Ubisoft Motion Pictures was formed earlier this year, with the intention of emulating Marvel Studio’s approach to adapting popular comic book titles (Thor, Captain America, etc.) – so that future adaptations of the former’s biggest video game properties could actually… well, both be good and remain loyal to their inspiration.
Development of 3D movie adaptations based on three particular Ubisoft franchise titles – namely, Ghost Recon, Splinter Cell and Assassin’s Creed – has likewise commenced. Now, Sony Pictures is in final negotiations to acquire the screen rights to the last of those brand names.
Ubisoft Motion Pictures was largely developed to allow Ubisoft a means of retaining more creative control over cinematic adaptations of its products. Assassin’s Creed is just the latest video game movie project picked up by Sony, alongside the studio’s Uncharted adaptation – which, as it were, is being completely revamped, following months’ worth of stories about how previously-attached writer/director David O. Russell was aiming to deliver a strikingly different take on the source material.
Part of the reason behind Ubisoft’s recent business restructuring has to do with last year’s Prince of Persia movie, which was the first motion picture based on an Ubisoft IP. The film was given an overall mediocre critical reception, managed a $330 million worldwide gross (but on a $200 million budget), and failed to even reach the $100 million mark at the U.S. box office. Hence why Ubisoft began to take matters into its own hands, so to speak.
Here is how Variety (which has the scoop on Sony’s deal) describes the Assassin’s Creed franchise:
“[Assassin's Creed] revolves around a bartender named Desmond Miles who is captured by a secret corporation called Abstergo Industries and forced to go back in time to various historical periods like the Renaissance and Crusades to [relive] the memories of his ancestors — all assassins — in order to recover ancient artifacts.”
Assasin’s Creed is arguably well fit to make the jump to the big screen, based on its unique spin on science-fiction genre elements and often gorgeously cinematic between-gameplay action sequences alone. Now it just remains to be seen what creative talents (writing, directing, and acting) end up being recruited, in order to properly realize the time period-jumping storyline in 3D film form.
For more about the Assassin’s Creed franchise – including information on the fourth installment, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, due out on November 15th, 2011 – head on over to our companion site, Game Rant.