Off Beat: UBISOFT® CONNECTS WITH SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT AND NEW REGENCY FOR WATCH DOGS™ FILM
COLOGNE, GERMANY – August 20, 2013 – Today at the Sony Computer Entertainment press conference at Gamescom, Ubisoft® announced that its film and television division, Ubisoft Motion Pictures, is collaborating with Sony Pictures Entertainment and New Regency on development of a feature film based on Watch Dogs™, Ubisoft’s highly anticipated open-world action-adventure video game. Ubisoft and Sony also showed a first look at the exclusive Watch Dogs gameplay that will be available for PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system this holiday.
“Since both Sony and Ubisoft have movie and video game branches, this deal creates exceptional opportunities for us to merge the realms of the story-based cinematic experience with the interaction of the video game,” said Jean-Julien Baronnet, chief executive officer, Ubisoft Motion Pictures. “In addition, Sony Pictures and New Regency have deep production expertise and are letting us maintain a strong creative voice in the film’s development. Together, we’re confident we can deliver a movie that builds upon the excitement that the game is already generating.”
Commenting on the announcement, Hannah Minghella, president of production for Columbia Pictures, said, “The themes and open gameplay of ‘Watch Dogs’ lends itself perfectly to the big screen. The game has intense action and adventure, but the story focuses on information and the control of information, which we think will lead to an exciting thriller. It has tremendous potential as a motion picture and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work closely with Ubisoft’s internal creative team on the development of the project.”
Watch Dogs centers on Aiden Pearce, a brilliant hacker bent on revenge and inflicting his own brand of justice after a violent family tragedy. Using all of his skills, Pearce hacks into Chicago’s Central Operating System (ctOS), which controls the city’s infrastructure, including security cameras, traffic lights, and public transportation, as well as databases containing key information on the city’s residents. In the game, Pearce turns the entire city of Chicago into his ultimate weapon. The game received many awards at E3 2012, including Best of Show from GamingExcellence and three awards (Biggest Surprise, Best New Franchise and Best PC Game) from IGN. The game also won GameSpot’s People’s Choice Most Exciting Game of E3 2013.
The project will be overseen at Ubisoft by Ubisoft Motion Pictures. At Columbia, Minghella and Sam Dickerman will oversee development while Alexandra Milchan and Andrew Calof will work on the forthcoming film for New Regency.
About Ubisoft Motion Pictures:
Ubisoft Motion Pictures was created in January 2011 to expand the audience of Ubisoft’s successful video game brands by bringing them to film, television and Web series. In addition to the Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon film, the studio is also partnering with New Regency on the upcoming films based on the Assassin’s Creed and Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell franchises, and is in production on the Rabbids TV series, a collection of 78 seven-minute CGI episodes based on the insane stars of the video game franchise of the same name, in partnership with France Televisions and Nickelodeon.
Ubisoft is a leading producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment products worldwide and has grown considerably through a strong and diversified line-up of products and partnerships. Ubisoft has offices in 29 countries and has sales in more than 55 countries around the globe. It is committed to delivering high-quality, cutting-edge video game titles to consumers. For the 2012-13 fiscal year Ubisoft generated sales of €1,256 million. To learn more, please visit: http://www.ubisoftgroup.com.
About Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition and distribution; television production, acquisition and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. For additional information, go to http://www.sonypictures.com.
About New Regency
Founded in 1991 by renowned producer Arnon Milchan, New Regency Productions is actively engaged in entertaining the world via the production and distribution of motion pictures, television and sports through strategic alliances with media companies. Distributing its films through Twentieth Century Fox, Regency has produced many high-profile films over the years, including: Fight Club, Heat, JFK, Alvin and the Chipmunks, LA Confidential, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Under Siege, Free Willy, A Time To Kill, Devil’s Advocate, Tin Cup, City of Angels, The Negotiator, Entrapment, Don’t Say a Word, Unfaithful, Man on Fire, Jumper, Love & Other Drugs and The Internship. Upcoming films include, 12 Years A Slave and Runner, Runner with Fox and Noah with Paramount. The distribution partnership with Fox extends to all media worldwide except international pay and free television. Regency self-distributes international television rights to multiple licensees. For more information, log onto http://www.newregency.com/
I am all for a Watch_Dogs film, however I hope the film is taken from aspects of the game and not the other way around. The whole history of games following in the footsteps of movies has bombed numerous times in the past, but I would welcome a flip of the script.