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 feel that a lot of what was suggested is well grounded. personally i might suggest doing a different story line all together, kind of like the comics. love new content. I'f it's the same old characters I'll be a little less interested. Should it still tie in to the main story? yes. will I still go see it even if it's got the main characters? yes. i've got every confidence as fassbender.
Though I hate Shaun, I like Rebecca as a character.
Ok, I don't get how you CAN have no modern stuff! They would have to meld the entire history of why the hell the templars and asssasins are fighting from nothing! The story is glued together by the thought that what Altair and Ezio did effects generations..... if you take that out the movie WILL suffer.
Did you just call Michael Fassbender a "decent" actor? WHATTHEMOTHERFRIZZASHIZZLEDIDYOUJUSTMOFRACKINSAY?
I think that the modern era might be a little bit needed but I'm not film expert. It could easily be cut out though and I do agree a little that the film might be better off without it. However, I can see a PG-13 rating possible because the language could be kept low and the game isn't horribly gory anyways. The assassinations and sword fighting and all the death could just have a minimal amount of blood. With all that I feel like PG-13 could squeeze in.
more action the better.
I'll tell you how to make an Assassins Creed movie not suck, dont make it.
no Uwe Boll
I wouldn't be surprised if UbiSoft made an alternate story line, introducing a new protagonist in a new place. That being said, I wouldn't mind seeing Altair, but I'm Ezio'd out. I think that's why I'm so excited for Connor. This movie had better not turn into a bust.
I have to disagree with the Desmond part, he is important after all. Desmond's story is what drives the whole franchise and ties it together. I do however agree that it should be kept to a minimum to avoid confusion among those who do not know the story, but it should not be kept out completely
I think you made some good points, but you sounded like a no good fanboy that thinks if it's not the way he wants it, then it sucks no questions asked.
So much pessimism. While I agree that Desmond's story arc wasn't incredibly compelling in the first Assassin's Creed but he is still essential to the story. I mean the animus and Desmond's interaction with it is critical to the plot.
Yes, the story of Altair and Ezio could stand alone but Desmond's ties to to them and the animus give it context. Also, I feel that the animus was an interesting idea and I like the connection with modern day Templars and assassins and I don't see any reason why that should be excluded.
Then with the annoying characters; yeah they can get on your nerves but that doesn't mean they deserve to be cut out of the story completely. If anything, writers for the movie should just make them less annoying. There's an idea. I didn't find Lucy as annoying as I did Shaun and Rebecca and I don't see how Warren Vidic could just be cut out of the story also. A lot of what is suggested in the article would ultimately change Assassin's Creed and just boil it down to an action flick.
The sci-fi angle and modern day twist give the story a lot more intrigue i feel and they definitely shouldn't be excluded.
heres an idea to not make it suck.....don't make it.
I agree with all your points, especially #5. An M rated game should be an R rated movie.
You're on the right track, Hangtime.
I doubt this'll be a great movie though. Good, at best.
If you cut the modern day story elements, then the film loses meaning and becomes just a two hour generic action-fest. If you leave it in, you have a rambling and confusing film that's based on cliffhanger endings.
I love the Assassin's Creed games, but that's where they belong; as games. The storyline is interesting enough for an interactive experience, but it just can't measure up if it was developed into a non-interactive full length film. Leave it be.
Also laughed at "Michael Fassbender is a decent actor."
I feel as though you can't just have a movie about Altair killing templars without explaining who they are how and why they need desmond's memories within his DNA. I do believe it'll be quite a challenge for them to tie all of this stuff together in the movie.. but its pretty important and I feel it shouldn't be left out.
However I hope they leave out all the glowy/apple of eden stuff. They should make the apple appear to be more realistic.