Once Michael Bay has finished making himself, his crew and Paramount even richer (but the rest of the world even dumber) with Transformers 4 next July, Variety reports that he will embark on a covert mission with Ubisoft!
Bay has signed on to develop a big screen movie out of Ubisoft’s long-running video game franchise Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon at Warner Bros, with an eye to direct.
An enduring 21st century juggernaut that was first released in 2001 and has sold over 24 million copies across nine titles, Ghost Recon revolves around a fictional top-secret unit of U.S. Army Special Forces that operate directly to the President. They are essentially his private army and are armed with the latest technology to infiltrate and take down threats across the world, without leaving any evidence or trace that they actually exist. Kind of like the Navy Seals that took down Osama Bin Laden, though only the President and a few advisers know about them.
Jean-Julien Baronnet, CEO of Ubisoft Motion Pictures puts it like this;
“These guys don’t belong to any specific organization… They’re in the field where the U.S. troops are not supposed to be. It’s a small team with very strong personalities and very specific skill sets. They’re using weapons nobody knows about but it’s very grounded. It’s not sci-fi.”
Warner Bros have the option to use Tom Clancy’s name in the title should they wish and the hiring of Bay came about ““because he is a master at action movies”, says Baronnet. This will actually be the first time he has ever worked with Warner Bros after previously working with Disney, Sony, DreamWorks and Paramount but his role at the moment is only as a producer/overseer at Platinum Dunes, with a screenwriter expected to be hired this month and with overtures sent to actors soon in the hope that they can secure some talent commitments in July. At the moment, it’s no different to how Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles came together, a movie he didn’t end up helming.
Ghost Recon has always looked ripe for a Hollywood movie adaptation and the video games’ easy plot and setup would suit Bay’s pumped-up and adrenalin style of action and direction. Very little creativity is required here for the property to become a Michael Bay vehicle. Imagine a mix between the tactical mission shooter Zero Dark Thirty and the scene below from the Michael Bay classic The Rock, and you can get the idea of the blend this movie will likely have.
The timing is interesting giving that last year Ubisoft set Tom Hardy to lead a movie based on another Tom Clancy character, Splinter Cell, which has writers putting together a script at New Regency. The respective premises should be different enough that they aren’t actually competing (Splinter Cell is an espionage movie based on one hero, Ghost Recon will be multiple) but given that they are both based on video games and are similar titles in Tom Clancy/Ubisoft’s back catalogue, they will undoubtedly be compared.
After years of turning down chances to make their properties into movies, Ubisoft are seemingly gone head-first into the medium, confident that they can succeed where so many video game adaptations have failed. Aside from these two production attempts above, they also have an Assassin’s Creed movie setup at 20th Century Fox for release on Memorial Day 2015, with Michael Fassbender in the leading role. Their strategy appears to be simple… avoid letting their properties fall into the wrong hands and turned into Hollywood garbage (see Prince of Persia for a recent example). They are consciously hiring the talent first before going to a studio and if they are going to fail in making an entertaining movie, by golly they are going to do it on their own terms.
Here’s a possibly significant teaser of what a Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon movie could look like, taken from a 20 minute live-action short that Ridley Scott produced as a commercial for the series a little while back, titled; “Ghost Recon Alpha”.
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