Reflections of the Hierophant: Splinter Cell FanCast
It has been a long process, but I've finally finished my FanCast for"Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell," one of the Xbox/Xbox 360's bestselling game series. "Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell” was released in November of 2002, and was one of the only games that I've ever bought without renting it first (not counting the following "Splinter Cell" games), which, as any video game fan will tell you, is a huge risk. But, to simply say that I wasn't disappointed would be a huge understatement. Not only does the series itself find itself in my "Top 5 Favorite Series," every single one of the "Splinter Cell" games themselves (Xbox/Xbox 360) are a part of my "Top 10 Favorite Video Games."
In anticipation of the long in-development film, I've decided to FanCast one of my favorite games of all-time: "Splinter Cell"
When "Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory" was released in 2005, a Limited Collector's Edition included a teaser for "Splinter Cell: The Movie." I could barely contain my excitement! Sadly, the movie did not come to fruition. Until otherwise noted on an official scale, "Splinter Cell: The Movie" is considered to be residing within "Developmental Hell."
But my hopes and dreams for a "Splinter Cell" film will not go completely wasted. Inspiration had struck me when I first joined CBM, and I've been working on this FanCast periodically ever since. For these FanCasts, I will be using the stories from "Version 1" of each individual game. "Version 1" refers to the Xbox/Xbox 360 versions of the game, which is considered to be Sam Fisher's true home. And, yes, I will be doing a FanCast for each of the video games in the series. So, stay tuned, as it were...
Directed By David Fincher:
David Fincher is my absolute favorite director. I’ve yet to see a film from him that I don’t love (keep in mind; I’ve never seen any of the “Alien” films which includes Fincher’s “Alien 3”). His gritty style and knack for properly developing characters is exactly what this movie will need to be great. Most directors, in my opinion, would make this film a simple-minded action movie.
Thomas Reed becomes the final Director of Third Echelon and main antagonist in “Splinter Cell: Conviction.” He “knows” how to best protect the United States and uses Third Echelon as a means to do whatever is necessary to do so.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan:
Thomas Reed has no role in the first game. But, as he becomes the main antagonist in a future story, it’s important to develop him. I’d like to see him joining Third Echelon in this movie, towards the end. Throughout the films, we’d see him joining Megiddo, becoming a mole within Third Echelon, and plotting to take over Third Echelon. This would make him a credible, and terrifying enemy in the future film. Morgan definitely has the look for Thomas Reed. I would like to see him use a bit of his semi-villainy that he used in “The Watchmen.”
Victor Coste is Sam’s war buddy who acts as Fisher’s contact in “Splinter Cell: Conviction,” but has no role in any of the previous “Splinter Cell” games. Vic is Sam’s oldest friend and one of the only people he trusts, which is why I think it’s insane not to include him in all of the films.
Most popular for his role as Don Draper in the hit AMC show “Mad Men.” For me, the traits he shows in “The Town,” as FBI Special Agent Adam Frawley, are what took me down the road towards choosing Jon Hamm as the perfect Victor Coste.
Morris O’Dell is the anchorman for the CNN-esque “First News Wire.”
I thought it would be fun to use Morris O’Dell in the same way the games do. He is seen in every game (except “Splinter Cell: Double Agent” and “Splinter Cell: Conviction”), on the television reporting the current events of the Splinter Cell universe. For obvious reasons, I chose to cast an actual anchorman who has worked for both CNN and MSNBC. Some might argue that he is too young to play Morris O’Dell, but I thought he could age with the films.
Hamlet is Vyacheslav Grinko’s personal driver. Not much is known about Hamlet, other than he has a fear-based loyalty to Grinko.
In the game, Hamlet is merely a driver who is terrified of Vyacheslav Grinko. In the movie, I’d like to give him a bit more meat. I don’t think he needs a backstory, but I think something akin to a devilish look could make the audience think there is something more to this character, something a little scary, which is something Cassel can easily do. In the case that they stay pure to the game, Cassel can pull off the fearful lackey. It might not be going on much at all, but it was his part in “Ocean’s Twelve” that came to mind. Not the entire movie, mind you, but the scene when Danny Ocean reveals that his crew had taken the real Coronation Egg. In that brief moment, he properly conveyed his fear of the revelation that he isn’t the greatest thief ever.
Gurgenidze is a Georgian booking clerk for the T’Bilisi fourth police precinct, as well as an informant for CIA Agents Alice Madison and Robert Blaustein and a liaison for the NSA.
That’s right; I chose the cat from“Fanboys” and “Balls of Fury” to play a serious role in a serious movie. Fogler is definitely funny, but I personally feel that there is more to be given from this fella.
David Bowers is the President of the United States. He takes a firm stance against Republic of Georgia President Kombayn Nikoladze, declaring war on their former allies.
Liam Neeson is one of the best actors around. His role in “Michael Collins” as the titular character and ability to treat every part as the most important part of the movie proves that Liam Neeson is the right man to lead the United States in the war on terror… in the Splinter Cell universe that is.
Baxter is an interrogations expert for the NSA. In his methods, Baxter enjoys the use of barbiturates. They don’t reveal anything from the subject during the interrogation. Rather, the barbiturates intoxicate the subject to the point where, by the time they regain consciousness, they believe they have revealed everything they knew while under the influence, thus confessing everything after they come to.
Michael C. Hall:
There should be no question about Michael C. Hall’s acting chops. Hall has multiple award wins/nominations for his brilliant portrayals in “Six Feet Under” and “Dexter.” But it is his performance in the latter that cemented him as the perfect choice. As Dexter Morgan, Hall is a cold, intelligent, and meticulous killer, all traits I imagine John Baxter would have.
Cristavi is the CIA-chosen President over Georgia after the renegade Nikoladze goes into hiding. Varlam Cristavi served as one of the ministers in Nikoladze’s cabinet prior to becoming the Republic of Georgia’s President.
In my opinion, Vincent D’Onofrio is one of the greatest actors in history. It’s unfortunate that he doesn’t get the recognition he deserves. Any time I do a FanCast, I try to find a part for him because I know that, no matter the part, D’Onofrio can definitely bring the character to life.
Alice Madison is a CIA Agent and mole within the Nikoladze palace. She has spent over two years undercover. After sending encrypted files from Nikoladze for NSA analysis, she misses her daily reports to CIA Headquarters in Langley. Her sub-dermal implants show that her movements were restricted to 28 meters per day before going offline completely.
While this CIA Agents Alice Madison and Robert Blaustein only appear in the morgue in the “Police Station” level, I believe it to be a necessity to flesh out these characters a bit more. These two are the reason Sam Fisher is even activated after all. Without proper character development of Madison and Blaustein, we won’t care when they go missing. That’s why I’ve chosen Noomi Rapace for this particular role. As her awesome turn in the “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” trilogy has proven, this beautiful actress can act. I feel that if anyone will be able to make us care about a seemingly unimportant character, Rapace absolutely be the right choice.
Blaustein is a CIA Agent who is sent into T’Bilisi to search for fellow CIA Agent, Alice Madison, who has gone missing. After deployment, he contacts NSA liaison Thomas Gurgenidze. Shortly after, he goes missing too.
Let’s face it: Jackson Rathbone is the most entertaining part of any of the “Twilight Saga” films. Those movies are… *sigh*… just awful, but Rathbone manages to be the shining star (see what I did there?) of the films. While his roles in the first two films are little more than an extra, Rathbone’s charisma manages to pull the audience’s focus to him. It isn’t until “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” that we get to see what this kid can do, and he doesn’t disappoint at all. He takes charge of the Cullen brood, training them for their upcoming battle against newborn vampires, and is absolutely believable as the experienced soldier. Personally, I think Jackson Rathbone has a bright future ahead of him.
General Kong Feirong is the rogue leader of a splinter faction of the People’s Liberation Army, as well as Chairman of the Chinese Military Commission. Feirong has aligned himself with the rouge Georgian President Nikoladze, providing his terrorist forces with transport and munitions in exchange for weapons-grade nuclear material.
Jason Scott Lee:
I’ll be perfectly honest with you. I chose Jason Scott Lee because he is a well-known Chinese actor. I’m not saying he isn’t a good actor (see “Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book” and “Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story”), but I ultimately picked him due to his nationality and popularity.
Sarah Fisher is the daughter of our hero, Sam Fisher, and only surviving member of his family. Sarah’s relationship with her father is a bit rocky(due, mainly, to his line of work), but he loves her dearly and would do anything for her. Although her role in the first game isn’t large, I think it’s important to give her a prominent role in the films to allow time to flesh-out the relationship between her and her father, and lay the groundwork for future storylines.
This was probably the easiest role to cast for me. Hailee Steinfeld is one of the brightest young actors today. Securing multiple award wins/nominations for her role in “True Grit” as Mattie Ross has proven that this young actress is, and will continue to be, a force to be reckoned with. At such a young age, she is already able to turn in the believable emotional performance that is needed for the role of Sarah Fisher.
Vernon Wilkes, Jr.:
Vernon Wilkes, Jr. is highly respected by his superiors at the NSA, and acts as Sam’s Field Runner, providing him with vehicles and weapons for his mission. His job is to mainly deliver and extract Sam from his missions safely. Over time, Sam grows to respect “Junior” Wilkes, even considering him a good friend.
Edward Norton is a great actor and one of my absolute favorites. I picture Wilkes as an unassuming introvert with a badass streak hidden within himself, much like Norton’s performances in “Primal Fear,” “The Incredible Hulk,” and “Fight Club.”
Frances Coen is Sam’s field runner, replacing Sam’s good friend Vernon Wilkes, Jr. after a tragic shootout claims his life. Like Wilkes, Coen is tasked with delivering and extracting Sam from his missions safely, as well as providing him weapons and vehicles. Over time, Sam grows to like Frances quite a bit, making her one of the few people Sam gets along with regularly.
Ahh, Michelle Williams. I can’t say enough good things about the beautiful “My Week with Marilyn” star. Williams is a great actress, but she has something that would make this role standout: she’s easy to love. I don’t think she’d have any issue portraying herself as an intelligent field runner, but her lovability will make it very believable that Sam Fisher could easily get along with her.
William Redding eventually replaces Frances Coen as Sam’s field runner. Redding doesn’t appear until the third game, “Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory.” But I think it would be cool to introduce him in the first film as part of a technical group led by Anna Grimsdottir. If there’s anything that bothers me about movies, it’s introducing a character in a later installment of a franchise that has a past relevant to the entire franchise.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers:
I know I sound like a broken record, but Meyers is a great actor. And, like Vincent D’Onofrio, doesn’t get the props I feel he deserves. Meyers definitely has the looks of the unassuming William Redding, as well as the acting skills to bring Redding to life.
Anna Grimsdottir is a skilled hacker and the communications expert at Third Echelon. She provides Sam with technical support while he is in the field, addressing any high-technology issues he encounters during operations.
Grim has gone through multiple looks over the years, so I’ve decided to stick with her current look which is the most consistent. I’ve loved Jennifer Morrison ever since I first saw her on “House M.D.” Grim is someone you wouldn’t expect to be anything but a pretty face, much like Morrison as Dr. Cameron, her character on “House M.D.” Watching the show, we saw Jennifer Morrison slowly evolve the character similar to the way Anna Grimsdottir evolved in the games, into someone who does whatever she needs to do to get her job done.
Masse is a prodigal computer genius working for President Kombayn Nikoladze. Philip Masse is personally responsible for causing the “Georgian Information Crisis” through his extensive knowledge of algorithms and computer programs.
“Splinter Cell” is filled to the brim of characters who look normal, but have a secret, usually dark, side to them. Philip Masse looks like any regular guy, but is a villain in every sense of the word. In “Batman Begins” (as well as the subsequent sequels), Cillian Murphy fiercely portrays Dr. Jonathan Crane. Crane, by all appearances, is merely a psychiatrist, but with a very dark side. It’s this performance that makes me feel Murphy is the right fit for the role of the man who made the “Georgian Information Crisis” a reality.
Vyacheslav Grinko is an ex-Spetsnaz (Russian Special Forces)-turned-mercenary who acts as Kombayn Nikoladze’s right-hand man. He is ultimately responsible for the disappearances of CIA Agents Alice Madison and Robert Blaustein. Anyone who has ever encountered this expert sniper fears him.
In the game, Vyacheslav Grinko is feared by everyone who encounters him, probably more than Nikoladze himself. I’m going to be perfectly honest, for some reason, I’m terrified of Viggo Mortensen (who I swear plays a cop in Tim Burton’s 1989 “Batman”). He seems to always play very scary characters in the movies he is in like in “G.I. Jane,” “A History of Violence,” and “Eastern Promises.”
Irving Lambert is a former Colonel in the United States Army and current Director of Third Echelon, as well as Sam Fisher’s Operations Coordinator, guiding him through each mission by providing critical updates, objective changes, and enemy updates via a cochlear implant. Lambert was the person at the forefront of the “Splinter Cell Program,” personally recruiting Sam Fisher as the first field operative of said program.
In the games, Lambert looks considerably older than Fisher, even though he is 4 years younger. I first looked at actors who were considerably older than Aaron Eckhart. I thought it would be more aesthetically pleasing for an audience to see an older actor in the role of Sam Fisher’s superior. But, I decided I’d rather showcase their evolving friendship in these movies. For that, I decided on an actor who appeared closer to the age of Aaron Eckhart. Enter Don Cheadle. If I were to list the movies that support my decision, I’d be here all day, and you’d get bored (you might be bored already). Every performance I’ve seen Cheadle give is great. Hell, he’s even brilliant in “The Family Man,” which is a movie that critics, and everyone else for that matter, have forgotten he’s a supporting actor in.
Using his financial, technological, and political resources to earn the title, Kombayn Nikoladze is the President over Georgia after the previous President was assassinated in an apparent suicide bombing. In order to strike against America, President Nikoladze instigates an information crisis to cover-up his invasion of Azerbaijan in an attempt to seize the country’s vast oil resources. Once uncovered by Sam Fisher, war is declared upon the Republic of Georgia by the President of the United States, causing President Nikoladze to threaten a nuclear strike against America.
The first real performance I saw from Alfred Molina was in “Spider-Man 2,” where he stole the show as the main antagonist. This man, in my opinion, is the only thing that made this movie watchable. Molina isn’t only a great actor, but has constantly made for a great villain. Of course, I can’t ignore the fact that he looks remarkably similar to the actual character.
Sam Fisher is a gruff, coldblooded, and effective field operative working for Third Echelon. An Ex-Navy SEAL, Sam Fisher is handpicked by Colonel Irving Lambert as the first field operative for the newly created “Splinter Cell” program. Fisher is sent in to locate CIA Agents Alice Madison and Robert Blaustein, obtain any information surrounding their disappearance, and evaluate whether further action is required against the suspected Georgian terrorists.
I’ve got to give a gigantic shout-out to AlexDeLarge87 for this choice. Most people choose Matthew Fox for the role of Sam Fisher in other FanCasts, but AlexDeLarge87 came up with this choice way back in June in an article about the production of the “Splinter Cell” movie. The thought of Aaron Eckhart never would have entered my head for this role. In fact, my initial choice was Christian Bale. Now that AlexDeLarge87 has introduced the idea, Aaron Eckhart seems like the only logical choice. Generally, Eckhart’s villainous portrayals are what make me think he would fit this role perfectly, as Sam Fisher has villainous tendencies. Specifically, his performances in “The Dark Knight” and even “Battle: Los Angeles” are what spring to mind when I think of what would make him a great match for Sam Fisher.
Be sure to check out and comment on the first installment of Followed by Darkness.
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