Back before Michael Bay directed his Transformers films, Transformers were just weird toys and cartoons that children of the 80s fondly remembered as being basically the best thing ever. People like fast cars, and people like giant robots, so why not create a bunch of fast cars who turn into giant robots and then fight each other? The idea is elegant, it’s simple, and as far as we knew, it was timeless.
Then Bay and his crew went and turned the whole thing into modern, big budget movies and made us realize that Transformers was a thing best nostalgically remembered from childhood. Turns out the whole idea, complete with aliens, energon cubes, and plucky kid sidekicks, is kind of stupid, and lacks the elegant simplicity of cars turning into giant robots and then fighting each other.
These days kids don’t play with toys anymore though, they play video games, so if Bay is going to continue making billions of dollars turning things that kids like into movies, a smart bet for him would probably be to adapt a popular video game into a movie. Enter Ubisoft’s ‘Ghost Recon’ series of games, which are popular shoot ‘em ups inspired by the work of Tom Clancy. There are no aliens in ‘Ghost Recon,’ no energon cubes, and no plucky kid sidekicks, so could this be Bay’s chance to redeem himself by adapting something young people like that’s actually cool, something that can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike?
That’s the bet that Warner Bros. is making, because Variety is reporting that they’ve just signed a deal with Ubisoft to develop a Ghost Recon movie as a possible franchise launcher, and the companies have hired Bay to put the whole thing together and possibly even direct.
So, what is Ghost Recon going to be all about? Well, the games are about a fictional squad of Army Special Forces who use the latest technology in order to pull off super-covert missions. The “Ghost” in their name comes from the idea that they’re not supposed to be seen, so basically they’re GI Joe if every character was Snake Eyes. A script for the Ghost Recon movie hasn’t been put together yet, but Ubisoft is said to currently be taking a very hands on approach to picking possible scribes, as they want the work to be instantly recognizable as a ‘Ghost Recon’ story, but they don’t want it to actually adapt any narratives from the game that fans have already played through.
Back to the important question: Does a Ghost Recon movie have any chance of actually being good? A representative from Ubisoft gave Variety the quote that they’ve put Bay in charge of production because they see him as being, “a master at action movies,” so you be the judge. It looks like a whole new generation of innocents are about to have something they used to love made lame by a dumb summer movie.
Or, you know, maybe this time around we won’t get the Bay who wants to make mutant turtles aliens and alien robots racist caricatures, and the thing will actually end up being a lot of (poorly shot) fun. We’ll just have to wait and see.