Our window on the Assassin’s Creed movie has gone a bit dark recently. Last we heard officially was that Justin Kurzel will be directing and that Michael Fassbender remains on board as both the star and a powerful driving force behind the project. Fassbender has recently been asked about the film but besides some vague promise to honour the games, he told us nothing new.
Well, if he’s not going to open up, I guess we’ll have to come in the back way. Thanks to some of our well-placed sources I’ve been able to verify a number of new details on the film they’re putting together.
For those not in the know, Assassin’s Creed is a video game franchise from Ubisoft. The games follow several characters across the past and the present, their story lines linked together thanks to a device called The Animus, a device that can read an individual’s DNA and directly access the subject’s memories.
In the games, The Animus is usually used to find secret artefacts that might tip the balance in a millennia long war between Assassins and Templars. Part of each game takes place in a particular segment of history, from a Pirate-laden Caribbean to Renaissance Italy.
I was particularly curious as to which game the movie would adapt. According to my sources, however, the screenplay is being built around a largely new story.
I’ve learned hat Michael Fassbender will play two roles in the film. In the present-day sections he will be Michael Lynch, a death row inmate who becomes pawn in the Assassins-Templars war; while in the segments set in the past, he will be Aguilar de Agarorobo, an assassin during the Spanish Inquisition. Both this time period and location are so far unexplored by the main games in the series.
In the present day scenes, Michael will be subject to tests by researcher called Joseph who is a bit of a baddie. Michael won’t be totally on his own, though, as he’ll be helped by a female Assassin named Lara. And it seems likely that whoever gets cast in that role will also show up in the past sections as another character, presumably one of Lara’s ancestors.
There’s one idea that’s similar to Assassin’s Creed 2, where protagonist Ezio Auditore’s father was an important member of the assassin’s creed. This time, Aguilar’s father will be an assassin chief.
Speaking of Assassin’s Creed 2, the chief bad guy in the movie going to be Tomas de Torquemada. Interestingly this isn’t the first time this historical figure has turned up in the Assassin’s Creed franchise having appeared in an offshoot, the iOS and Nintendo DS spin-off Assassin’s Creed 2: Discovery. In that game, de Torquemada was working under Rodrigo Borgia, the main antagonist of Assassin’s Creed 2. Whether the movie will take this lesser known game as canon is currently unclear from the information at hand.
The boss bad guy in the present day will be Alan Rikkan, CEO of Abstergo, the corporate front for the evil Templars. At the moment, the plan is for him to appear in voice over only, which is not unlike the games where Rikkan has so been a fairly ambiguous force.
My guess is that the film will be set in the same universe and concurrent to the games, but will also take cues from earlier entries. I’ve already explained the ties to Assassin’s Creed 2, but the present day storyline seems like it might be a riff on the story of the first game.
In that game the protagonist was Desmond Miles, just a bartender before getting kidnapped by Abstergo. He had a villain researcher trying to access his ancestor’s memories and an assistant who – spoiler alert – turned out to be an assassin who aids Desmond in his escape. It is possible that Lara will get a similar story line in the film.
At the same time, it’s also entirely possible that the film could be tied into a future game set around the Spanish Inquisition. Games are planned far enough ahead that such a project would be in development already.
It won’t be the next game, however, as that is going to be Assassin’s Creed: Unity, a story set during the French revolution and due out in November, long before shooting on the film will even begin.
There are also various tangential games, including the recently announced Assassin’s Creed: Rogue, which takes place during the 18th Century Seven Years’ War. That game is also out this year.
There’s lots of work to do before Assassin’s Creed makes its way to our cinemas, but Fox and Scott Free have pushed back production of Prometheus 2 for Ridley Scott to first tackle The Martian, and this might be just the opening needed to get Fassbender into his Assassin’s robes soon. The film is officially scheduled for August 7th 2015 and we understand there’s still a good chance that they’ll meet it.