The lights are on
Yesterday, Ubisoft announced it is one step closer to making
a film adaptation of Assassin's Creed, thanks to a deal with the film
production company New Regency. However, even if it does get made, will it be
any better than the average game-to-movie adaptation? Here are five things that
can help Ubisoft surpass that incredibly low bar.
#1: Minimize the modern day, sci-fi hocus pocusThe Assassin's Creed games do an amazing job of recreating
historical periods, places, and events. The sci-fi elements and mind-control wack-job
conspiracy that tie all of these eras together are less compelling. I'm sure Ubisoft
and New Regency will be chomping at the bit to spice up Desmond's cyber mind
journey with a bunch of flashy CGI effects, but it's an urge that should be
avoided at all costs. The Assassin's Creed movie should be grounded in Altaïr's
story of becoming a master assassin and the corrupt Templars he must kill. I
wouldn't mind if they skipped the modern day stuff altogether.
"Less glowing people and more stabbing, please."
#2: Don't "video game" it upI appreciate the fact that directors working on adaptations
of video games try to include a bit of fan service to players. It's a nice but
unnecessary gesture. Players go to these films to see cinematic interpretations
of the stories they enjoy – not to see gimmicky attempts to make a film that looks
like a video game. Doom's
first-person segment was just plain stupid, as was Prince of Persia's "Hey look, the camera is flying around the
environment like it's the beginning of a video game level! Isn't that cool?!"
No. It's not. And I don't want to see some stupid callback
to the Assassin's Creed games when Altaïr is stabbing dudes in the face.
#3: Cut out the annoying charactersThe Assassin's Creed series has a number compelling
characters – chief among them, Altaïr and Ezio. It also has its share of annoying
secondary characters, which should be politely swept under the rug. Again, I'd
look at the present day narrative for characters to cut; I have no love for
Desmond, Lucy, or that preachy bore Warren Vidic in the original Assassin's
However, I'm more concerned with some of the characters in
the sequels, which would inevitably be translated to the silver screen if the
first movie is successful. Rebecca Crane and Shaun Hastings should be the first
characters left on the cutting room floor, unless the film provides an
alternate canon in which Desmond flips out and assassinates them for the fun of
"Not these characters. Not ever."
#4: Hire good actorsGood actors can't always fix a crappy film adaptation of a video game (i.e. Mark Walberg in Max Payne), but casting some no-talent heartthrob is a surefire way to sink a movie regardless of the script's quality.
Ubisoft has already signed Michael Fassbender as the lead of the movie, which would presumably be Altaïr. I'm not sure how the German-Irish actor plans to pass himself off as a Syrian assassin, but he's a decent actor, so I'm willing to suspend my disbelief. Picking up other quality actors and actresses should be a priority for the filmmakers. That doesn't mean they need to be A-list celebrities, either; I'd take a talented no-name actor over a disinterested Jake Gyllenhaal any day of the week.
#5: Stay MatureI'm sure Ubisoft and New Regency will be inclined to shoot
for a PG-13 rating in order to minimize the risk of making an expensive summer
blockbuster. The only problem is that Assassin's Creed is a series about
Assassins. Cold-blooded, throat-cutting assassins, who have hidden wrist blades
that they frequently jam into peoples' skulls. Trying to make that suitable for
a younger audience would be disingenuous to the series, not to mention amoral.
The action in the film should stay true to the series, with
swift, brutal sword fights, and unflinching assassinations. If the filmmakers are worried that will alienate the movie's potential audience, it would be best not to make the film at all.
Those are five things
I'd like to see from an Assassin's Creed film. What about you? Share your
Email the author Jeff Marchiafava, or follow on Google+, Twitter, and Game Informer.
I personally liked Desmond, Lucy, Shaun and Rebeca. And it doesn't seem like you'd be able to have a compelling plot without the modern day tie-in.
That's my take.
Just don't make it bad Ubisoft. Look at Halo 4 Forward Unto Dawn, realize that you have to make it about what people like about the game story-wise, and then mix in some compelling characters and problems.
Some good points, but did it ever occur to some people that Michael Fassbender could be playing a NEW CHARACTER entirely?! He's probably one of the most upcoming British actors around, so it'd be only logical casting him as a British assassin, preferably during the untouched Shakesperean English era in Assassins's Creed. After all, AC III will reportedly end Desmond's story, so we'll hopefully branch out the franchise with other people's ancestors too.
1 and 3 I completely disagree with. IT really wouldn't be AC without those characters or Desmond's story. You are essentially asking to cut out the thing that ties all potential sequels to the actual story. Also, it cuts out pretty much what makes AC unique. It's both historical fiction as well as Sci-fi. Also, I do NOT get the hate towards Desmond's story. Desmond's story IS (I CANNOT emphasize this any more) what the ENTIRE SERIES focuses on; finding ta way to stop this apparent imminent doom. It really wouldn't be AC without it. Also, I don't get the hate for Lucy, Rebecca, and Shaun. They're important and compelling and SO ENTIRELY necessary to the overarching plot. Also, you talk about them as if they're annoying in the games. They really are not.
I think at least some of the animus is necessary. My draw to Assassin's Creed is the idea that this is how history actually happened. My mind was blown with The Secret in Assassin's Creed 2. It would be hard to include that without the modern bits to explain it.
Without the modern tie ins, it'll just become another bloody action movie, and it'll lose the ambiguous morality and sense of discovery.
No matter what, cutting out Desmond completely is not gonna happen. His role is too important in the overarcing story.
They just need to focus on what makes the games great. A solid lead assassin, a great story, and a beautiful setting.
Indeed, good sir! You've summed up quite well how I feel this movie, and all video game movie adaptations should should be made. That DOOM first person section was tteerrrriibbllee...
SHOW HIM MURDING LOTS AND LOTS OF TEMPLARS!!!
I actually find Desmond's story really good and interesting. Without it, Assassin's Creed isn't really Assassin's Creed. Ok, maybe it is, but still.
And I hated Shaun in AC2 too, but I've grown to like him in ACB. And Desmond is retarded. But maybe, just maybe, he gets to be awesome in AC3
If Jake Gyllenhall is in it they would have to pay me to go
Also, I'd be willing to bet a lot of money that it ends up being PG-13
Forgot a big one - No love story!
They should include Desmond's modern-day segments but they should also make them very brief. Maybe have the movie start with him going into the Animus, the bulk of the movie would then be Altair fighting the templars, then maybe at the very end it could switch back to Desmond.
Without the modern setting segments it wouldn't be Assassin's Creed. I, for one, am really looking forward to Desmond's segments in AC3. Now that he is fully conscious he has to deal with Lucy's betrayal of the order... but, going back to what the AC film will cover - If at all possible the entirety of Altair's story should be covered, including his life that was covered in the handheld games and flashbacks in AC2R, he needs to go from the cocky upstart to the wise and mostly benevolent master assassin... having the gaps in time go off to view Desmond's parts, which will need to be increased somewhat... Hmmm...