WARNING! THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE CONSISTS OF NOTHING MORE THAN ONE MASSIVE FANBOY RANT.
It’s official, people – They’re making a movie of my favourite video game series, Splinter Cell. If you recall, at the end of my review of “The Other Guys” I suggested that the $90 million they put into that film should have instead gone into funding the Splinter Cell movie, and it looks like someone took my advice (though, too late to stop ‘The Other Guys’ from existing, unfortunately).
The film is slated for release in 2013, and will be the third Tom Clancy film to be released over the coming 2 year period, along with a new Jack Ryan film, and a Rainbow Six movie. Does life get any better than this?
Not even close, Ladies.
Whilst there are many questions which need to be answered regarding this project – who will direct it? Will it be based on one of the games, or will it be an original script? Which game will it be based off of if it is based on one? - The real talk at this stage is, of course, on who will play Sam Fisher.
Option #1 - Gorgeous George
As you may remember (especially if you followed the link I gave above), I was advocating that George Clooney play the part of Fisher. He’s done some action movies before, so can definitely pull off the tough-guy act, even if a stunt double is required for the half-split jumps. Not only this, but he has the right sort of facial structure, too – a combination of the classic all-American hero look, with a softer, more distinguished appeal which whilst making him appear more classically handsome does not diminish his overall rugged appearance. Plus the grey hair and short stubble look really suits Clooney, as we all know. But my main reason for picking George? He’s the right age (My ‘Chaos Theory’ Manual informs me Fisher was born in 1957, whilst IMDB says Clooney was born in 1961. Bear in mind that Chaos Theory was set in 2008, and Clooney is exactly the right age). I would hate to see Splinter Cell remade with a young guy playing Fisher, because one of the things I most loved about the character was that he was an old guy with a daughter who was called back into service because in a world where the intelligence services are full of computer nerds who know how to hack algorithms, there was still a need for a hands-on tough guy who could get to the info that wasn’t just online, and grab targets without the need for a Delta team to be sent in. That said, however, I am prepared to discuss other potential actors for the part.
Option #2 - The Original Sam Fisher
Whilst Michael Ironside is absolutely perfect for the voice of Fisher, I feel that he may, unfortunately, be too old for the part (though he is only 11 years older than Clooney). I also feel that Ironside may not be quite so convincing in such an athletic part, because although he does look tough, he looks more like a brawler than a “stealth ninja”. I also feel that people may have gotten too used to seeing him as either a bad guy, or an insane Lieutenant who has some pretty cool dialogue, and would therefore find it hard to relate to Ironside if he was actually on-screen, rather than just providing a voice. Points to him for being exactly the right height, though.
Option #3 - The Guy Who Played a Very Similar Part in that Other Movie...
My next choice for the part would have to be Liev Schreiber, who by 2013 will be only 1 year younger than Sam was in the original game (set in 2004). The reason I like Schreiber for the part is due to his turn as Clark in The Sum of All Fears (though he was awesome in Defiance as well). Clark is a very similar character to Fisher – a hard as nails stealth agent with a dark sense of humour. However, the reason I like Schreiber for the part is, unfortunately, the exact reason why I can’t back him to play Sam: Schreiber has to play Clark in ‘Without Remorse’ and ‘Rainbow Six’, I just don’t see anyone else being able to play the part. I mean, sure, Willem Dafoe played Clark in ‘Clear and Present Danger’, but that was a semi-retired, older Clark who wasn’t on active duty. Clark is the leader of Rainbow Six, the most elite SWAT-style spec-ops unit on the planet; he has to be a total badass, and Liev Schreiber can definitely deliver. I am therefore asking that the producers of these films do not ask Schreiber to play Fisher, but instead recast him as Clark for the other two films. Yes, I realize that they are probably not all being produced by the same company, but you guys can still work together to give the people what they want - what they NEED - right?
Plus, Schreiber might actually be a bit too big to play Fisher, being 6’3” and built like a brick shithouse.
Option #4 - The IMDB Users' Choices
Some people on IMDB are calling for Clive Owen and Gerard Butler to play the part. Now, I have to completely disagree with Clive, owing to the fact that he cannot do an American accent for shit, and his delivery is too dull for Fisher, who has a more coarse voice (though, admittedly, Owen has the pitch dead on). I also cannot see him in a stealth suit climbing walls and pipes and doing the whole ninja-bit, because he’s just too suave for that sort of thing, damn it! (Ed: And Clooney isn’t?). Butler, however, I can kind of see in the part, given he looks a bit like Fisher:
Photoshop Courtesy of Steve a.k.a "PurpleApe".
I can also see him being very capable of doing all the physical stunts, and he certainly has the right body for Fisher (even if he is just a little on the tall side), so undoubtedly has the look down. I am a bit worried about his accent, though, as I’ve not heard him do an American accent. I am also a bit concerned that the producers would completely change the story to appeal more to the ‘300’ crowd if Butler was in it, too, so would have to be sure the character would not change to be more in-your-face and angry if he was cast. Also, it had better not have loads of slowing-down and speeding-up fight scenes, unless the director wants to die. But still, I can get behind butler in the part.
Option #5 - The Goddamn Punisher!
He was awesome in War Zone and The Book of Eli. If only Ray Steenson hadn't been in The Other Guys - then I could recommend him for the part of Sam Fisher. but then again, he has the same problem as Schreiber - he's just too God Damn big! Although, if he were cast as Fisher, we could always bring in Denzel to play Lambert, which would be pretty sweet.
I completely forgot these two had also done a movie together.
Option #6 - That Other Guy Who was Also in Someting Else Playing a Similar Character.
Kiefer Sutherland is also, of course, a candidate, and I feel he would be able to play the part very well indeed. The only problem is that everyone’s so used to seeing him as Jack Bauer that they won’t be able to take the movie seriously – they’ll just think it’s a story about Bauer’s special forces days. Don’t believe me? I was watching ‘The Sentinel’ with a friend (don’t ask), and when we are first looking around Michael Douglas’s apartment, we see a photo of his character with Kiefer Sutherland’s on his desk, and my friend literally said “Ha! There’s a picture of him with Jack Bauer! They must have put that in as a tribute to 24, or something”. Of course, it wasn’t a 24 reference, and Kiefer just happened to be acting in the film as well - but that’s all anyone associates him with. And that’s Kiefer’s problem – if it weren’t for 24 I would never have considered him for the role of Fisher (since the only other movies I’ve seen him in are things like ‘The Lost Boys’ and ‘A few Good Men’), but because he’s too well known for 24, he can’t possibly play another special forces character like Fisher.
On the subject of Bauer, though, I have a good suggestion for the actor to play Irving Lambert. Obviously Don Jordan, who voiced Lambert in every Splinter Cell game but Pandora Tomorrow cannot play Lambert, owing to the fact he looks like this:
However, you know who voiced Lambert in Pandora tomorrow? A man who not only worked with Kiefer Sutherland in 24, but who also narrated the Call of Duty games. That’s right – Dennis motherfucking Haysbert.
Dennis Haysbert is actually closer to the age I imagined Lambert to be whilst playing the games, as opposed to what the instruction manuals say (there’s about a ten year discrepancy). Not only that, but at 6’4” (and a half, according to IMDB), he also has the same dominating presence as Lambert. Plus, we already know he has the ideal voice for the part, having already played the character once before. In fact, I’m gonna say definitely on this one that Dennis Haysbert is the man I want to see in the part. He’s proven he can still do action with shows like ‘The Unit’, and more than proved his acting worth in ‘24’. In fact, you know what? I’m calling it right now. Clooney and Haysbert for Fisher and Lambert in Splinter Cell. I’m gonna start circulating a petition for this shit.
Oh wait, I forgot I'm incredibly Lazy.
And for what it’s worth, I reckon Tanoai Reed could pull off a pretty good Sam(oan) Fisher, judging from his skills in this video (first kill after about 2:25).