Two high-profile projects have inched forward in their long development this morning, with the news that videogame adaptation Splinter Cell and sleeper-hit sequel Chronicle 2 have both just attached new writers. Sheldon Turner (Up In The Air, X-Men: First Class) has the former gig, while newcomer Jack Stanley is at work on the latter.
Splinter Cell, based on the Ubisoft game franchise, has Tom Hardy in place to star and Doug Liman on board to direct. Liman previously hired Turner for his Everest film, although that seems now to have fallen by the wayside in the face of the Baltasar Kormakur version (which stars Josh Brolin and John Hawkes and is currently in production at Universal).
As with the games, the focus will be Sam Fisher (Hardy), a secret operative for shadowy government organisation Third Echelon, dedicated to taking down terrorists. Last we heard, production company New Regency were hoping to get the shooting started in August, but that start date may now have slipped.
Stanley, meanwhile, has the unenviable task of filling the big shoes vacated by Max Landis, the writer of the original Chronicle. Landis himself had ideas of where he wanted to go next with the lo-fi teen-superhero story, but his ideas were rejected by the powers at Fox.
“I’m not even sure if fans of the first film would have been ready or eager for my [version],” Landis explained on Twitter. “Gone was the aspirational ‘what would you do’. Gone were the pranks and bromance. Gone were lovely, tragic Andrew and hopeful, bright Steve. In their place was a dark, frustratingly unblinking stare into a complicated world that asks the question, ‘Is it worth it to be a hero?’ told from the point of view of a heartbroken and insane woman who would martyr herself to the cause of being the world’s first villain.
"It was, in my estimation, a sequel that elaborated on the ideas and situations from the first to create a different genre of movie.. [but] at the end of the day, maybe it's better that Martyr never saw the light of day. The most frustrating thing is that I don't know if I'll get the opportunity to explain what MOGO [the Massive Organic Geoelectric Object that gave our heroes their abilities] was or what he was doing in that cave…”
Whether Stanley gets to go there, or what else he has in mind, remains to be seen. He’s an unknown quantity to most of us, but studio insiders clicked to his as-yet unmade Black List spec screenplay Sweetheart, about a female assassin at her high school reunion. His werewolf thriller Silver is also getting some attention.
With Chronicle’s Josh Trank otherwise occupied at Fox with the new Fantastic Four, Chronicle 2 does not currently have a director.