When bringing their popular video game franchises to the world of film, publishers have often had to rely on the middle men known as "movie studios" to help produce them. The understanding there, of course, being that game publishers were simply too out of their element to make the movies themselves, thus requiring experts to be called in for the work to be done "properly." Thus far, the results of this uneasy partnership have ranged from "tolerable" to "nightmarish," depending on which of the Mortal Kombat movies you're watching.
The publisher today announced Ubisoft Motion Pictures, a Paris-based film division of the company that will be headed up by Jean-Julien Baronnet, who formerly helmed Luc Besson's production company, EuropaCorp.
Prince of Persia got the big screen treatment last year in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, which starred Jake Gyllenhaal and Ben Kingsley and came courtesy of Bruckheimer Productions. Another Ubisoft property, Far Cry, also became a film thanks to noted decrier of "quality" and "effort," Uwe Boll.
Obvious opportunities for new film development include the company's wildly successful Assassin's Creed franchise, as well as just about anything with the Tom Clancy name--you know, since Ubisoft totally owns it. Driver would also seem a decent possibility, although they'll have to find a way to make everyone on the planet forget they ever saw any of the Transporter movies.
We'd have suggested a Beyond Good & Evil movie, but we know that they'd just announce it, and then proceed to go completely radio silent, eventually pretending they'd never announced in the first place until weeks later, when they suddenly remember that they had, in fact, announced it and reassure everyone it's totally still happening. That sort of bi-polar back and forth would undoubtedly continue for years, inevitably leading to all of us just quietly giving up and resigning ourselves to settle for an animated, direct-to-video retelling of the first game, because at least it's better than nothing, right?