In 2005, Wired reported that Hong Kong film director John Woo's Tiger Hill development house was working on ShadowClan, a game about ninjas plying their shadowy craft in contemporary times. Since then, though, little has been heard about the project, leading many to assume it had met the same fate as Demonik, the now-canceled collaboration between Woo and horror author and Hellraiser director Clive Barker.
Today, the Hollywood Reporter revealed that Woo has renamed his ninja project--and plans to make it into both a game and a film. The trade is reporting that the auteur has teamed up with famed game designer Warren Spector for a project called Ninja Gold. Like ShadowClan, the game will juxtapose the ancient deadly art of Ninjutsu and the modern-day underworld. Specifically, the game will concern Japanese Yakuza gangsters clashing with Russian Mafiosi over a gold-smuggling operation.
"The idea actually started with John Woo," Spector told the Reporter. "He wanted to do something involving traditional ninjas in a modern-day setting, and the idea just resonated with me. I was intrigued with the idea of what happens when the traditional and the contemporary come into conflict."
Spector will oversee development of Ninja Gold, which will presumably be done at his two-year-old shop, Junction Point Studios. Woo will direct a film project that will be made in tandem with the game. The director will also contribute the game's storyline, which features a hero that Woo created himself. No publisher, platforms, or release date for Ninja Gold have been announced.
In addition to Ninja Gold, Woo is considering making a film based on Stranglehold, the forthcoming game "sequel" to the director's seminal 1992 action film Hard Boiled. If the game is a hit when it ships later this year on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC, Woo and his producing partner Terrence Chang may begin preproduction on a big-screen version.
"We would definitely bring Stranglehold to the big screen," Chang said. "We want to be very selective about producing games. We would like game titles to have all kinds of possibility. Having a movie made from them is certainly a major consideration for deciding on a title."