Once upon a time the name Tom Clancy meant something to both the suits in Hollywood and the seats in theaters across America. The Hunt for Red October, an adaptation of Clancy’s first novel, was a commercial and critical hit, and it set the stage for three follow-up films featuring the author’s most famous character, Jack Ryan. The four movies averaged $200 million each at the worldwide box-office, but they stopped with 2002’s The Sum of All Fears (because there was a time when Ben Affleck’s name killed everything it touched).
That same year saw the debut of Splinter Cell, a 3rd-person view stealth shooter that put players in the silent but deadly shoes of CIA operative Sam Fisher (voiced by Michael Ironside). Like Clancy’s Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon games this featured his name and advisement but no direct link to his fiction. The game series has been a big success, and talk of a movie adaptation has been evident throughout the past decade.
Per Deadline Langley, studios are once again batting around the idea of a Splinter Cell adaptation. Publisher Ubisoft was in talks with WB in recent weeks, but it looks like Paramount may be the ones close to signing a deal. The studio is already in pre-production on a reboot of the Jack Ryan franchise starring Chris Pine’s forehead, so another collaboration seems likely.
Personally, I’d rather see a Ghost Recon feature film from the directing duo behind the recent short, Ghost Recon: Alpha. François Alaux and Hervé de Crécy’s prequel to the new Future Soldier game is packed with beautifully shot scenes making fantastic use of action choreography, special effects and tension. A large scale action film using state of the art technology and weaponry is far more appealing than a film about a guy who has to be silent and immobile for long stretches at a time. But maybe I’m still bitter at the game for failing my mission every time I accidentally triggered an alarm… seriously, give me the option of shooting my way out of it!