Ubisoft appears to be quite serious about getting it “right” on the first project from its newly-formed Motion Pictures production house, no doubt hoping to emulate the success that Marvel Studios achieved once it extended its reach beyond just comic books to also encompass films, with Iron Man back in 2008. As such, the video game company has been attaching top-tier creative talent to its upcoming movie adaptation of the Assassin’s Creed game franchise, including star/producer Michael Fassbender and the writers recruited so far.
A director has yet to be formally attached to Assassin’s Creed, though the initial script draft for the project was written by Michael Lesslie, a young up and coming screenwriter, as well as an award-winning playwright for his work in the British theater. Later, news emerged that Lesslie’s draft (or elements from it) has been revised by Scott Frank, whose resume includes such respected genre fare as Steven Soderbergh’s Out of Sight and Sydney Pollack’s The Interpreter, in addition to well-received pop genre material like The Wolverine.
According to Deadline, Assassin’s Creed is getting another rewrite, this time courtesy of writing duo Bill Collage and Adam Cooper; it’s not clear how substantial their revisions will be, nor whether they are working with story and character material that was cooked up primarily by Lesslie and/or Frank.
The pair essentially started out their careers as writers-for-hire ten years ago, when they penned the Olsen Twins’ vehicle New York Minute; from there, Collage and Cooper kept pulling themselves up by their bootstraps, co-writing the aptly-named Brett Ratner heist flick Tower Heist. Most recently, they’ve moved onto more ambitious subjects, covering the story of Moses with their script for Exodus: Gods & Kings (the recently-expanded title for Ridley Scott’s upcoming Biblical epic previously known as just Exodus), as well as the script for the George Washington war drama The General, which Darren Aronofsky (Noah) has been attached to direct for a couple years now.
All in all, it’s encouraging to hear that either proven and/or promising writing talent has been attached to Assassin’s Creed, given the potential for the film to explore complex sci-fi themes inherent to the source video games. That includes the basic premise, which involves sci-fi tech that allows for the main character to access his genetic memories and relieves the experiences of his ancestors (including, a 12th-century assassin). It was that intriguing concept that attracted the Oscar-nominee Fassbender to the project in the first place.
Sometimes, having too many screenwriting cooks in the kitchen can be a problem with genre blockbusters, though as was mentioned before, it’s not clear yet how much each of the four aforementioned writers will have contributed to Assassin’s Creed (or, rather, done enough to earn final credit), when all is said and done. Hiring a solid director to call the shots would surely help to ease any concerns about the direction in which this game adaptation is headed, of course.
Let us know if this latest Assassin’s Creed update reads as good news or possibly a signal of trouble for the film, as well as who you would like to see brought onboard to direct this video game movie.
Assassin’s Creed is currently scheduled to hit U.S. theaters on August 7th, 2015.