Ubisoft Developing a Female-Driven 'Skull & Bones' TV Show (Exclusive)

Skull & Bones-Publicity-H 2019
In a unique move, the video game company's film and television department will develop the pirate drama with Atlas Entertainment before the game its based on has been released.

Ubisoft is going where no video game adaptation has gone before.

The publishing giant has teamed with Atlas Entertainment (Dirty John, 12 Monkeys) to adapt its pirate adventure game Skull & Bones — before the game is even released. While the 2016 Michael Fassbender feature Assassin's Creed was based on one of Ubisoft's most popular franchises, this time the company's film and television division is doubling down on unproven IP.

"Ubisoft is known for creating innovative video games that combine immense worlds with rich narratives," says the company's director of development for television Danielle Kreinik, who will exec produce the TV show alongside head of Ubisoft film and television Jason Altman.

It's a bold vote of confidence for the open-world adventure game, which is planned for release this year. But is it presumptuous to assume it will be a hit? The TV adaptation is billed as a female-driven drama set in the lawless frontier of the Indian Ocean at the end of the golden age of piracy in the 1700s. Amanda Segel, who executive produced Spike TV's The Mist, will write the pilot and exec produce. Atlas' Andy Horwitz and Richard Suckle also will exec produce. Robert Amidon will help shepherd for Atlas.

Skull & Bones is the latest project in Ubisoft's aggressive push into film and TV. Its first live-action comedy, from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day, 3 Arts and Lionsgate, was ordered straight to series by Apple. Meanwhile, David Leitch is developing a feature based on Ubisoft's The Division series, with Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Chastain attached to star. 

This story appears in the Feb. 20 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.