Through unlocked genetic memories that allow him to relive the adventures of his ancestor in 15th century Spain, Callum Lynch discovers hes a descendant of the secret \'Assassins\' society. After gaining incredible knowledge and skills, he is now poised to take on the oppressive Knights Templar in the present day.
I know I am! Aymar Azaïzia, the Head of Assassin's Creed content at Ubisoft announced on 15 January that the movie is done filming.
What to expect? The Assassin’s Creed video games have sold over 91 million copies but people that I've talked to are skeptical about how good the movie is actually going to be since adaptations of video games are usually tricky. Ubisoft has had some practice making movies with it's "Assassin's Creed: Lineage" TV mini-series from 2009 that had 3 episodes. The episodes had a promotional goal for the game, but it was also clearly an attempt for Ubisoft to make its first steps in the film industry, and it wasn't bad at all. In a 2011 review R.L. Shaffer said that "The short is very good, but not quite engaging enough to earn the series any new fans". After that they had another attempt at making films with "Assassins Creed: Ascendance" from 2010. It was a short animated film project created to expand the Assassin's Creed series. The film was revealed by Ubiworkshop on 10th of November 2010, and was released on 16th of November 2010 for PlayStation Store, Xbox LIVE, and iTunes.
The upcoming movie is going to be way more serious than that and let's hope, more entertaining. The 39 year old German-Irish actor, Michael Fassbender is the main star of the movie. You will probably remember him as the guy who did a solid job playing the young Magneto in X-Men: Days of Future Past and earned his first Oscar nomination for best supporting actor in "12 Years a Slave". He will be playing Callum Lynch — a modern day descendant of 15th century Spanish assassin Aguilar.
Plot of the movie
I don't want to reveal much or spoil anything so this is going to be short, although the script is pretty much secret so I couldn't even if I wanted. The short plot written by 20th Century Fox goes like this: "Through a revolutionary technology that unlocks his genetic memories, Callum Lynch relives the adventures of his ancestor, Aguilar, in 15th Century Spain. Callum discovers that he is descended from a mysterious secret society, the Assassins, and gathers incredible knowledge and skills to take on the oppressive and powerful Templar organization in the present day."
The CEO of Ubisoft Motion Pictures based in Paris, Jean-Julien Baronnet said in an interview that Michael Fassbender was their first choice to play the main character and he also stated that none of Ubisoft's new movie adaptations will have the same plot as their respective games, but will instead tell new stories parallel to those games. As a gamer who played all the games, this makes me happy. I don't want a storyline that I've already seen.
Michael Fassbender will be playing the main protagonist Callum Lynch as mentioned. He is a well established actor who played in HBO's mini-series Band Of Brothers in 2001 and the Sky One fantasy drama Hex in 2004. Subsequent roles included the film Fish Tank (2009), Inglorious Basterds (2009) as a Royal Marines lieutenant, A Dangerous Method (2011) as the psychiatrist Carl Jung, Prometheus (2012) as a sentient android and the aforementioned roles in 12 Years a Slave and X-Men: Days of Future Past.
If anything promises that this is going to be a good movie, it's this guy. He doesn't play in bad movies. This is what he said in an interview for IGN about the upcoming movie: “You know, we absolutely want to respect the game. There’s so much cool stuff in the game that we’re actually spoiled for choice in terms of what we can use and what we can’t, but we also want to bring new elements to it and perhaps our own version of things that already exist in the game. But we’re definitely making a feature film, and we’re approaching it as a feature film, as opposed to approaching it as a video game. But I love the world. I don’t really play that many video games, but when I met up with the guys from Ubisoft and they started to explain this whole world and the idea of DNA memory — you know, I think it’s a very feasible scientific theory. I just thought, 'This is so rich,’ and about the possibility of it being this cinematic experience. So I’m really excited about it, and we’re working very hard to make sure that we’ve got the best and most exciting, original package.” Fassbender never played Assassins Creed and he didn't even know the game existed before he was hired by Ubisoft, but he's a professional and I'm sure he will do a great job.
Marion Cotillard is another high profile name that will be starring in this movie. She got an Oscar for her role in the Edith Piaf biopic La Vie en Rose and in 2014 she gave an amazing performance in the movie Two Days, One Night which Rotten Tomatoes rated with 97%. In 2010 she played the femme fatale role opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Inception and she also had a notable role in The Dark Knight Rises playing Miranda Tate a.k.a. Talia al Ghul. She also did an excellent job playing Lady Macbeth opposite Michael Fassbender’s Macbeth in Australian director Justin Kurzel’s second feature. Her and Fassbender have some experience together which they will bring to Assassins Creed.
Jeremy Irons is another big name and he will be playing Alan Rikkin (Chief Executive Officer of Abstergo Industries and a member of the Inner Sanctum of the Templar Order) in this movie. Alan Rikkin is the main antagonist to Michael Fassbender's Callum Lynch. Jeremy Irons, as you probably know, has won an Oscar for Best Actor in the movie Reversal of Fortune and he has experience with historical movies, playing opposite Helen Mirren in the famous mini-series "Elizabeth I" for which he won a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Brendan Gleeson will be playing Joseph in the movie. His best-known roles include films such as Braveheart, Gangs of New York, 28 Days Later, Troy, and the Harry Potter films where he played supporting roles and leading roles in films such as In Bruges, The Guard, and Calvary. He won an Emmy Award in 2009 for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in the movie Into the Storm. Gleeson last worked with Fassbender on the movie Trespass Among Us. Brendan's son Brian Gleeson will be playing the younger version of Joseph in the movie.
Other notable roles include: Callum Turner, Michael Kenneth Williams, Matias Varela, Ariane Labed, Denis Ménochet, Coco König, Lee Nicholas Harris and Christopher Whitlow. The cast really promises that this is going to be something great.
About the director Justin Kurzel
Justin Kurzel is an Australian movie director and screenwriter. He is best known for his work in the movie Snowtown (2011). This movie got him the AACTA award for Best Direction. What probably got him the job in directing the new Assassin's Creed movie is his amazing work in the recent film Macbeth. The movie received positive reviews and praise for the adaptation and Fassbender's depiction of the lead character. Marion Cotillard played Lady Macbeth and also did an amazing job. So this little crew of three is moving on to a new project intact and hopefully they will make another success. Justin Kurzel hasn't directed many movies, but the ones he made were all very good. His works are mostly adaptations of written works of art, so hopefully he'll do well with an adaptation of a video game. Video games are works of art too, so it shouldn't be a problem.
The screenplay writing was done by Bill Collage, Adam Cooper and Michael Lesslie who all have some good movies behind them, like: Macbeth (2015), Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014), Tower Heist (2011), The Transporter Refueled (2015), Heavy Metal Drummer (2005).
Events and rumors surrounding the movieThe first important thing to know is that there isn't going to be a new game release in 2016, probably because of the movie. This gives the movie guys a full-year of marketing space to do the best job of promoting the film. Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said the film's "all-star" cast (the movie stars Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, and Brendan Gleeson), its "outstanding" director Justin Kurzel, along with its production partners, give the movie a chance to become one of the year's biggest hits. He believes that with the help of people at New Regency and the marketing power of 20th Century Fox this movie has the potential to be one of the biggest blockbusters of the year.
The plot in which Callum Lynch travels through his "genetic memories" is apparently inspired by The Matrix as Fassbender said in an interview for Empire. "I've always thought about The Matrix when we've approached this," Fassbender said. "This idea of DNA memory elevates it from a basic fantasy genre [piece], because you have something an audience can actually believe in. Then the journey becomes so much more elevated, because you're on board in a different way."
In the same interview Fassbender said that the film is going to be using a lot of practical effects and stunts which the audience probably wasn't expecting from a video game adaptation. In fact, he confirms that a stunt guy actually does a 120-foot "leap of faith" without rope! There won't be that much green screening which is unexpected for a movie like this. Movie scenes were shot on the Mediterranean island of Malta, where stunt guys are jumping across buildings in its capital Valetta. The movie will have violent scenes of course but he promises it won't go too far with violent graphic details.
20th Century Fox has launched a special website http://www.abstergo.com/ based on the in-game conglomerate Abstergo Industries in anticipation of the new movie. There are rumors that the movie's first trailer could be released on 25th of March alongside Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. There rumors come from the website Polygon.com whose journalists called up the actor Jeremy Irons and got a hint from listening to his answering machine.
Other interesting trivia about Assassin's Creed
- The Assassins's Creed franchise was inspired by the Slovenian author Vladimir Bartol and his book Alamut.
- It was filmed on the island of Malta (September 2015) in the Mediterranean Sea under the working title of 'Time Out Of Mind' ('TOOM' for short) which was the title of a recent 2014 movie that starred Richard Gere, Jena Malone and Steve Buscemi with no connection.
- The film was set to be released in 2015, but was pushed back to 2016 due to script rewrites and scheduling issues during the production. Oscar nominated screenwriter Scott Frank was hired to rewrite the movie's screenplay.
- Ariane Labed got her role in the movie as a second choice because Alicia Vikander was considered for a role before her. She chose to do Jason Bourne (2016) instead.
- The reported budget of the movie is $150-$200 million.
- Jean-Julien Baronnet said in an interview in October 2015: "Our big gamble is that it works for three audiences, fans of our games, which there are some 95 million of; fans of mainstream cinema who are going to see Star Wars and Spider-Man; and in parallel, we're also aiming it people who would never think of going to see an Assassin's film, people who like independent films."
- Jean-Julien Barronet, Ubisoft CEO from Paris, said that they want to make a movie modeled on features like Batman Begins or Blade Runner.
- Ubisoft is going all-out in the movie department and making six movies based on its Far Cry, Rabbids, Watch Dogs, Splinter Cell, and Ghost Recon franchises.
The Assassin's Creed movie is currently in post-production and its scheduled debut in theaters is on December 21th 2016 which is one week after Star Wars Rogue One arrives on December 16.
This year will be groundbreaking for video game adaptations, since along with Assassin's Creed we have Warcraft scheduled to release in summer. Both movies have the potential to be a huge success and open up a market for more blockbuster video game adaptations. Expectations for this movie are sky high so here's to hoping that they don't screw this up.