×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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

  • Kobe Bryant Dead

    Kobe Bryant's Best Days Were Still Ahead of Him (Column)

    I was strolling around my local flea market Sunday morning when I looked down at my phone and read the horrible news: “Kobe Bryant Dies in Helicopter Crash.” I let out an audible gasp. Of course, my utter shock instantly morphed into journalistic concerns over how we were going to cover this unfathomable news. I [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein trial Jan 28

    Harvey Weinstein Trial: Accuser's Ex-Roommate Says She Was Told About Alleged Rape in 2006

    Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial in New York continued Tuesday with the former roommate of one of the ex-movie mogul’s accusers corroborating details of Weinstein’s alleged 2006 sexual assault. Elizabeth Entin, who was Miriam Haley’s roommate at the time Haley alleged she was sexually assaulted by Weinstein, testified that Haley, a former assistant on “Project Runway,” [...]

  • Gloria Allred

    Gloria Allred Rips Apart Weinstein's Defense Team for 'Putting the Blame on Women'

    Shortly after Harvey Weinstein accuser Miriam Haley took the stand and testified that she was sexually assaulted by the fallen movie mogul over a decade ago, her attorney Gloria Allred ripped apart Weinstein’s defense team, speaking to press outside of the courthouse. During the six-hour testimony, Haley told the jury that Weinstein forcibly performed oral [...]

  • Desus Nice, The Kid Mero. Desus

    'Desus and Mero' Duo to Receive Bronx Cheer at Museum Gala

    Daniel Baker and Joel Martinez, the pair better known as Desus and Mero, are set to receive a hometown salute on March 2 when they will be honored along with others by the Bronx Museum. The hosts of the Showtime late-nighter “Desus and Mero” will be included as part of the museum’s Visionary Duos gala [...]

  • Lewis Capaldi

    Lewis Capaldi Signs Rights Deal With Kobalt

    Kobalt today announced that it has signed Lewis Capaldi to an international neighboring rights deal. The Capitol recording artist was previously represented by PPL for international collections. Ann Tausis, CEO of Kobalt Neighboring Rights, commented on the deal, “Lewis’s ascent to the top has been breathtaking. His emotive songs and charming social media presence have [...]

  • Boris Johnson Grants China's Huawei Limited

    UK Grants China's Huawei Limited Role in 5G Network, Despite Security Concerns

    The British government, led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, decided Tuesday to allow Chinese tech giant Huawei to build parts of the country’s 5G network, in defiance of U.S. concerns over national security risks and the potential for Chinese espionage. The U.K.’s National Security Council green-lit the move to go ahead with “high risk vendor” [...]

  • Village Roadshow Studios Queensland

    Australia’s Village Roadshow Receives Second Takeover Bid

    Australian studios, cinemas and theme parks group Village Roadshow Limited has received a tentative takeover bid from private equity firm BGH. The bid follows a December offer from another funds group, Pacific Equity Partners. The earlier offer valued VRL at A$3.90 per share. BGL’s proposal is for a bid worth A$4 per share, payable in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content