I'm sure I'm not the only one who, when receiving the news that there was to be a live action Hollywood adaptation of video game series [Assassin's Creed](tag:437814), started hitting my head off the desk.
It's not completely unfair to say that the upcoming Assassin's Creed adaptation was met with some concern in the fanbase, not because the series isn't ripe with narrative opportunity which could be crafted into a wonderful cinematic piece, but more to do with Hollywood's awful track record with adapting video games to film.
Assassin's Creed: The Movie
I'd say that I was concerned that Hollywood would ruin the series if Ubisoft hadn't already managed that with last year's disappointing Unity (okay, not quite ruined, but you know). But then heavyweight actor Michael Fassbender was cast in the lead role of, not series protagonist Desmond Miles, but a new character serving as an amalgamation of sorts, the so called Callum Lynch.
And then the impressive cast swelled: Marion Cotillard, Brendan Gleeson and Michael Kenneth Williams got on board and Jeremy Irons joined up to portray Abstergo CEO Alan Rikkin. Dramatic director Justin Kurzel of Macbeth, The Turning and The Snowtown Murders signed on along with Macbeth writer Michael Lesslie and Exodus: Gods and Kings writers Bill Collage and Adam Cooper (oh, it was all going so well...).
The official line on the plot synopsis (as retrieved from IMDB) sounds pretty familiar to anyone who's played the games:
"When Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) explores the memories of his ancestor Aguilar and gains the skills of a Master Assassin, he discovers he is a descendant of the secret Assassins society."
And thanks to Empire we've now got our first stills from the upcoming film (albeit low res ones). Check out Michael Fassbender as both the modern day Callum Lynch and the Master Assassin Aguilar.
But Will It Work?
The thing is, Assassin's Creed could make a fantastic movie because there's an incredible amount of detailed backstory in almost every aspect of the series. Sure, you won't be able to cram in nearly the same level of detail and character as exist in the games, but that's to be expected when you translate a franchise which provides hundreds of hours of gameplay into a mere feature length film.
But the core isn't difficult to translate across media; it's the oldest story in the book. Assassins vs Templars. Good vs Evil. Freedom vs Bondage (no, not the Fifty Shades of Grey kinda bondage). But Michael Fassbender didn't know any of this prior to signing on for the film, as EW reports that:
"I hadn’t played [the games] before these guys approached me. I’ve played it since mainly to get an idea of the physicality of the character."
Shock horror! At least he's played them now, but he didn't answer the biggest question of all, which one(s) has he played? Please not Unity, or he'll end up playing Lynch with a magical rotating pelvis:
Regardless Fassbender seems pretty confident that the Assassin's Creed movie isn't going to disappoint fans of the series:
"We’re striving to find something special. We believe the whole concept around it is special and want to service that the best we can. The fans are really passionate: very specific and they expect accuracy and historical detail. We’re really trying to capitalize and feed on and enjoy the fun element. We’re working hard to make this something special."
So whilst we're still staying pretty sceptical about how good the film is going to be we're also cautiously optimistic that Kurzel and Fassbender just might be able to pull it off. Nothing against you guys, we've been burned in the past and we're just wary about trusting again. What do YOU think about the Assassin's Creed movie? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!