BySean Gallen, writer at
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Sean Gallen

Assassin's Creed finished shooting back in February and we're starting to gather more information on what to expect when it opens nationwide on December 21st. It will be interesting to see how faithful the film will be to the game, as many fans were disappointed by the trailer and remain cautious about getting their hopes up.

But the producers have been listening to the fans and have reassured them that the final product respects everything that makes the game special. In a recent interview with IGN, the film's star, Michael Fassbender, explained their need to respect the game but also add new elements to its core:

"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"

Check out the trailer that left fans scratching their heads:

There are obviously a lot of elements within the game that they had to consider when adapting it to film: the historical setting, the sci-fi backstory, and the fast-paced action sequences.

A Record-Breaking Leap Of Faith

Leap of faith 'Assassin's Creed' / Ubisoft
Leap of faith 'Assassin's Creed' / Ubisoft

One of the signature moves of game is the leap of faith playable characters can take, plunging headfirst off the tallest buildings, so it was imperative for the producers of the film to capture one of these exhilarating moments in a realistic fashion. If the recent behind-the-scenes footage is anything to go by, it seems that the incredible stunt team has captured that breathtaking feeling by smashing the record for highest leap of faith (125 ft.) without a harness. By using stunt men instead of digitally rendered figures, the audience will witness a human body plummeting elegantly with all the pressure of gravity and speed affecting it as it goes.

CGI Vs. Live-Action Stunts

One major issue many video game to movie adaptations face is in their use of CGI. Since filmmakers are trying to recreate a virtual reality, CGI is ideally used to bridge the gap between the video game world and the film world. While CGI and green screen environments were made popular in the early '00s by the Lord of the Rings trilogy, they have steadily seen a decline, since too many films started to rely on it without really using it creatively.

'Mad Max: Fury Road' took live stunts to new heights / WB
'Mad Max: Fury Road' took live stunts to new heights / WB

One of the summer's biggest flops, World of Warcraft, was guilty of committing all these errors. They used CGI to create every single environment, which resulted in lifeless landscapes and headache-inducing action sequences. Films like Mad Max: Fury Road, Mission Impossible 5: Rogue Nation and Christopher Nolan's impressive portfolio all prove that in order to create action that the audience can connect with, you need to use CGI in small doses to enhance live-action sequences, not to replace them. Both critics and audiences respond well to films that artfully blend post-production technology with good cinematography.

Director Justing Kurzel Live-Action Vision

World of Warcraft using CGI as a crutch / Universal
World of Warcraft using CGI as a crutch / Universal

What was really special about the Assassin’s Creed games was the story and how much it focused on actual history. We know that director Justing Kurzel can breathe new life into history, as seen in his previous feature Macbeth, and hopefully he can bring that same vibrant energy to Assassin’s Creed. And it looks as though he is adamant about capturing not just real-life action sequences but also real locations. Taking a page out of the Game of Thrones' book, the majority of the film was shot in Malta, capitalizing on its beautifully preserved coastal towns.

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Adapting from the video game is contentious to say the least, and it would be very easy for Just Kurzel and co. to bang out a digitally rendered story and put Michael Fassbender's face on the cover. However, it seems like they have shown that they respect their audience — gamers and non-gamers alike — and are producing something that has not only a stellar cast but, more importantly, a human touch, by using real action and real locations.

Do you think audiences are tired of films that are too dependent on CGI?


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