Ubisoft working on an Assassin’s Creed TV series

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Oh, Assassin’s Creed. To paraphrase Obi-Wan Kenobi (mixed franchises be damned), you were supposed to be the chosen one! After years and years of embarrassingly poor video game feature film adaptations, most fans just resigned themselves to the fate that Hollywood was never going to make a good movie out of a beloved video game. And then came Assassin’s Creed. The video game’s narrative is a dauntingly dense tome – too much to completely summarize here, but it involves a secret, centuries long war between an order of Assassins and the Knights Templar and the future technology they use to relive the memories of their ancestors – but publishers Ubisoft themselves were spearheading this, not trusting the Hollywood machine to not mess up their vaunted property.

They assembled a team with a level of talent unheard of for these things, with acclaimed director Justin Kurzel, two-time Oscar nominee Michael Fassbender and Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard headlining a cast stuffed with numerous other big time award winners and veterans. Star/producer Fassbender and co decided to rather take their time and get things right than just rush to market, resulting in the movie being in development for ages, having first been announced way back in 2012. Somehow though, I think they should probably still have taken a bit more time.

Look, the movie we finally got last year wasn’t totally terrible. From a purely technical perspective there’s actually a lot to commend as it featured top notch action choreography, production design and performances. There’s also a hell of a lot of laughably bad things though, including a half-arsed attempt at Assassin’s Creed’s complex story that probably annoyed longtime fans and utterly confused newcomers. That the movie ended without really providing any proper resolution but instead with just a blatant setup for a sequel was made all the more farcical by the fact that it completely crashed and burned at the US box office, making just a meagre $54 million. Thankfully, despite a slew of scathing reviews, international markets helped to lift that figure to $241 million, but thanks to the weird serpentine economics of blockbuster filmmaking, it might not even had made its $125 million production budget back.

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All of which makes the news that Ubisoft are actually developing an Assassin’s Creed TV series even more of a puzzling headscratcher. The revelation comes via a Reddit AMA recently done by Assassin’s Creed head of content Aymar Azaizia. When asked about a possible TV series project for Assassin’s Creed, Azaizia revealed that it was on the cards, but like the movie would be a long development process.

It’s like the movie guys, we will take our time, to get sure we deliver something we can be proud of, but if you wander if it’s on our plan… YES

Azaizia doesn’t go on to share any further details, other than to say his “gut feeling would be live action” for the format,so we have no idea if this TV series will be based in the continuity of the games or follow the movie’s different central characters, or whether it will in fact be a totally new iteration of this story. Azaizia does confirm later in the AMA that the movie itself does totally take place in the cannon of the video game franchise, despite some people thinking it didn’t due to the mysterious artifact central to the story known as the Apple of Eden being depicted differently in both.

There are several apple of Eden in our lore, the one from the movie is not the same as the one Ezio was holding, if it’s the reference you are using 🙂

The movie is definitly canon depsite a few mistakes…

…We have several versions, and scripts, where actors were saying Pieces of Eden, and “The Artefact”, when refering to the movie Apple, instead of “The Apple”, that makes it sounds, like there was only one.

So it is one of the tiny mistakes I mentioned, nothing dramatic.

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot announced last year that the developer was in talks with Netflix to co-produce a then unspecified series with the publisher’s newly established Ubisoft Motion Pictures studio, so its possible that that is series would in fact be Assassin’s Creed.

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Now to be fair, a long-form TV series based on Assassin’s Creed does actually make way more sense than a two-hour feature film, as there’re just way too much story and characters to get through. All the conspiratorial intrigue, the blending of real-world historical figures and events with fiction and the epic sci-fi fantasy narrative that made the games so compelling was virtually all tossed aside in the movie. In a TV series they could have the room needed to breathe. Multiple seasons could even tackle different characters from different time periods, much like the games do. It all just makes a lot more sense.

However, until the end credits roll and I’m sitting there, jaw agape in amazement, I’m still going to have my doubts. Fool me once, Ubisoft…

Last Updated: March 24, 2017

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions – but very little sleep – I’ve been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

  • Original Heretic

    Oh cool. Yeah, I can totally see Netflix pulling this off.
    A series makes more sense for games.

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