×

Ubisoft To Make Movies Based on ‘Watch Dogs,’ ‘Far Cry,’ ‘Rabbids’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Projects join films based on 'Assassin's Creed,' 'Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell' and 'Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon' already set up in Hollywood

After setting up three films at Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Bros., Ubisoft Motion Pictures is ready for phase two.

The film division of French game publisher Ubisoft plans to package “Watch Dogs,” “Far Cry” and “Rabbids” as its next trio of film projects it plans to set up in Hollywood.

Company recently packaged big screen adaptations of “Assassin’s Creed” and “Splinter Cell” at New Regency. Fox has already planted a flag on Memorial Day 2015 to release the “Assassins” film, which will star Michael Fassbender. “Splinter Cell” will star Tom Hardy. Both actors are also attached as producers. This week, Ubisoft announced that Michael Bay will develop “Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon” into a potential film franchise at Warner Bros.

SEE ALSO: Michael Bay to Develop Ubisoft’s ‘Ghost Recon’ Film at Warner Bros.

In the cases of “Watch Dogs,” “Far Cry” and “Rabbids,” Ubisoft will once again maintain creative control of the projects as they’re developed into movies. That means the division, under the direction of UMP CEO Jean-Julien Baronnet, will hire screenwriters, directors, cast and choose the production shingles and studios it wants to work with. Ubisoft will finance the development of the scripts.

By doing that, “no one can tell us you have to do the movie a certain way,” Baronnet said.

Company is currently in talks with Frank Marshall (“Raiders of the Lost Ark,” the Jason Bourne series) and Basil Iwanyk (“Wrath of the Titans,” “The Town”) to serve as producers on “Assassin’s Creed” and “Splinter Cell,” respectively.

While “Far Cry” and “Rabbids” are already established tentpole game franchises for Ubisoft, “Watchdogs” has yet to be released. Game launches Nov. 19, but has been generating considerable buzz among the gaming community since last year’s E3.

■ “Watch Dogs” is a stealth game that lets players hack into people’s phones and other devices, as well as the city’s infrastruscture to carry out missions and stop criminals.

■ Each game in the “Far Cry” series 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. “Far Cry 3,” which was released last year, revolves around 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. The game was a hit for Ubisoft, selling more than six million units. Game already was the basis of a low-budget 2008 actioner directed by Uwe Boll.

■ And the more kid-friendly “Rabbids,” a spinoff of Ubisoft’s “Rayman” games, features an animated group of hyper rabbits know for causing mischief. They’re essentially Ubisoft’s version of Universal’s Minions. Nickelodeon will air “Rabbids Invasion” as an interactive TV show sometime this fall, which will let viewers play mini games featuring the characters using the Xbox One’s Kinect.

Plan is to produce “Rabbids” as live action film featuring the mischievous bunnies in the game as CG characters, similar to “The Smurfs” or “Alvin and the Chipmunks.”

As opposed to other gamemakers who see a film as a marketing tool to sell more games, Ubisoft is treating its movies as standalone titles that feature new plots. They’re not meant to be retellings of what gamers have already played in the past.

“These are not adaptations,” Baronnet stresses. “We will create a brand new story. Always.”

To do that, Ubisoft Motion Pictures is working closely with Ubisoft’s various game studios to make sure there’s no overlap, while maintaining the DNA of the franchises, and helping them grow across various platforms.

That includes the marketing campaigns, with Baronnet planning on launching campaigns 18 months before a film’s release “to create bridges between the game and movie,” he said.

While it now has six game-based movies in development, Baronnet said he has no plans to adapt Ubisoft’s entire portfolio.

“Not every game will make a good movie, and for others it may be too early to turn into a movie,” he said.

More Biz

  • Delta Air Lines celebrates Grammy Weekend

    Halsey, Jonas Brothers, Zedd to Headline iHeartMedia Wango Tango Concert

    Jonas Brothers, Halsey, 5 Seconds of Summer, Zedd, Ally Brooke (with special guest Tyga), Ava Max, Fletcher and Tomorrow X Together will perform at iHeartMedia’s annual Wango Tango concert at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Los Angeles (formerly StubHub Center) on June 1. Freeform will broadcast a 90-minute television special on Friday, June 7 [...]

  • Prince Memoir, ‘The Beautiful Ones,’ to

    Prince Memoir, ‘The Beautiful Ones,’ to Be Released in October

    The memoir Prince was working on at the time of his death is coming out Oct. 29, according to the Associated Press. Publisher Random House confirmed Monday that “The Beautiful Ones” will combine Prince’s unfinished manuscript with rare photos, scrapbooks and lyrics. Announced just weeks before his 2016 death, the 288-page book, issued in partnership [...]

  • Abigail Disney on Bob Iger

    Abigail Disney Calls Bob Iger's $65 Million Compensation 'Insane'

    Disney chairman-CEO Bob Iger’s total compensation for Disney’s fiscal 2018 was a whopping $65.6 million. Abigail Disney, the granddaughter of Disney co-founder Roy Disney, calls that sum “insane.”  While speaking at the Fast Company Impact Council, the filmmaker and philanthropist insisted that this level of corporate payout has a “corrosive effect on society.” Disney took [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Signs of Solidarity and Strain Emerge as Week 2 of WGA-Talent Agency Standoff Begins

    Hundreds of WGA members rallied solidly behind their union last week as the industry grappled with uncertainties spurred by the sudden break between writers and their talent agency representatives. But as the standoff heads into its second week, signs of strain among some WGA members are beginning to emerge. Shalom Auslander, author and creator of [...]

  • Woodstock 50 Festival Postpones Ticket On-Sale

    Woodstock 50 Festival Postpones Ticket On-Sale Date

    UPDATED: The troubled Woodstock 50 festival has run into more difficulties, as multiple sources told Variety late Friday that the April 22 on-sale date for the event has been postponed. Agents for artists scheduled to perform at the festival — which include Jay-Z, Dead & Company, Chance the Rapper, Miley Cyrus, Imagine Dragons and Halsey [...]

  • National Enquirer - Jeff Bezos

    Hudson Media CEO James Cohen Purchases the National Enquirer

    Hudson Media’s CEO James Cohen announced Thursday that he will purchase the National Enquirer as well as American Media’s other tabloids, the Globe and the National Examiner. With the purchase of the National Enquirer, which Cohen reportedly bought for $100 million, he plans to strengthen their collaborative efforts, documentary shows, weekly podcasts, and theme parks. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content