We’ve been following the progress of the ‘Assassin’s Creed’ movie for some time now ever since Sony expressed interest in obtaining the film rights last year. When that deal fell through, it looked like the project would be one of the many other gaming movies that have been placed on indefinite hold like ‘Halo,’ ‘Bioshock’ and ‘Mass Effect.’ But Variety has reported that the project snagged a major coup and New Regency has come on board to co-finance and distribute the film.
When Sony didn’t pick the project, Ubisoft decided to still go ahead with their plan to produce ‘Assassin’s Creed’ on their own under their own banner, Ubisoft Motion Pictures (UMP). Then, in an unexpected move, Michael Fassbender (‘Prometheus,’ ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’) agreed to not only star in the project but also co-produce the film with his partner Conor McCaughan under their company DMC Film. With the added star power of Fassbender, Ubisoft was able to obtain a partnership with New Regency who will help produce the film with their 20th Century Fox agreeing to distribute.
Of course it didn’t hurt that Fassbender had worked with New Regency on the Steve McQueen film ’12 Years a Slave’ which helped open the door for his ‘Assassin’s Creed’ project. According to New Regency CEO Brad Weston, working with Fassbender made the partnership “more irresistible:”
“This is the perfect intersection of what we have been trying to do, and that is to work with top quality talent like Michael Fassbender. We see this as our first big commercial action franchise property. Fassbender just did ‘12 Years a Slave’ with us, and he is as good an actor as there is right now. The storyline we are pursuing has a great narrative and because Ubisoft’s games are so character and story driven, Assassin’s Creed lends itself perfectly to our goal to re-brand Regency as a filmmaker driven company.”
Jean-Julien Baronnet, CEO of UMP, was also excited about the partnership saying:
“Ubisoft chose to partner with New Regency because they are a talent- and filmmaker-driven company, with the same independent and creative mindset that we have at Ubisoft Motion Pictures. Bringing aboard New Regency’s renowned production and distribution expertise while maintaining our own creative and financial flexibility ensures that Assassin’s Creed will be a high-quality film that respects the lore and fans of the video game franchise.”
It’s not yet certain which adaptation of the game the movie would follow. Would Miles find himself in the Middle East during the Crusades as in the first ‘Assassin’s Creed’ game or the more popular ‘Assassin’s Creed II’ which is set in Renaissance Venice? Of course, there is also the setting of the Revolutionary War which is where ‘Assassin’s Creed III’ will take place.
Regardless, the project is now on the fast track with the next item on the list in the development process is to find someone to scribe the screenplay and someone to direct the film. It’s hope that production can start sometime in the summer of 2013 which would mean an the film could theoretically debut by 2014.
The concept lends itself well for a franchise (after all, the games sell in the millions) and given the source material and the fact that Fassbender is involved, an ‘Assassin’s Creed’ film would do well very well in theaters. Hopefully, Ubisoft can do for video games what Marvel did for comic book superheroes. We’ll just have to wait and see.
In the meantime, check out the trailer for the latest ‘Assassin’s Creed III’ game due out on October 30th: