Out of the many video game adaptations that have long been trapped in development hell, Assassin’s Creed is one of the latest to emerge and easily one of the most ambitious. Produced by and starring Michael Fassbender, the film has a production budget that Ubisoft CEO Jean-Julien Baronnet recently described as “not far” off $200 million, and has the pressure of trying to counter the stigma that video game movies have acquired.

The Assassin’s Creed franchise is based around an age-old conflict between two factions: the Assassins and the Templars. Each game features a historical setting framed by a modern setting, in which members of both factions use a piece of highly advanced technology called the Animus to unlock their genetic memory and experience the lives of their ancestors. The modern-day cover for the Templars is a massive multinational corporation called Abstergo Industries, which produces everything from pharmaceuticals to video games. Now we have our first look at the big screen presence of Abstergo.

Azaïzia Aymar, the Head of Content for the Assassin’s Creed franchise, was on the set of the film this week and shared a couple of photos showing the interior of an Abstergo building. Aymar himself is in one of the photos, standing next to director Justin Kurzel, whom he describes as “a true Assassin and fantastic director,” while the other image shows the Abstergo logo glowing on a wall.

The extent to which the set looks almost exactly like a screenshot from one of the Assassin’s Creed games is impressive. Based on what we know about the plot, this building could well be Abstergo’s facility in Rome, where the Animus Project laboratory is located. Filming on Assassin’s Creed is taking place in London, Spain and Malta.

Ubisoft provided 100% of the financing but is co-producing Assassin’s Creed with Regency Pictures in order to make the most of Regency’s expertise. The video game company’s strict demands for creative control left other studios surprised and unsettled when the project was initially being shopped around. Baronnet explained that they approached the movie with an understanding that, “as long as the script is not level, it will not launch,” which is why it spent four years in development before pre-production began. Therefore, it makes sense that the Head of Content would be present on set to help provide guidance.

Fassbender – who also starred in Kurzel’s last film, Macbeth – will be playing two characters: a modern-day man called Callum Lynch, and his ancestor, an Assassin called Aguilar who lived during the Spanish Inquisition. Starring alongside him are Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Ariane Labed and Michael K. Williams. The production is being kept tightly under wraps and the film won’t hit theaters for over a year, but we hope to bring you more updates and news soon.

Assassin’s Creed arrives in U.S. theaters on December 21st, 2016.

Source: Azaïzia Aymar

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