Michael Fassbender tapped to star in Assassin’s Creed flick

Michael Fassbender has agreed to star in as well as co-produce a film based on Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed video game series, Variety reports.

You may know Assassin’s Creed as a game full of parkour, politicians getting stabbed in the neck and questionable historical accuracy. Fassbender you’ll recall as Magneto in X-Men: First Class, or possibly from his explicit nudity in 2011’s Shame.

As for the storyline, Variety offers the following:

Plot revolves around a man who learns his ancestors were trained assassins after he is kidnapped by a secret org with ties to the Knights Templar, and sent back in time to retrieve historical artifacts.

Vague, no? That’s the exact same synopsis you’d get if you asked a Gamestop manager to describe the plot of the Assassin’s Creed video game series as a whole. Either the movie is going to be its own Assassin’s Creed tale, not directly linked to any of the games, or it’s going to be an amalgamation of Ubisoft’s series as a whole. Or, more likely, the script for this thing is still being written and Ubisoft had to quickly slap together a plot synopsis for this announcement.

Regardless, Ubisoft is quite excited about Fassbender’s involvement. “Michael Fassbender was our first choice” for the lead role said Ubisoft Motion Pictures CEO Jean-Julien Baronnet, before describing Fassbender as “an extremely smart, talented, versatile and committed actor.”

Likewise exciting for the French firm is the level of creative control it will have over this project. Last year the company was in talks with Sony to produce a series of Assassin’s Creed films, but those discussions fell apart. Now Ubisoft Motion Pictures is pressing ahead with an independent production in which it will hire writers, a director and the film’s key cast members. Beyond that it may sign distribution deals with large companies like Sony, but UMP’s express goal is to maintain as much control over the production as possible in an effort to ensure that it is true to its source material.

Of course, its also a smart financial move for the firm. “Whatever the financial model, UMP will limit its risk investment,” Baronnet said of the studio’s plan, before noting that alongside the possible distribution deals it has in mind UMP plans to turn to Ubisoft’s massive collection of video game development studios to handle the film’s visual effects work.

In the end, it does seem to be all about the money. As Variety points out, the impetus for creating an Assassin’s Creed film is not to expand the storyline or appease fans, so much as it’s a unique opportunity to give the game series wider exposure. “Ubisoft sees adaptations as a way to turn its games into larger brands that will get the titles in front of more consumers while creating lucrative new revenue sources for the company,” Variety writes.

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