DID YOU READ

Tom Hardy being cast in “Splinter Cell” is great news for video game adaptations

INCEPTION

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Could the golden age of video game movie adaptations be on the horizon? Following yesterday’s news that Tom Hardy will be starring in a “Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell” movie, it seems like it could be.

The announcement came via Variety, which reported that Hardy will be playing leading man Sam Fisher in the adaptation of the best-selling video game series. It hasn’t been picked up by a studio yet (though video game developer and publisher Ubisoft is currently talking to Warner Bros. and Paramount) and doesn’t have a director, but just having Hardy’s name attached has us hopeful.

Ubisoft is also the company behind the “Assassin’s Creed” franchise and recently revealed it would also be making a movie based on that property that would star and be co-produced by Michael Fassbender. Following that announcement, studios seemed to snap up popular video game properties like crazy, with movies based on “Deus Ex: Human Revolution,” “God of War,” “Metal Gear Solid,” “Need for Speed” and “Mass Effect” all reportedly in the works.

We’ve seen studios try and fail to make video game adaptations before, with the latest example being “Silent Hill: Revelation 3D.” By now, we should know better than to hope that these films can be good, but can they? Hardy, Fassbender and Aaron Paul, who is attached to the “Need for Speed” movie, are all at high points in their young careers, so why make a gamble on a video game film if it’s not going to be good? There seems to be a trend for studios to be more careful with the gaming properties they’re picking up and for them to realize they actually need to have a quality property to get viewers interested.

The next big step these movies need to make is to land a director. That seems to be another big shortcoming in video game adaptations, though Peter Jackson’s uncompleted “Halo” movie is an exception. David Fincher directed a commercial for “Halo 4,” so why not see if he would be interested in trying his hand at an adaptation? Quentin Tarantino has a taste for all things violent and nerdy, so why not let him take a stab at one of these properties? After all, how good would a “Borderlands” movie from him be?

The key seems to be quality over quantity (which should be a given in our day and age but isn’t), and tapping actors like Hardy, Fassbender and Paul seems to be a step in the right direction. Will these movies be any good? Your guess is as good as ours. But we’re a bit more hopeful now about the genre, which is ripe to be successfully tapped into, than we were earlier this year.

What do you think about Hardy being cast in “Splinter Cell”? What’s a video game that you think would make a good movie? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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Home Run

Hank Azaria Gets Thrown A Curve Ball

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Unless you’ve somehow missed every episode of the Simpsons since 1989, then surely you know that Hank Azaria is one of the most important character actors of our time. He’s so prolific and his voice is so dynamic that he’s responsible for more iconic personalities than most folks realize. Basically, he’s the great and powerful Oz — except that when you pull back the curtain the truth is actually more impressive. And now Hank is coming to IFC to bring yet another character to the TV pop culture hive mind in the new series Brockmire. Check out the trailer below.

Based on the following Funny or Die short and co-starring Amanda Peet, Brockmire follows the story of imploded major league sportscaster Jim Brockmire as he tries to resurrect his career by calling plays for a floundering minor league team in a podunk town.

The series is written by Joel Church-Cooper (Undateable) and produced by Funny or Die’s Mike Farah and Joe Farrell, meaning that there’s funny in front of the camera, funny behind the camera–funny all around. Sounds like a ball to us.

Brockmire premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Car Notes

Portlandia On People Who Can’t Park

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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If flagrant bad parking takes nerve, then retaliatory note writing takes neuroses. Watch Fred and Carrie take passive aggression to next level in Car Notes, the new Portlandia web series presented by Subaru. The first episode is yours right here and now, and you can see every installment of Car Notes anytime online, on the IFC app and on demand.

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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Nick Kroll and John Mulaney To Host Spirit Awards

The Spirit Awards Air February 25 LIVE on IFC.

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The 2017 Spirit Awards have finally found their frontmen: Nick Kroll and John Mulaney. And it’s no wonder. Just marvel in their splendid chemistry back when they appeared on Comedy Bang! Bang!:

The pair are prolific within the performing arts community: television (Kroll in The League and The Kroll Show, Mulaney as a writer of IFC’s own Documentary Now!), theater (including Broadway’s current Oh Hello Show), and stand-up comedy. In fact, it’s entirely possible that emceeing an awards show is one of the few remaining line items on their professional bucket lists.

It’s important to caveat this announcement, however. Unlike the bigger and more ubiquitously known awards shows, the Spirit Awards are not, well…boring. (We’re talking to you, Oscar.)

They’re funny. They’re honest. They have quality to match the red-carpet fanfare. And that’s alarmingly special. Last year’s show included some legitimately historic moments, like when transgender actress Mya Taylor won best supporting female, or Kate McKinnon’s hilarious and timely parody of Carol. See more highlights here to get the flavor of the Spirit Awards and read all about Film Independent to dig deeper.

The 2017 Spirit Awards air live February 25 at 5P ET exclusively on IFC.

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