'Splinter Cell' Netflix Anime Coming From 'John Wick' Writer Derek Kolstad

The popular Ubisoft video game Splinter Cell is becoming an anime. Netflix and Ubisoft have teamed up to develop a Splinter Cell anime series based on the popular stealth action video games, which will be steered by the writer behind one of the greatest current action franchises, John Wick scribe Derek Kolstad.

Variety reports that Netflix and Ubisoft have tapped Derek Kolstad to write and serve as executive producer for an anime series adaptation of the Splinter Cell video game. The series has reportedly already received a two-season, 16-episode order from Netflix, who declined to comment on the specifics of the deal.

Kolstad is best known for creating the John Wick franchise, writing the scripts for the first two films and co-writing the third film. The John Wick series is considered the pinnacle of action cinema at the moment, which suggests that Kolstad could successfully inject the adaptation of the acclaimed video game with some thrilling, bone-crunching action. The project does, however, stretch the definition of an "anime," which Netflix has admittedly been doing a lot lately with its anime titles from Hollywood filmmakers. Anime is traditionally animation that comes from Japan, though western anime-inspired animation has become common in the past few decades.

The Splinter Cell video game series doesn't have many ties to Japanese anime either, launching with Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell game in 2002 and inspired by the works of espionage and military-science writer Tom Clancy. The first game, which was released to near universal acclaim from critics and massive sales, followed former U.S. Navy SEAL Sam Fisher after he is recruited by the NSA to work for the mysterious Third Echelon division within the agency, going on a series of black ops missions where the player must employ stealth and military tactics. The game spawned six sequels and a number of novels.

Hollywood has been trying to get a Splinter Cell movie off the ground for years now, with Tom Hardy at one point attached to star as Fisher as far back as 2012. But anime is a trendy and fairly cheap way to adapt properties, as Netflix is finding with anime spin-offs of The Witcher and so on. 

Splinter Cell is not the first animated series that Ubisoft is developing with a streamer. The company also produces the Apple TV+ series Mythic Quest from Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day, and Megan Ganz, which has received fairly positive reception and a season 2 green light. Ubisoft has also adapted the popular game Assassin's Creed into a feature film starring Michael Fassbender, to less positive reception.