All bets are inherently against Assassin's Creed's cinematic adaptation. It's a sad fact, but video games never fare too well at the cinema. Yet, with director Justin Kurzel's inspired visuals on his last film, Macbeth, combined with the talents of Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, and Ariane Labed; plus the endlessly mineable possibilities of the game's historical basis? This may be our best bet at finally getting things right.
Its star has certainly put in his fair share to build anticipation for the project. Having previously described it as "something special", Fassbender has now delved into some of the inspirations he took on board when approaching such a unique piece of gaming property. "I’ve always thought about The Matrix when we’ve approached this," he told Empire magazine. "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."
He also reassured fans the cinematic Assassin's Creed would, in no way, neglect the incredible physicality of its freerunning-based gameplay. "There’s very little green screen in this, which is highly unusual in these films," he stressed. "We have stunt guys jumping across buildings in (Maltese capital) Valletta. We’ve got (stunt man) Damian Walters doing a 120-foot leap of faith, without any rope, into a bag, so it’s pretty incredible to see."
The film is dropping the game's protagonist Desmond Miles for Fassbender's Callum Lynch, whose path crosses with the shady Abstergo Industries as their revolutionary technology unlock his genetic memories and allow him to experience the adventures of his ancestor Aguilar in 15th Century Spain; unveiling him as a descendant of the secret society of Assassins who have been locked in a centuries-long battle with the oppressive Templars.
Assassin's Creed is set for release 30 December.
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