If you’re a fan of both movies and video games, it’s a tough life. Despite the cinematic similarities between the two entertainment mediums, Hollywood just can’t seem to make a truly great video game adaptation. Sure there have been a small – very small! – handful of worthy entries, but while they may be good video game movies, none of them are just really truly great movies. We do have a few contenders on the horizon though, and one of the biggest is Assassin’s Creed, which is being directed by hot prospect Justin Kurzel who is reteaming with his Macbeth lead cast in Oscar nominees Michael Fassbender – who also produces – and Marion Cotillard.
The best-selling Ubisoft video game franchise follows a series of characters who are all part of a group of secret assassins who fight a war against the controlling Templar Order from the times of the Crusades all the way to the near future. The game’s twist is that it takes place in both ancient and future times, as the lead character, Desmond Miles, using a technology called Animus, relives the genetic memories of his Assassin ancestors in order to help unlock clues that will save the future.
In the movie, Fassbender plays a new modern character, Callum Lynch, who just like Desmond is also reliving his ancestral memories, in this case personified by 15th century Aguilar, also played by Fassbender. And thanks to EW and Empire, we now finally have a look at both his characters, so to speak, as well as co-star Ariane Labed.
Well, he sure as hell looks the part. Unfortunately, he’s never really played the part though, as Fassbender revealed to EW that despite the fact that video game franchise is one of the most successful of the past decade or so, having sold more than 73 million copies, he had never played a single one of the 20-something Assassin’s Creed titles up until he got this gig.
“I hadn’t played it before these guys approached me. “I’ve played it since [being offered the job] mainly to get an idea of the physicality of the character.”
That physicality is of course very important as the franchise’s calling card is the parkour-like movement employed by all the assassins as they run, climb, leap and fight with incredible acrobatic grace and fluidity. Fassbender explains that he’s been training to nail that aspect, but that as dedicated a method actor as he is, he’s still leaving the really crazy stuff for the stuntmen.
“A lot of the stuff in the game is Parkour. Blades attached to his wrists. It’s about getting in close to the target, close quarters fighting.”
“I’ve learned how to roly poly, tumble turn [laughing]. Stuff you can do in everyday life. Like cartwheels. No — just basic fight choreography stuff. I did some horse stuff today. So stuff like that.”
Of course the actual story of Assassin’s Creed is a more complex, spanning centuries and incorporating all sorts of conspiracy theories, alternate history, metaphysical and philosophical discussions, and even the introduction of a pre-human society race of godlike beings that used to live on Earth. That’s a lot of narrative to cover, and its uncertain just how much of it the movie will be touching on, but Fassbender assures fans that they’re definitely trying to do it all justice.
“We’re striving to find something special. We believe the whole concept around it is special and want to service that the best we can. The fans are really passionate: very specific and they expect accuracy and historical detail. We’re really trying to capitalize and feed on and enjoy the fun element. We’re working hard to make this something special.”
Assassin’s Creed is scheduled for release December 21, 2016. Here’s the official synopsis:
Assassin’s Creed follows a character by the name of Callum Lynch who, through a revolutionary technology that unlocks his genetic memories, is able to experience the adventures of his ancestor, Aguilar, in 15th Century Spain. Callum discovers he is descended from a mysterious secret society, the Assassins, and amasses incredible knowledge and skills to take on the oppressive and powerful Templar organization in the present day.
Last Updated: January 4, 2016