BySean Erickson, writer at
Exploring the area between movie geek and film nerd.
Sean Erickson

Tom Hardy is a busy guy and he seems to have a knack for stepping into to movies that run into all sorts of production problems on their way to the release and it is beginning to look like his adaptation of Splinter Cell is going to be another in his ongoing list of troubled productions. At this point Tom Hardy may want to consider a sequel to Locke so he can get back to sitting in a car for a few days, deliver one of his intensely great performances and call it a job well done. After Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant and Splinter Cell, a gig with James Cameron might actually be a walk in the park for the guy.

Mad Max & The Revenant Set a Precedent

Mad Max: Fury Road isn't just notable for how mind blowingly amazing the actual movie is - but the production of the movie itself is the stuff of movie legend. Hardy was attached to the film since 2009 and even after it started shooting in 2012 the movie still took three years to get to theaters. But you can't say that the results of the effort aren't up there on the screen.

Tom Hardy in Mad Max: Fury Road
Tom Hardy in Mad Max: Fury Road

More recently Tom Hardy has been involved in The Revenant, the new movie by Birdman and Gravity director González Iñárritu. This movie has been in development since 2001 with Iñárritu attached since 2011. But what is more unusual is Iñárritu wanting to shoot the film chronologically, in the middle of the Canadiian wilderness while only using natural lighting. This, of course, delayed the completion of filming and resulted in Tom Hardy having to drop out of Suicide Squad. But I'm sure the movie will end up looking amazing.

Splinter Cell's Many Splintering Cells

Meanwhile, Tom Hardy has been attached to an adaptation of the massively popular Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell video game series since 2011. Sine then he's watched as writers and directors have been entering and exiting the project with little in the way of recognizable progress being made. Only Tom Hardy has remained The Constant for the lost Splinter Cell movie.

Things were looking good when American Hustle writer Eric Warren Singer was attached but his script didn't end up satisfying the studio. Then Up in the Air and X-Men First Class writer Sheldon Turner was on board for a new draft. You might be guessing that this didn't work out either - and you'd be right. But in 2014 Doug Liman boarded the project and reports came out that Liman and Hardy were working on cracking the script and it sounded like the pace was picking up on the project. Certainly, people who watched Liman's excellent Edge of Tomorrow were getting excited.

Getting Splinter Cell Back on Track

When Liman was promoting Edge of Tomorrow he mentioned that he and Hardy had found an exciting take on the property and that we'd be seeing a younger version of Splinter Cell and the main character of Hardy's Sam Fisher. But sadly, recent reports have claimed that Doug Liman has left the project and little is known about how much of the previous work Liman, Tom Hardy and Sheldon Turner have put into the movie will get scrapped. Are they hitting the restart button again?

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell

It looks like the studio isn't wasting much time either way as New Regency quickly starting looking to director Joseph Kahn as a replacement. Who? You might ask. Well Kahn's profile got a big boost recently as he was the visionary behind that Power/Rangers video with Katee Sackhoff and James Van Der Beek that took the internet by storm. Also, there may be some fans of the cult film Torque out there? Yeah, I thought so - that movie is bonkers fun.

So where do we stand? Is there a script ready to get underway? Well, to hear Tom Hardy talk about it to Collider at an April Mad Max: Fury Road event - there may still be some work to do on the never ending script.

“Yeah, there’s a draft being done right now and we’re still waiting for a window to go out and start shooting. I want to jump out of helicopters and run around wearing night vision goggles. I’m ready for that.”

This is turning out to be one of those I'll Believe It When I See It projects. But even though Tom Hardy is having a helluva track record with these troubled productions - the end results have definitely been worth the wait.

What do you think? Are you excited to see Tom Hardy step into the role of Sam Fisher in a Splinter Cell movie? Have video game movies started to gain some legitimacy? Will this movie ever see the light of day? Keep the conversation going in the comments section below!


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