clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

'We're not here to just license' video games for movies, says Ubisoft Motion Pictures CEO

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Ubisoft Motion Pictures wants to ensure that films based on Ubisoft brands are neither poor adaptations of the source material nor poor films, and the company is doing that by taking an active role in the creative process, chief executive Jean-Julien Baronnet told the Los Angeles Times.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Baronnet is "intimately involved in casting, script and filmmaking decisions," a requirement from Ubisoft Motion Pictures that reportedly caused nearly finalized deals with Paramount Pictures and Sony Pictures to fall through. He touted Ubisoft's unique approach to bringing its brands to the big screen, saying, "If you look at past adaptations of games to movies, none were done by an integrated gaming company that put a movie structure inside of itself."

Baronnet added, "We're not here to just license and we're not here to produce big movies ourselves. We are really in the middle of it." He also expressed a desire for the films to remain faithful to the video games themselves, saying, "We want to make a movie that will serve the brand and make happy the gamers and also the non-gamers."

Ubisoft Motion Pictures is the French publisher's movie and television division, and it has a number of agreements in place for film and TV adaptations of Ubisoft franchises including Assassin's Creed, Splinter Cell, Ghost Recon and Rabbids. Last year, the company announced co-production deals with New Regency Productions for an Assassin's Creed film starring Michael Fassbender (Prometheus, Shame) and a Splinter Cell movie featuring Tom Hardy (Inception, The Dark Knight Rises).

According to New Regency CEO Brad Weston, the producers still need to find directors for both films, each of which will cost an estimated $100 million to make. Neither is expected to be ready for release before late 2014.

Ubisoft Motion Pictures was created in 2011; it did not exist during the production of the publisher's most recent video game adaptation, the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced 2010 Prince of Persia film starring Jake Gyllenhaal.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Patch Notes

A weekly roundup of the best things from Polygon