Three of the writers behind stop-motion comedy series Robot Chicken have signed on for a feature film adaptation of the manic Raving Rabbids videogame franchise, the latest in a growing line of movie adaptations from Ubisoft Motion Pictures.
Emmy award winners Matthew Senreich, Tom Sheppard and Zeb Wells are scripting the live action, stop-motion hybrid for UMP and Sony Pictures Entertainment, after Robot Chicken parent Stoopid Bunny Studios made a concept trailer for recent Ubisoft game Toy Soldiers: War Chest.
The mischievious Rabbids first appeared in a spin-off from the Rayman franchise and became successful on their own terms.
Rayman: Raving Rabbids made use of the Nintendo Wii's intuitive motion controls in 2006. Annual sequels from its French HQ'd studio network squeezed the most out of the floppy-eared rascals up until 2012's Rabbids Land, a launch title for the Wii U.
The critters have also been referenced in other Ubisoft games such as Watch Dogs, TrackMania2 Canyon and Splinter Cell: Conviction.
And as Variety rightly points out, the Rabbids already have a kindred spirit in feature film entertainment: the minions of Pierre Coffin's Despicable Me have featured in three full-length animations and a clutch of shorter animations.
Ubisoft's bouncing bunnies join a procession of characters moving from videogame to cinema screen.
Jake Gyllenhaal starred in 2010's Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, which called upon Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley and Alfred Molina in support, with Donnie Brasco, Harry Potter and Four Weddings and a Funeral director Mike Newell also on board.
Though generally panned by critics, as a videogame adaptation it was better rated than its peers, and a bigger box office hit to boot with a US$336mil (RM1.40bil) take – more than Angelina Jolie's 2001 Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (US$274mil/RM1.14bil) and Milla Jovovich's 2010 movie Resident Evil: Afterlife (US$296mil/RM1.23bil).
It couldn't make double a US$200mil (RM836.29mil) budget, but Prince of Persia gave Ubisoft Motion Pictures cause to press on with other conversions.
Next up is Assassin's Creed for December 2016. Oscar-tipped Michael Fassbender of Steve Jobs is in the lead role and on the production team, with Justin Kurzel of this year's Macbeth to direct.
Also on the slate are Splinter Cell and Ghost Recon, videogames which carry the branding of American novelist Tom Clancy, while adaptations of Watch Dogs and Far Cry are also in development. — AFP Relaxnews