It's no secret that the #AssassinsCreed film failed to meet the hype. Lambasted by fans and critics alike — sporting a 17 percent tomato score and a 50 percent audience score — the film did end up being a financial success due to impressive international box office results. This may be a contributing factor in #Ubisoft's decision to green light a TV show, possibly even on #Netflix. While the film suffered from uninteresting characters and story points, the extended run time of a show could be the saving grace for the video game adaptation going forward.
How An 'Assassin's Creed' TV Series Could Work
First off, if this show is going to look the part, it's going to need a budget. This is partly why I believe we'll see it on Netflix, as the streaming service has been producing shows with some serious financial backing lately. Additionally, Yves Guillemot, head of Ubisoft, mentioned in the 2016 shareholder meeting that the company was in negotiations with the streaming service to deliver a new series. I believe that this series will be the Assassin's Creed series. Netflix would certainly offer a healthy budget to the proposed TV show, which would help transport viewers through history.
I could, of course, be wrong and the series will find a home somewhere else (Starz would be a good home for it, too). Just look at shows like #BlackSails or #TheCrown — they look freakin' awesome. In fact, I may go as far as to say the production design on those shows surpass what we saw in the Assassin's Creed film, which suffered from sub-par CGI during the Spanish Inquisition scenes and a boasted an unusual color palette. Aside from looking good, those shows offered rich characters and in the case of Black Sails, intense action to go with it, proving that these kind of stories are not limited to the big screen.
The Focus Should Be On History, Not The Present Day
Unlike the film, the proposed Assassin's Creed series should make use of its budget and focus most of its story on the historical aspects, which is always the main draw of the video games. Why focus most of the story in a present time filled with labs when literally any point in history will do? The show should accept that the fans want this aspect more than a modern-day setting.
If the show is a success, then it can adopt an anthology-focused narrative arc, where each season would see the historical aspects of the show change setting and cast with year while simultaneously keeping a consistent, yet very much secondary focus on the present story. This way, audiences could witness a new point in time each season. Or, they could commit to one period in time that would draw the most viewers and stick with it for the duration of the series' run. Either way, have the past be the main focus of the show, let that drive the story.
Slow Down The Storytelling
Of course, there's the added benefits of having a story arc unfold over eight or ten episodes. Playing a video like Assassin's Creed can take over 20 hours to complete, so trying to translate that narrative arc to film heavily restricts characterization, especially when there are two leads to deal with. With the extended run time, the show can slow things down, allow the plot to unfold naturally, flesh out the characters and breathe life into what should be a rousing historical drama filled with jaw-dropping action sequences. The perfect blend.
The show may do well to take notes from the works of Steven S. DeKnight, mainly the first season of Daredevil and the entire run of Spartacus. Both those shows gave audiences ample time with the villains of the respective series and fleshed them out completely so that we understand their motivations, fears, weaknesses and point of view. This would allow us not only to understand the conflict at hand, but to allow us to root for the hero as he faces the odds and obstacles challenging him.
Would you be interested in an 'Assassin's Creed' show or should they stop adapting video games?