Assassin’s Creed Film Sparks Hollywood Controversy

by Ben Reeves on Nov 06, 2011 at 09:58 AM

Last month, news broke that Ubisoft was working with Sony pictures to bring it’s Assassin’s Creed franchise to the silver screen, but this is no ordinary deal, and that has surprised many film industry insiders.

As NYMag notes, Assassin’s Creed is currently one of the biggest video game properties in the world. Its size has allowed Ubisoft some leverage at Sony’s negotiating table. Sony’s movie deal grants the game publisher approval over just about everything – budget, principal cast, script, release date, etc. However, this kind of control is unprecedented.

One Hollywood talent agent told NYMag, "The whole Ubisoft/Sony deal is a waste of ink, paper and time. The level of control Sony gave up means, effectively, that Assassin’s Creed will never – and I mean never – get made.” Another incredulous insider said, “As a director, even Steven Spielberg cannot get this kind of deal.”

These are interesting sentiments considering that few video game movie adaptations can be considered successful. Last summer’s Disney adaptation of Ubisoft’s Prince of Persia bombed, and Ubisoft hopes that having more control over Assassin’s Creed will improve the film. Then again, Ubisoft is a video game company – it knows plenty about releasing games, but how much does it know about film?

The NYMag article is a thoughtful and insightful piece about how video game companies and movie studios generally work together, and it’s worth a read.