Not content with releasing two main Assassin's Creed games in one year, Ubisoft will be stepping up its Assassin game next year by expanding into the world of Hollywood with a movie based on the franchise. The first project on the production line for Ubisoft Motion Pictures, Assassin's Creed will star Michael Fassbender in the lead role and will be directed by Justin Kurzel (Snowtown).
Since first being scheduled for release on Memorial Day 2015, Assassin's Creed has had its release date pushed back several times. The reasons for this are unclear, but some of the delays are most likely due to Fassbender's busy schedule and at least one of the release date changes seemed to be based on Twentieth Century Fox's desire to avoid setting Assassin's Creed up in competition with similar blockbusters.
It was obvious that a 2015 release was not going to happen for Assassin's Creed, since films usually take about a year for production and post-production and the start of filming is still some way off. The film hasn't been cancelled entirely, however, as TheWrap reports that Assassin's Creed has a new release date: December 21st, 2016. This means that it will be in theaters at around the same time as Gareth Edwards' Star Wars spinoff and James Cameron's long-awaited sequel to Avatar - not exactly lightweight competition.
There's no official synopsis for Assassin's Creed yet, but UMP CEO Jean-Julien Baronnet has confirmed that it won't be a direct adaptation of any of the games, and rumors about the plot claim that it is set during the Spanish Inquisition. According to these reports, Fassbender will play a death row inmate called Michael Lynch in the present day storyline and will also play Michael's ancestor, an Assassin called Aguilar de Agarorobo, in the historical storyline.
This setting would certainly leave an opportunity for Ezio Auditore da Firenze, or other characters from the Renaissance era games, to make an appearance. The same report also claimed that Spanish Dominican friar Tomás de Torquemada, who appeared in Assassin's Creed II, will be the main antagonist of the film.
Assassin's Creed will be a significant release, not just for UMP but also for the genre of video game movies in general. With the creators of the original IP taking strict creative control of the film, rather than handing it off to another production company, UMP's approach could be what it takes to launch the first video game movie to become truly successful both critically and financially.
Of course, for that to happen UMP has to actually release the film rather than continually delaying it. Hopefully we should be able to offer more casting news and official plot details later this year.
Assassin's Creed will hit theaters on December 21st, 2016.