‘Nothing is true; everything is permitted’, apparently even an Assassin’s Creed movie! Today, from 20th Century Fox, came the release of the first trailer, showcasing this renowned video game series all set for its big screen debut. And, it looks great!
Now, gamers are rarely enthralled by the news of filmmakers adapting their favorite virtual realities into movies. The recent Hitman adaptation, which was a flop, is an example of how wrong this can go. It’s kind of like a book lover fearing the adaptation of their favourite novel. Video games, like novels, are much longer and can pack a lot more detail than a film can. Basically, it’s easier to go from film to game than it is to convert a game into a film, and fewer people get annoyed.
So, like most video game film adaptation ideas, the Assassin’s Creed pitch has been floating about, passed from studio to studio, for over 4 years now – it’s a risky undertaking. However, the time taken by Ubisoft Films and director Justin Kurzel to fully flesh out the details appears to have paid off. Fans seem to be loving the trailer! Given that Assassin’s Creed is a heavily story-driven game, I think there is a successful way to adapt this into a film and they’ve cracked it.
For those who may not be familiar with the games, but have been intrigued by the trailer, let me brief you. The games are influenced by real historical/mythical events and centre around an Assassins vs Templar dynamic. The protagonist – in the games – is a modern day descendant of the Assassins who refuses his heritage and flees the Assassin compound where he grew up. Later, he is captured by Abstergo Industries, a Templar run tech company, and is forced into a device called the Animus. Within the animus, he relives the ‘genetic memories’ of his ancestors in search of useful information regarding ‘the pieces of Eden’ – powerful, magical objects which the Assassins hid from the Templars centuries ago.
The film adaptation appears to be staying true to the basic foundations of the games. However, Desmond Miles and our favorite ancestors, Altair and Ezio, will not feature in this story. Ubisoft is adamant that this is an original screenplay; therefore, it will not follow any of the plotlines featured in any of the games. This is a wise choice.
The main protagonist in the Assassin’s Creed movie is called Callum Lynch (who will be played by Michael Fassbender). The memories that he will explore belong to his 15th-century ancestor, Aguilar, during the Spanish Inquisition. Abstergo, in this movie, appears to front-face as a mock prison – note Lynch’s ‘what kind of prison is this?’ remark at the beginning of the trailer. Also, another striking difference that many long-time fans will notice is in the animus design. The animus appears to have had an upgrade, now functioning as full room experience, which somewhat resembles the ‘fear landscape’ in Divergent. I think this is a good idea as it will make the animus dynamic much more exciting to watch in real-time, and will help keep the transition between the past and present tangible in this new film format.
Nonetheless, from the trailer we see that Lynch still comes equipt with a league of Assassin’s, which is inspired by Brotherhood, and that there will be much insight into Abstergo Industries and the modern day, which I think we got a lot of in Black Flag. Also, I believe Abstergo will obviously still be in search of some secret hidden within the past and the animus, but it won’t involve ‘the pieces of Eden’. I think, that would be too complex a concept for the film to accurately capture.
One thing that does seem to have bothered fans about the Assassin’s Creed trailer, however, was the choice of music: Kanye West, I Am A God. I did think it felt a bit off, but perhaps that’s just the video-gamer in me knowing the pretty soundtracks the games had to offer. Maybe if I’d never played the games and viewed this strictly as a film, it would’ve flowed better.
Either way, I am excited about this! With the Tomb Raider reboot, also, in motion, it seems we should expect more video game adaptations in the near future.
What do you guys think about this? Is this a cause for concern or an exciting prospect? How do you think the Assassin’s Creed film adaptation will fare? Comment below!
Assassin’s Creed the movie is taking a ‘leap of faith’ into cinemas December 21, 2016.