Though Warcraft may not have taken the U.S. box office by storm over the past weekend, there's still another video game-based movie to come this year in the form of Assassin's Creed, Ubisoft Motion Pictures' first big screen venture. Starring Michael Fassbender in dual roles, Assassin's Creed is based on Ubisoft's hugely successful series of historical sci-fi action games, in which modern day characters use a machine called the Animus to unlock the memories of their ancestors.
With this week bringing 2016's Electronic Entertainment Expo, one of the biggest gaming events of the year, Ubisoft and distributor 20th Century Fox obviously weren't going to pass up the opportunity to promote Assassin's Creed. The first trailer for the movie was released several weeks ago, but now a new promotional video offers more clips, behind-the-scenes footage, and interviews with Fassbender and director Justin Kurzel.
The promo video offers a first look at the characters played by Brendan Gleeson and Michael K. Williams, both of whom are "patients" of the facility run by Abstergo, the modern day face of the Templars. Like Fassbender's modern character, Cal, the subjects are chosen because their lineage connects them to key Assassins - members of an ancient brotherhood who assassinate powerful Templars in the name of liberty (or, to borrow their phrasing, "work in the dark to serve the light").
The footage in the promo video also shows Cal experiencing the Bleeding Effect, a side effect of using the Animus. He sees his ancestor, Aguilar (also played by Fassbender), walking around the Abstergo facility, and appears to experience pain or disorientation when this happens. Fans of the games will know that the Bleeding Effect, if it gets bad enough, can have deadly results - all the more reason for Cal to try and escape his captors.
As well as a few more glimpses of the historical portion of the film, which is set during the Spanish Inquisition, the promo video also shows a little more of Alan Rikkin (Jeremy Irons) and Sophia Rikkin (Marion Cotillard), the two Templars in charge of running the Animus facility. As Fassbender explains, the Templars are trying to "enhance humankind through science" - perhaps by using Cal's memories to track down the Pieces of Eden, highly advanced (though ancient) technological relics that can be used to wield great and terrible power.
Assassin's Creed is easily one of the most highly anticipated films of the year, especially among video game fans, and most of what we've seen so far (this latest footage included) has been very promising. Let's hope that the final product lives up to the hype.
Assassin's Creed arrives in theaters on December 21st, 2016.
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