DreamWorks is in final negotiations to acquire the film rights from Paramount to Tom Clancy's videogame franchise SPLINTER CELL, reports VARIETY. Daniel Pyne (THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE remake) is set to write the screenplay. Michael Ovitz, Clancy's longtime manager, will still produce.
At Paramount, Peter Berg (FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS) had been hired to direct. He signed a holding deal in order to get the franchise quickly into production, but with all the exec shuffling at the studio the film stalled, spurring Berg to move onto Universals THE KINGDOM when the holding deal expired. Berg has written a version of the screenplay with SPLINTER CELL videogame writer J.T. Petty and John J. McLaughlin.
The game chronicles the missions of government spy Sam Fisher as he infiltrates an international terrorist syndicate to stop high-tech threats.
Clancy and Yves Guillemot, ceo of videogame publisher Ubisoft, will exec produce.
Published by Ubisoft, the first three games in the franchise SPLINTER CELL, SPLINTER CELL: PANDORA TOMORROW and SPLINTER CELL: CHAOS THEORY have sold more than 12 million units worldwide. Clancys other game titles include RAINBOW SIX and GHOST RECON.