The former CEO of Ubisoft Motion Pictures, Jean-Julien Baronnet, is opening up a new film studio that will focus exclusively on the adaptation of video game titles into feature films, according to Variety.
Baronnet, who was CEO of the video game publisher's specialized division for five years before being replaced in March, told Variety that he wanted to start Marla Studios because making great adaptations takes more than understanding how to make films. It also takes someone who has a deep understanding of developing video games and knows what gamers want to see in a film adaptation. Having worked on other titles, like Tom Hardy's upcoming Splinter Cell, Baronnet said he wanted to make video game to film adaptations something more than bargain bin titles.
"The key is to have a close relationship with the game designers and to work with them on the key creative angles that will best cope with the game's DNA," Baronnet told Variety. "The key is to recognize the passion of gamers, given they spend hundreds of hours in that world. That makes it essential for the ‘universe' of the game to be as accurate as possible."
Baronnet said he's currently in talks with a bunch of studios to adapt their titles, but didn't say who those studios are or what games they may be. He added that one of the biggest problems studios face when it comes to adapting games into film is that they tend to stick to the main story arc of a game and that doesn't work. Instead, Baronnet said producers need to study and know what makes a game's universe great and try to bring that into the film.
Baronnet said he's hoping to hire gaming industry veterans to help with adapting projects and producing films, but hasn't said who he has in mind. More information is expected to be revealed as the studio goes through its hiring negotiation process.