Last April, Activision Studios announced an ambitious, possibly foolhardy plan to create a shared cinematic universe based on the Call of Duty gaming franchise - one intended, naturally, to rival Marvel. Now it has a director for the first film in that universe. God save us all.
Sicario 2: Soldado director Stefano Sollima is the lucky filmmaker in negotiations to helm the project, according to Variety, and you know, I can kind of see it. Both Soldado and his prior work appear to exhibit a gritty, harsh sense of suspense and violence, which certainly suits COD. I'm in the minority at BMD in actively looking forward to Soldado, and though I have not seen Sollima's Gomorrah series - only the film upon which it's based - I hear it's excellent.
As far as the “shared universe” thing goes, Activision is putting the cart about a hundred miles before the horse. The games’ various storylines already form a shared universe of sorts, but it's hardly the rich and varied tapestry boasted by Marvel or even DC - and the gameplay always subsumed the storytelling anyway. More importantly, despite the vast sales numbers boasted by nearly every game in the franchise, it remains to be seen whether audiences will get off their couches and go to see a Call of Duty they don't control.
The project's next step is engaging a writer, who will probably pen a story about some maniacal general going rogue and threatening the world with weapons of mass destruction, which only one brave soldier can prevent, one infinitely-respawning goon at a time. Maybe it'll be set in the present day. Maybe the past. Maybe the future. But that will almost certainly be the plot.
Sicario 2: Soldado opens June 29, and features Benicio del Toro firing a gun really fast.