BREAKING: Tom Hardy has become attached to star in the film based on Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell video game, and Eric Warren Singer has been set to write the script. The project isn’t set up at a studio yet, but is moving forward with the game universe’s France-based company Ubisoft.
Studios have been vying to make a deal for the franchise, with Warner Bros and Paramount recently rumored to be knocking on the door earlier this summer. Singer, who wrote the thriller The International, also scripted the Black List script American Bullshit, which is being made as an untitled drama that David O Russell is directing with Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner starring.
The original game, revolves around Sam Fisher, a covert operative who so far has been put on six missions covering six installments of the game that has sold 22 million units and spawned several novels. Hardy will play Fisher. After his recent turns in Warrior, The Dark Knight Rises, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Inception, Hardy is on everybody’s most wanted list. He’ll next star in the George Miller-directed Mad Max: Fury Road and is being offered just about every movie these days, it seems.
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This becomes the second recent movie development on a Ubisoft game property, after New Regency made a deal to finance and distribute Assassin’s Creed, the screen adaptation of the Ubisoft video game that will star Hollywood’s other “It” guy, Michael Fassbender. These projects were hatched by the game maker’s Ubisoft Motion Pictures division, and the company has strong creative input as the projects move into the script stage. Vidgame to movie projects have been hit or miss, but you certainly cannot deny the core audience potential if these are done right. Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell video games have sold more than 23 million copies since they debuted in 2002, and Assassin’s Creed has sold 37 million games, with the latest installment having just arrived in stores.
For Ubisoft, this marks the second casting coup of landing an up and coming male star who is ripe to headline a franchise.
“Tom Hardy is one of the biggest talents in the film industry, and he has a phenomenal ability to take on complex and varied roles with his broad range of acting skills,” said Jean-Julien Baronnet, chief executive officer, Ubisoft Motion Pictures. “His involvement in the Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell movie is exciting news for movie and video game fans alike. In addition, Eric Singer is one of the most talented writers today. We’re confident he’ll bring a fresh approach and create a thrilling story for the Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell movie, while still respecting all the codes and traditions of the franchise that are so important to fans.”
CAA repped both Hardy and Singer in their deals and Singer is also repped by attorney Mark A. Gochman.