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.
for me i dont think everything you said is correct cause if they do everything you said then it wont be assassin creed it just gonna be another movie of assassins the movie need to have part of the game even if they are annoying thats what made the game and even with thoses annoying stuff( that i personaly dont think all of them are annoying) thats is what is gonna separent the movie for another assassin movie from an assassin creed movie but one but point you have is that the movie MUST be mature no PG-13
I completely agree with this article
I think including the modern day portion of the story would be better if they could portray it correctly. It would be like trying to tell two different storys, and that is very hard to accomplish well with only 2 hours avaliable. But that part of the story is vital if they wish to include the doomsday prophesy. Though it would be funny if it does, after all this movie will be after 12/21/2012.
#1 would be good for the game series not just the movie.
Keep Uwe Boll and Michael Bay away from it.
You are having a bad dag i guess..
This writer is a fool! You need the modern day aspect of the film absolutely otherwise you totally change the story all together. The point of even seeing Altair's story is to track down the Apple of Eden, without that there is no point in knowing Altair ever existed. There shouldn't be a back and forth in and out of the story as much, but think of it like the Matrix, a blend of inside the Matrix and outside the Matrix story-telling. This writer has no idea what he's talking about.
I just hope they don't destroy this series with a crappy movie. They better play their cards carefully.
I don't agree with the assertion that we should cut out all of the modern-day stuff. To me, one of the most compelling aspects of the story is that this has been going for centuries upon centuries, literally for as long as humanity as existed. I like the fact that there is this profound connection between Desmond and his ancestors, and that the same battles Desmond is fighting now were being fought centuries ago. I like that, in the first game, we meet Desmond, but know nothing about him. His significance never really becomes apparent until the sequel titles, and I like that. Introduce me to Desmond in the movie, but minimize his role, and keep his significance a mystery, and I'll be pleased.
I agree with minimizing Desmond but don't cut him out all together. Maybe save him for the sequels. Go through all 3 Assassins and at the end of the 3rd movie have Desmond come out of the Animus. Where to go from there I have no clue but it is a way to keep him in the franchise with out having him distract from the actual Assassins.
I agree with the majority of this list. But I honestly watch all the video game to movie adaptations, even the most crappy ones.
I agree with some of your points, but others... Nah, I think you're wrong, Jeff. It's the modern day aspect of this franchise that makes it cool and gives it some validity and a sense of purpose. Though Ubisoft's execution of the modern day character lineup is irritating at the best of times, there is still some potential for a filmmaker to turn these characters into compelling plot pieces.
I enjoy the bladework as much as the next guy, but the single element of this series that elevated it well above other IPs was the mystery and suspense found in the "sci-fi hocus pocus." I loved exploring clues left by Subject 16, and I joyfully allowed my imagination to roam over the possibilities. I was also pleasantly surprised to discover that the writers didn't lead us down some well-trodden plot line, but instead introduced to the "first civilization." Brilliant, in my opinion.
Yes, Hollywood could royally screw this IP up, but I believe that were they to follow your guidelines, the resulting film would be only a little more worthwhile than Disney's Prince of Persia.
ummm yeah cut desmond lucy and dr.vidic out of the movie.....not a good idea
lucy would be nice in the movie
The biggest thing they need to do to make this movie not suck is just give it the respect every "Hollywood" movie gets - in other words don't cater to gamers or anyone in specific, just invest tons of money to make it a legitimate movie.
AC has one of the best stories in gaming and this will probably be an introduction to the concept for most people. in other words try to make a movie my that people would go see even if they have never heard of assassins creed before.
I agree with all of these. Fantastically well put. That would be a movie I would watch.
I've always felt like, if a movie adaptation of a game is going to be made, it should be set outside the events of the games. This way viewers who have already played the game can stay surprised and the movie can stay within the canon of the universe - hopefully without fuddling with the pre-established canon.