The last we heard about the Assassin’s Creed film is that Michael Fassbender himself would be starring in and producing the flick. Now, it looks like this puppy is officially happening, as Ubisoft has finally found distribution and a studio to help make the film a reality. Fox is set to distribute the film, with New Regency to co-produce (and I assume provide much of the movie-making know-how).
As you may or may not remember from last year, Ubisoft was looking for an unprecedented amount of control over the project, so much so that many film industry insiders didn’t see this project having a chance in hell of getting made. But with Fox, New Regency, and the star power of Michael Fassbender on their side, they’re really pushing this one through the pipeline, hoping for a 2014 release. Michael Fassbender was apparently the key to reaching these two film companies, as he has worked with both through the X-Men franchise, as well as Shame and Prometheus.
Variety has the technical details of the deal, particularly about the degree of control that Ubisoft will have over the project:
Although financial terms were not disclosed, New Regency will finance part of the pic’s production — participation Ubisoft was seeking so it doesn’t have to shoulder much of the risk as it ventures into filmmaking.
“We want to be sure that we’re not taking too much of a risk but that we’re still very involved on the creative side,” [Jean Julien] Baronnet said.
While many game-to-film adaptations are strictly licensing pacts, with the gamemaker having little say in how the film is developed, Ubisoft is taking a more hands-on approach with “Assassin’s Creed.”
In addition to preserving elements of the game that make up its DNA, like the design of its characters and historical elements, it hopes to tie in the release of a film with a new game launch.
“We don’t want to make games just for the sake of movies,” Baronnet said. “We want to make them in concert with the games.”
Ubisoft, of course, wants so much control over the project both because Assassin’s Creed is a major title for the studio, and because of the debacle that was Disney’s Prince of Persia movie (spoiler alert: it was garbage and performed as such). I have expressed my doubts about Fassbender being part of the film (because Desmond Miles is a POC), but Ubisoft has said that Assassin’s Creed 3 will end Desmond’s storyline, and with this announcement that they are also planning a new title to go with the movie. Perhaps it will be about a new character, and a new historical period that better aligns with their casting. It’s said to still be about a guy being captured and forced into the Animus by the Templars, but as any hardcore AC fan knows, Desmond was not the only Assassin that Abstergo got its hands on. Maybe the movie and new game will even be about the mysterious, and tragic, Subject 16.
I definitely have hope that with this much of the game studio’s involvement, this game movie has the potential to be the best one ever made.