A lot of the time, adapting video games for the big screen seems like a bit of a suicide mission. The annals of cinematic history are littered with the corpses of dead movie franchises based on video game properties. Indeed, no video game adaptation has ever gained more than 50% on Rottentomatoes.com. However, despite this, the studios are keen to push on with the venture - despite the genre's history.
Take for example, [Splinter Cell](movie:415314), the Tom Clancy stealth-em-up which first hit consoles back in 2002. Since then it's sired six more iterations and is also expected on the big screen with Tom Hardy in the lead role of Sam Fisher.
IGN recently caught up with [Edge of Tomorrow](movie:267902) and Splinter Cell director Doug Liman to discuss his direction for the adaptation. From the sounds of things, the Splinter Cell movie will be somewhat of an origin story. He explained:
I’m working on the script with Tom Hardy. I think we have a great take on how to make an awesome film out of that. Everything about Splinter Cell will be younger. It’s a chance to come up with a new franchise that is fresher and newer and younger, and Tom Hardy is such an incredible actor.
However, video game adaptations do court a lot of controversy - especially among fans of the original games. Luckily, Splinter Cell isn't a franchise - like World of Warcraft or Final Fantasy - which generally appeals to the more hardcore and fanatical gamers in the community, although having said that, there are still elements fans will want to see. Take for example, Fisher's iconic Multi-Vision Goggles. When asked if these would make an appearence, Liman was rather vague. He did state:
Some of the tropes of the game will for sure be in the film, but also the fun of that is when you lose them. To strip that stuff away and really make the character have to operate without it.
Personally, I've always had an issue with Fisher's sci-fi spy specs. Sure, the three green lights looks kind of cool, but they're a bit of a give away for someone who prioritizes staying hidden, right? Having said that, I'm sure they'll make some kind of appearance, if only as a small 'prop-cameo'. The problem with adapting video games is that a lot of the elements in games are there to facilitate gameplay and not necessarily forward the story or narrative. When playing games we're more forgiving of these elements because we know they play a role in the interactivity of the genre. However, trying to shoehorn these tropes into films is notoriously difficult, especially when you're trying to cater to non-gamers who are unfamiliar with the medium.
There's also another reason the goggles could be omitted. Producers and execs are not going to want Tom Hardy to have most of his face covered during the film - while fleshing out a character who constantly has something covering their face is famously difficult. It was one of the problems cited by Peter Jackson when he was attempting to adapt Master Chief in [Halo](movie:559680).
What do you think? Do the goggles really need to be in the Splinter Cell movie?
Does Sam Fisher really need his Multi-Vision Goggles?