Baronnet saying “These are not adaptations,” and that “Not every game will make a good movie,” but that tends to raise the question as to why you’d even bother. Quality is really the only barometer of whether or not they’re good films, but making a game movie means that you either have to stick rigidly to the game and likely make a terrible movie, or take liberties with the game lore to make a better movie but piss off the fans… and at that point, you have to wonder why it’s even worth using the game license.
More on this when I watch the movies through a haze of tears, I’m sure.