The 2012 open world game Sleeping Dogs earned strong reviews (including a solid 7.75 from Game Informer) and was met with decent sales. However, a sequel failed to materialize, and the ill-advised online multiplayer spin-off, Triad Wars, was quietly canceled with the unfortunate shuttering of developer United Front Games.
However, Sleeping Dogs may live on as a feature film. Hollywood producer Neal H. Moritz (Fast & Furious, I Am Legend, 21 Jump Street) and his studio, Original Films, are working on an adaptation of the game, which is set to star Hong Kong superstar Donnie Yen (Ip Man, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, XXX: The Return of Xander Cage).
It is unclear if Yen will play the game’s protagonist, Wei Shen, or if the film will follow the storyline of the original. The game featured the Hollywood talents of Tom Wilkinson, Emma Stone, Lucy Liu, Tzi Ma, and James Hong, so it will be interesting to see if any of those actors find their way into the movie.
The track record for film adaptations of popular video games is spotty. Even recent high-profile efforts like Assassin’s Creed and Warcraft left critics cold. Will Sleeping Dogs buck this trend? Hundreds of would-be Hollywood blockbusters are “in development,” but these kinds of projects fall through all the time.