The first trailer for the Assassin's Creed movie has dropped, and it's a doozy. Take a look below:
Unlike many video game adaptations, this one has A-list talent on board, a gargantuan budget and, by the looks of it, some truly kick ass action sequences. But ever since the movie was announced, fans of the prolific video game series have been wondering how the film will tie in to the franchise's expansive lore.
Though set in the same universe as the games, the movie features a completely original story that's set to expand our knowledge of the franchise's wider mythology. In an interview with IGN, Michael Fassbender, who's also a producer on the project, talked about striking a balance between staying faithful to the source material and exploring new territory:
"You know, we absolutely want to respect the game. There's so much cool stuff in the game that we're actually spoiled for choice in terms of what we can use and what we can't, but we also want to bring new elements to it and perhaps our own version of things that already exist in the game."
So, similar to the way Resident Evil has handled the transition to the big screen: Recreate a familiar universe, but tell a different story.
Abstergo Is Up To Its Old Tricks Again
Much like Desmond from the first three AC games, Callum (Michael Fassbender) finds himself under the control of the shady Templar organization Abstergo. Also mirroring Desmond's predicament, Callum finds that he is a descendant of an ancient secret society of assassins. So far, so familiar.
As of now, the only character confirmed to appear in both the games and the movie is CEO of Abstergo Industries Alan Rikkin, who's played by Jeremy Irons.
You might remember Alan Rikkin from AC1, in which he appeared briefly, though he's very much lacking Irons' sculpted jaw line:
Complicating matters, Rikkin's daughter Sophia, played by Marion Cotillard, will make her franchise debut. She's working on the Animus project at Abstergo Industries, jacking Callum into that slightly Matrix-ish device that accesses ancestral memories.
It'll be interesting to see how Sophia and Alan's family dynamic plays out in the confines of this nefarious organization and will hopefully provide opportunity to explore the true nature of the group that has been chasing us for all these games.
What Era Are We In?
Untangling Assassin's Creed's complex timeline is no easy task, but we have a vague idea of where this story fits in. The movie is confirmed to take place during the 15th century, which means it's set in roughly during the same time period as Assassin's Creed 2.
But while players were controlling protagonist Ezio, gallivanting around in Italy, flirting with courtesans and flying into hay stacks, Fassbender's Aguilar is tied up in Spain. That doesn't rule out the possibility of an Ezio cameo, but we're certainly not likely so see any other Assassin's Creed protagonists pop out of a haystack, since they're either long dead or yet to be born.
Of course, there's another time period we're forgetting: The modern day. In keeping with the series' tradition, the movie will jump back and forth between its historical and contemporary settings.
From the looks of it, Callum is being held against his will and has scribbled markings all over his cell that are slightly reminiscent of the symbols Desmond discovers in Abstergo while plugged into Eagle Vision.
Familiar Yet Different
It seems, like Fassbender said, that the filmmakers have taken the core underpinnings of the franchise — Abstergo, Assassins, obfuscating hoods — and added their own creative spin to it. While it would be nice to see key characters from the game show up in the film, it's not all that likely.
This will be a familiar world for seasoned AC players. However, even though movie and game may occasionally intersect, this is a brand new tale with characters we've never seen before. It will also be interesting to see how heavily the film borrows from AC's supernatural elements.
It's going to be a long wait until December 21, when we'll find out how this franchise translates to the big screen.