ByRicardo Du Toit, writer at
Aspirant filmmaker and pop-culture geek! Follow me on Twitter @RicardoDuToit
Ricardo Du Toit

When Sleeping Dogs came out back in 2012, what was supposed to be a True Crime: Streets of L.A. spin-off became something of its own thanks to the dedication of publisher Square Enix and the now extinct United Front Games, who, after the game, went on to remaster other popular titles like the definitive version of 2013's Tomb Raider and Halo: The Master Chief Collection.

Recently, it was announced that the game would finally have a film adaptation, something fans have been expecting since the launch of the game, with Original Film founder Neal H. Moritz producing and legendary actor Donnie Yen starring. Here are five reasons why the movie is good news and why it should be on your radar:

5. It Brings Focus To An Underrated Game

'Sleeping Dogs' [Credit: Square Enix]
'Sleeping Dogs' [Credit: Square Enix]

When the game was released in 2012, it was riding on the little reputation it had, having gone through a somewhat rocky development with former publisher Activision and subsequent acquisition by Square Enix. As it was released, both critics and players alike seemed to enjoy the game and a community slowly grew to thousands of players, becoming a sleeper hit.

Thanks to its compelling storyline and game mechanics, including a comprehensive fighting section — as well as further DLCs that expanded on the games story and playing option — it's no surprise that Sleeping Dogs deserves its own cinematic treatment, reminding the audience on how great the game was.

4. The Story Is A Homage To Asian Action Films

'New Police Story' [Credit: China Film Group & JCE Movies]
'New Police Story' [Credit: China Film Group & JCE Movies]

The story follows Wei Shen, an undercover cop for the Hong Kong Police Department, trying to infiltrate and dismantle a triad organization called the Sun On Yee. Naturally, Wei grows fond of the people he meets, as well as the lifestyle his illegal life is able to provide, where the difference between going under and crossing over is blurred.

In this case, the game's storyline fits perfectly within the Hollywood realm, along with the perfect director that could make a movie that pays homage to Asian action movies, such as Johnnie To's Breaking News and Benny Chan's New Police Story.

Even as the film would be adapted to a Western audience, movies filmed in Asian countries have become more relevant to the cinematographic scene, due to China's ever-expanding production and box office efforts, attracting a larger audience.

3. The Return Of Donnie Yen

'xXx: The Return of Xander Cage' [Credit: Paramount Pictures]
'xXx: The Return of Xander Cage' [Credit: Paramount Pictures]

The Hong Kong-born actor has been having quite the comeback to mainstream Hollywood movies lately, with huge main roles in and , both of which put him back directly in the spotlight. It's still early to know more about how the video game will differ from the movie, but so far, this is an excellent start.

While his role in Sleeping Dogs hasn't been revealed, some rumors say he's too old to play main character, Wei Shen, as the character seems to be in his 30s. However, his martial arts skills and prowess tell a different story, as they are essential to Wei Shen and could provide some of the best combat scenes seen in recent history.

2. It Might Finally Break The Video Game To Movie Curse

'Sleeping Dogs' [Credit: Square Enix]
'Sleeping Dogs' [Credit: Square Enix]

Oh, the famed "video games make for bad movies" theory that has been mostly right for better part of the last three decades.

Unlike superhero movies, video game adaptations to film have a bad reputation, and with good reason. That can easily be put to rest if this film decides to be its own thing and not entirely a direct representation of its source material, but rather a main inspiration.

For what it's worth, the game itself lends details that originally came from cinema, so by giving some of that back, it's a safe bet things would come full circle, with the final product becoming something worthy for fans of both the game and the action genre.

1. It Could Open The Doors For A Sequel

'Sleeping Dogs' [Credit: Square Enix]
'Sleeping Dogs' [Credit: Square Enix]

In 2015, United Front Studios released a spin-off to the game, titled Triad Wars, which contained several Massive Multiplayer Online elements that ultimately didn't go well with players, shutting down the servers in less than a year. Since then, United Front have closed down and moved on to better things, with a proper sequel being left up in the air.

While a video game version of what could have been a sequel being unlikely, a film is entirely possible depending on how well the first movie is received. In addition, there are other possibilities — such as comic books and novelizations — that could expand the Sleeping Dogs universe and its characters.

In the meantime, a live-action trailer for the video game was promoted during its release, which you can watch below:

What do you think about Sleeping Dogs having its own movie? Let me know in the comments!


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