Movies based on video games have a notorious track record of suck. There are exceptions to this rule but they just don’t come along often enough.
But a glimmer of hope has hit the horizon and it comes in the form of Assassin’s Creed. Aside from being one of the most cinematic and well plotted game franchises in recent history, a lot of credibility has been applied to the feature film adaptation with Michael Fassbender attached.
Fassbender is a surprising choice. I would have expected them to use a much younger person for this role, but he is an accomplished and credible actor.
If you are not already familiar with the franchise, the story follows an ancestral line of assassins. Desmond Miles gets dragged into discovering his ancestor’s history by entering a virtual reality machine called the Animus, which allows him to experience the life of his various ancestors (Altaïr ibn-La’Ahad during the Crusades, and then Ezio Auditore da Firenze at the turn of the 16th century in Italy.) The upcoming chapter will step forward to the American Revolution era.
This is where I think the franchise will best serve a feature film. The stories are more complex than “kill it and take its treasure”. One of the biggest detractors of video game movies is that the movie industry picks popular games with very thin plots, and then have them directed by people like Uwe Boll.
Also, Ubisoft is making good and sure that some big Hollywood Studio is not going to adapt this film into their own vision of the franchise. They are funding it themselves to make sure no one messes with their ideas.
I am excited for Assassin’s Creed, and while I didn’t see it coming, I am excited for Fassbender.