Ubisoft Motion Pictures and 20th Century Fox’s Assassin’s Creed movie is certainly pushing the envelope for video game film adaptations. The project is directed by Justin Kurzel (The Snowtown Murders, Macbeth ), a filmmaker more accustomed to the arthouse cinema scene than mainstream tentpole fare; is led by a cast that includes Michael Fassbender, as well as Oscar-winners Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Irons (Fassbender and Cotillard previously starred in Kurzel’s Macbeth together); and part of the film will be in Spanish with English subtitles.
Between the high pedigree of the creative talent involved and the film’s unusual qualities – including, the way that it (and, of course, the original Assassin’s Creed video game series) blends historical action/adventure with sci-fi tropes – it’s no wonder that people are hopeful that Assassin’s Creed will be the first truly critically-acclaimed video game movie ever. The film’s commercial prospects are somewhat dicier, mostly because it opens in theaters less than a week after Disney and Lucasfilm unleash their juggernaut Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on the global box office.
The Assassin’s Creed marketing machine has, at the time of writing this, just over a month left to make its final push and convince enough moviegoers to give Ubisoft’s first movie a shot when it arrives, so that it might become a financial success (on top of being – fingers crossed – a critical hit). The newly-released Assassin’s Creed international poster (see below) serves as but the beginning of that final push.
Fassbender stars in Assassin’s Creed as Callum Lynch, a modern-day man who gets to explore the memories of his ancestor Aguilar – pictured in the poster above – in 15th century Spain, with the help of a handy piece of hardware known as the Animus. Also pictured in the above poster are Ariane Labed (The Lobster) as Aguilar’s fellow Assassin, Maria, and Lebanese actor Hovik Keuchkerian as Ojeda, in addition to Cotillard and Irons as Dr. Sophia Rikkin and Alan Rikkin: the heads of Abstergo Industries and two key players in the centuries-old battle between Assassins and Templars in the Assassin’s Creed mythology. The poster also calls attention to the different time periods in the film, with ancient Spain on one side and a modern city landscape on the other.
Kurzel’s Macbeth was easily one of the more impressively-stylized William Shakespeare film adaptations in recent memory – and judging by the Assassin’s Creed footage unveiled thus far, the director’s video game movie should be equally stylish; boasting some impressive practical stunt work, to go along with its intriguing mythos and world-building. The hope, of course, is that Assassin’s Creed will manage to avoid being a case of style over substance too, as that’s a problem that many a video game movie before it (including, this past summer’s Warcraft) has arguably suffered from.