Movie-to-game and game-to-movie adaptations have been fairly common since the inception of the interactive entertainment medium. What's less common, however, is the book-to-game tie-in, and even more rare is the book-to-game-to-movie gamble, but that's exactly what Tom Clancy's popular Rainbow Six franchise is poised to attempt.
The book and first entry of the game series landed on shelves almost simultaneously, though I wonder how many people really noticed. When I envision the audiences for these two mediums, they rarely intersect in my mind. Grizzled guys who like books about war probably aren't tinkering with their PC's innards, slipping in that mighty 4MB video card just to experience the action of the novel for themselves. Maybe I'm wrong.
Either way, both endeavors enjoyed a modest amount of success. Clancy is still writing about the adventures of Jack Ryan and John Clark and company, and this year's upcoming Rainbow Six: Las Vegas marks the thirty-somethingeth entry in the game series, which spans eight years and at least ten different hardware platforms.
Sometimes Hollywood is a little slow to notice things, since it's just now getting together a team to produce a movie based on the mega-franchise. But before we get into that, I want to make sure we're all up to speed on where the series has been, where it is, and where it's going.
First published in the summer of 1998, the story involves radical political elements left over from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as well as a respected biotech firm in the U.S. plotting to release a highly toxic biological agent at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. Naturally, each side has their own reasons for wanting this to happen.
Both sides play one another to their respective benefit, with Team Rainbow caught in the middle. The hope of the Easterners is that it will strike a blow politically against the countries who have made things so difficult for their way of life, and to make a decent profit along the way. However, these elements are unaware of the ulterior motives of the biotech firm, which range from making soaring profits off an antidote to the plague to leveling the playing field and getting man back in touch with nature by essentially reducing the world's population to 1/10 of what it is presently.