It is no secret that movies based on video games do not have the greatest track record, with most people agreeing that there has never been a good video game movie ever made. Warcraft was the latest attempt at cracking the genre, but instead suffered from harsh reviews and a lackluster performance at the box office. The pressure of turning around this genre has now shifted to Assassin's Creed, prior to its release at the end of this year. The troubled past of the genre has not killed the excitement for this film, with many fans remaining optimistic that it will turn things around.
One of the most unique parts of the Assassin's Creed mythology is the Animus, which allows the user to relive the life of their ancestors. The games have largely been based in the historical era that is generated by the Animus, but that might not be the case for the film. In fact, whenever scenes are taking place in the 15th century will apparently not have any English.
In the newest issue of Total Film, Assassin's Creed director Justin Kurzel reveals that all scenes in the movie's historical setting will use Spanish dialogue instead of English. The cut scenes in the games have always been in English due to the Animus having a built-in translator, but the change was made to add authenticity to these scenes. Assassin's Creed is also the main focus of Total Film's next issue, and graces the cover seen below, following Kurzel's quote on the matter:
“I just love the fact [production company] New Regency embraced it. We did play around with English as well, but it was really obvious what you wanted as soon as you went back and started speaking beautiful Spanish. It really adds an exoticness and richness to the film.”
Having every scene in taking place within the Animus rely solely on Spanish means that movie goers can now expect a heavy dose of subtitles in these scenes. Kurzel's reasoning for going with Spanish is sound and will hopefully only add to the immersive experience, but subtitles can force some viewers to concentrate more on reading the dialogue and not watching what is actually taking place.
It is difficult to say for certain how well this will work in the context of the movie, but it could also mean that audiences will not be spending as much time in this other world as fans had initially thought. It would be a surprise for a big name movie such as this to feature subtitles through a larger portion of the film, so viewers may instead be seeing more of Michael Fassbender as Callum Lynch in the present day instead of him as Aguilar.
Regardless of how often the subtitles are used, this will not be the deciding factor as to whether or not Assassin's Creed can be the first good video game movie. It could certainly be one of those factors, but hopefully audiences will be more interested in other aspects of the film to not get caught up in the subtitles. After all, it does provide a greater sense of realism to these scenes - so even if someone would have preferred using English instead, it could prove to be the right move.
Assassin’s Creed will see theatrical release in the U.S. on December 21, 2016.
Source: Total Film