‘Assassin’s Creed': Michael Fassbender’s ‘Macbeth’ Director in Talks

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Assassins Creed 32 Assassins Creed: Michael Fassbenders Macbeth Director in Talks

There is a whole lot riding on Assassin’s Creed. As the first movie release from Ubisoft’s shiny new film production branch Ubisoft Motion Pictures, it also represents the first time that a live-action video game movie will be made by the same company that produced the original video game. Comparisons to Marvel Studios have inevitably cropped up, and as such many gamers are waiting with baited breath to see if Assassin’s Creed will be UMP’s Iron Man.

The studio certainly isn’t dithering over future plans. Splinter Cell¬†has Tom Hardy attached to star, a script in place and Doug Liman set to direct, and a movie based on sandbox action game Watch Dogs – which hasn’t even been released yet – already has Zombieland screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick working on a script. Other projects currently in development at UMP include movies based on Far Cry, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon and Raving Rabbids.

Assassin’s Creed is first up to bat, however, and Deadline reports that Justin Kurzel is now in talks with UMP and New Regency to direct it. This probably has more than a little to do with the fact that Kurzel recently directed Michael Fassbender (who will both produce and star in Assassin’s Creed) in an adaptation of Macbeth. While negotiations are still ongoing, the summer 2015 release date for Assassin’s Creed necessitates that production begin within the next few months, so expect a deal to close soon.

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Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard in ‘Macbeth’

Much like the original screenwriter for Assassin’s Creed, playwright Michael Lesslie, Kurzel’s film credits are currently quite limited. Macbeth was his second feature film, the first being a true crime drama called Snowtown that was described by critics as being dark, grisly and often tough to watch. It would be very interesting to see what a director with a background in independent film might do with a major franchise and a substantial budget. Lesslie’s original draft of the script has since been revised by Minority Report writer Scott Frank and Exodus duo Bill Collage and Adam Cooper, which makes it a lot harder to guess at whose voice will end up coming through the strongest.

Assassin’s Creed will have an entirely new story¬†rather than one adapted from one of the games, but the setting is currently unknown. It could potentially take place in the modern day or even the future, since a film wouldn’t necessarily be tied down to the games’ central premise of a modern day protagonist “playing” through their ancestors’ memories, but the fact that Kurzel is in line for the directing job makes a period setting seem more likely.

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The Assassin’s Creed universe contains a noticeable tendency for storylines to gravitate towards eras of revolution and political upheaval. Ubisoft’s upcoming title Assassin’s Creed: Unity is set during the French Revolution, Assassin’s Creed III was set during the American Revolution and the tie-in comic “Assassin’s Creed: The Fall” was set partially during the Russian Revolution. The series’ sci-fi mythos is rooted in a single act of extreme rebellion, and two of the games were set in Italy during the Renaissance: a time of literary, artistic and scientific revolution.

The franchise definitely has an ongoing theme, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see the fires of revolution burning in the movie as well.


Assassin’s Creed is set for release on August 7, 2015.

Source: Deadline

Follow H. Shaw-Williams on Twitter @HSW3K
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  1. Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted.

  2. Did you know Squaresoft actually did their 2 Final Fantasy movies?

    • Thanks, amended the article to specify live-action video game movies. Hopefully Assassin’s Creed can at least outperform Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.

      • Which wouldn’t be a bad thing for the industry, might finally have a decent video game adaption that could pave the way for others.

  3. Absolutely pumped for this film. Hearing that the story won’t be adapted from one of the games worried me for a second; I hate seeing films that disregard their source material, but hopefully that just means that the setting will be different than any of those from the game.
    Also, I wonder (if they are using the Animus) if Fassbender will play present and past versions of himself. It’d be cool, if they didn’t but Fassbender is recognizable right now and studios may be wary of keeping him off screen

    • I’m the complete opposite. Every time a movie is announced that’s based on a video game, I always hope that it’s set in the same world as the games but has nothing to do with the games at all, that way fans of the games can’t complain that an actor doesn’t look or sound like a much-loved video game character, they won’t be bored sitting through a retelling of something they already played through on a console and it would expand the mythos.

      • I suppose that’s fair, but thinking about Prince of Persia, which had a surprisingly deep story (to me at least) and then seeing that tale twisted into a Pirates of the Caribbean-esque buccaneering adventure was rough for me, not to mention those early reports of what they were planning to do with Uncharted and Nathan Drake.
        So for this, I’d appreciate if the producers and writers play the game and break down the story and the essential elements, and recreate those. The movie can be as radically different as long as they keep what makes the story… the story. Desmond Miles (if they use him) is inexplicably linked to assassins from the past, these assassins impacted history and actual historical figures in such and such way. This adventure through time helps lead us to the next adventure with the end goal of blank.

  4. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon, Splinter Cell, Assassin’s Creed, MacBeth…all sound watchable, and I will put them all on my Netflix list when available.

  5. Assbender cannot carry a movie on his own. This will be a bastardization of Assassins Creed.

    He does not have the chops to be a lead actor. He is boring with no charisma.

    Shelve this idea. It will be a crappy movie like Prince of Persia but will make a shilling or two because tickets for movies are around 15-20 dollars each.

    • You, sir, are bitter.

  6. I think the setting will be during world war 2 in germany.

    Reason why:

    1) michael passbender is fluent in german thus giving a feeling that he belongs in that setting.
    2) if you recall AC4BF in the present day hacking portion of the game we as the player came across recordings of an abstergo researcher diving into the memories of her ancestor who was in germany and talking about a ‘artifact’. And if you remember abstergo had taken the researchers son so that they could conduct ‘research’. and thats where the information ends. So it can be likely that germany is a good setting.