Activision Blizzard Studios' plans to make a Call of Duty movie are gathering pace after it emerged last week that Sicario 2: Soldado director Stefano Sollima is in talks to helm the high-profile adaptation.
Should Sollima sign on the dotted line, he has a couple of actors in mind for starring roles. Speaking to Metro in Milan, Sollima revealed a desire to work with a-list action stars Tom Hardy and Chris Pine.
"I mean, I like almost everything [he's been in]," Sollima said of Hardy. "I'm waiting for his Venom. Even in Mad Max, he was great."
As for Pine, he said: "He's tough, but he's smart and he can have a sense of humour but he can [also] be in such a dramatic role."
"I like when you feel that an actor can play with different nuances and tone because this means they're a good actor."
Hardy made his name in Charles Bronson biopic Bronson, before a charming turn in Inception and his memorable performance as Batman villain Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. He has since notably starred in Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant, Legend and Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk.
He's also appeared in TV series Peaky Blinders and Taboo, and this year plays the title character in superhero spin-off Venom.
Chris Pine meanwhile shot to fame when he lived up to expectations as the new Captain Kirk in J.J. Abrams' big screen Star Trek reboot, before roles in its two sequels, last year's summer hit Wonder Woman opposite Gal Gadot.
Hardy and Pine have worked together once before, in action comedy flop This Means War.
Activision stated its intention to develop a Call of Duty movie in November 2015, during an investor call.
"Another near-term initiative for Activision Blizzard Studios will be the development of a robust cinematic universe based on the Call of Duty franchise," the company announced.
"Activision Blizzard Studios envisions a series of Call of Duty feature films as well as the possibility of television adaptations."
At the time Activision was targeting a 2018/2019 release window for the film. Should Sollima sign on soon and pre-production enter full swing, a release next year will still be feasible.
In April 2017 Activision Blizzard Studios presidents Stacey Sher and Nick van Dyk spoke to The Guardian about their ambitions. "We have plotted out many years," Sher said. "We put together this group of writers to talk about where we were going.
"There'll be a film that feels more like Black Ops, the story behind the story. The Modern Warfare series looks at what it's like to fight a war with the eyes of the world on you. And then maybe something that is more of a hybrid, where you are looking at private, covert operations, while a public operation is going on."
The aim is to capture the feel of the game releases, which are released annually by three developers operating on a three-year-cycle. In 2015 Treyarch released Black Ops 3, in 2016 series creators Infinity Ward released the sci-fi inflected Infinite Warfare, and last year saw the series return to its roots with Sledgehammer Games' Call of Duty: WW2.
This year, Treyarch are believed to be developing a continuation of the Black Ops series, which has proven Call of Duty's most popular since the Modern Warfare trilogy propelled it to dizzying sales heights a decade ago.