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Assassin's Creed, marketed as Assassin's Creed: The Movie, is an action-adventure film based on the award-winning series of the same name. It is produced by and stars Michael Fassbender as Aguilar de Nerha, a 15th century Spanish Assassin, and his present day descendant, Callum Lynch.

Directed by Justin Kurzel and produced by Ubisoft Motion Pictures and Frank Marshall,[1] the film was distributed by 20th Century Fox and it was released 21 December 2016 to negative reviews.[2]

It was the first film of a planned trilogy.[3]

Opening crawl

For centuries, the Order of the Knights Templar have searched for the mythical Apple of Eden.

They believe it contains not only the seeds of man's first disobedience but the key to free will itself.

If they find the relic and decode its secrets, they will have the power to control all human thought.

Only a brotherhood called the Assassins stands in their way...

Synopsis

Callum Lynch discovers he is a descendant of the secret Assassins society through unlocked genetic memories that allow him to relive the adventures of his ancestor, Aguilar, in the 15th century Spain. After gaining incredible knowledge and skills he's poised to take on the oppressive Knights Templar in the present day.[4]

The bulk of the film takes place in the present day (65% present, 35% past).[3]

Plot

In 1492 Andalusia, during the Granada War, Aguilar de Nerha is accepted into the Assassins Brotherhood. He is assigned to protect Prince Ahmed de Granada from the Knights Templar. In 1986, adolescent Callum "Cal" Lynch finds his mother killed by his father, Joseph, a modern-day Assassin. Gunmen led by Alan Rikkin, CEO of the Templars' Abstergo Foundation, arrive to capture Joseph, who convinces his son to escape.

In 2016, Cal is sentenced to death for murdering a pimp, but his execution is faked by the Abstergo Foundation, which then takes him to their research facility in Madrid. He is told that the Templars are searching for the Apple of Eden, in order to eliminate violence by using the Apple's code to control humanity's free will. Sofia, Alan's daughter and the head scientist, reveals that Cal is a descendant of Aguilar, the last person confirmed to be in possession of the Apple. She puts Cal in the Animus, a machine which allows him to relive (and the scientists to observe) Aguilar's genetic memories, so that Abstergo can learn what he did with the Apple.

In 15th-century Spain, Aguilar/Callum and his partner Maria are deployed to rescue Ahmed, who has been kidnapped by the Templar Grand Master Tomas de Torquemada, to coerce Ahmed's father, Sultan Muhammad XII, to surrender the Apple. Aguilar and Maria intercept the Templars, but are overpowered and captured by Torquemada's enforcer, Ojeda. Cal is quickly pulled out of the Animus by Sofia.

Cal encounters other Assassin descendants held captive at the facility, most of whom are suspicious of his motives, with the exception of Moussa, the descendant of an 18th-century Haitian Assassin named Baptiste and a key leader. Cal begins experiencing hallucinations, dubbed "the Bleeding Effect", of both Aguilar and Joseph. Cal and Sofia build a rapport during their sessions; she confides that her mother was likewise murdered by an Assassin, sharing his hatred of the Brotherhood of which his father is a member.

Back in the Animus, Aguilar and Maria are scheduled for execution but he manages to free them, leading to a rooftop chase in which they escape through an Assassin "Leap of Faith". Cal's mind reacts violently to the session and he is temporarily paralyzed. When Cal learns that his father is also at the facility, he confronts Joseph over his mother's death. Joseph informs him that the Bleeding Effect will allow modern Cal to possess Aguilar's combat abilities. He also learns that his mother was an Assassin, and she chose to die by Joseph's hand rather than be forced into the Animus. Unconvinced, Cal vows to destroy the Assassins by finding the Apple. Meanwhile, Alan is pressured by a Templar Elder, Ellen Kaye, to shut down the multibillion-dollar Animus Project because they have already "won ... people no longer care about their civil liberties ... they're content to follow", leading Sofia to question her father's true intentions.

Reaffirmed by his encounter with his father, Cal willingly enters the Animus once again, whereupon Aguilar and Maria ambush a meeting between Muhammad and Torquemada. They succeed in killing the Templars and retrieving the Apple, though Ojeda captures Maria in order to force Aguilar to surrender it. Instead, Maria chooses death, and stabs herself on Ojeda's blade. Aguilar kills him and escapes through another Leap, the force of which causes the Animus to violently malfunction. Aguilar gives the Apple to Christopher Columbus, who promises to take it to his grave. When Moussa and the modern Assassin prisoners start a riot in order to escape, Alan orders the facility purged. Abstergo security kills Joseph and most of the other prisoners.

Cal stands in the Animus chamber and is met with the projections of a number of his Assassin ancestors, including Aguilar, Arno Dorian, Joseph and his mother, while Sofia glimpses the projection of an Assassin identical in appearance to her. Persuaded by his mother, Cal embraces his Assassins' Creed and, having fully assimilated Aguilar's memories and abilities, joins Moussa and two other surviving Assassins in escaping the facility.

Having retrieved the Apple from Columbus' burial vault, Alan and his followers converge at a ceremony in a Templar sanctuary in London to celebrate their triumph. Inside the sanctuary, a disillusioned Sofia meets with Cal, who has come to take the Apple, and she reluctantly allows him to act. Cal retrieves the Apple, but kills Alan to do it. While Sofia vows revenge against Cal, the Assassins depart, vowing to once again protect the Apple from the Templars.

Cast

Production

Development

Michael Fassbender as Aguilar

Ubisoft began development of the film in May 2011, where it was confirmed for a 3D release.[5] Later that year, Ubisoft was reaching a deal with Sony Entertainment to distribute the film. The terms and conditions surrounding the agreement were described by Hollywood insiders as "unheard of", with Ubisoft getting the final say on the budget, principal cast, script, release date and more.[6]

The level of control is afforded to Ubisoft divided critics of both games and films, with many noting that while Hollywood insiders considered Sony's move to have killed the film before it had even begun, gamers considered the move to be beneficial to the franchise's future, as in recent years, game adaptations had tended to be of poor quality.[6] Senior Vice President of International Marketing, Jean de Rivieres, echoed this sentiment, and claimed that the film will "reflect the brands accurately and consolidate our fan base."[5]

Michael Fassbender came aboard to star and produce a year later. He explained "I met up with the guys from Ubisoft and they told me the story behind it, and I thought it was very interesting — the idea of reliving memories."[7]

On 22 October 2012, it was announced that Ubisoft Motion Pictures had chosen to develop the film in close collaboration with New Regency, because they were "a talent and filmmaker-driven company, with the same independent and creative mindset that we have at Ubisoft Motion Pictures." The development of a screenplay began immediately, and the project was fast-tracked, while still allowing Ubisoft to maintain control of key elements of the film's creative direction.[8] Ubisoft also changed their distributor from Sony Entertainment to 20th Century Fox, though the reason for this has not been made known.[9]

It was decided that characters from the games would not be used, as the film was about "finding a character that was fresh."[3]

Ubisoft hired English writer Michael Lesslie to pen the script for the movie, and Conor McCaughan to help Fassbender produce the film.[10] In 2013, screenwriter Scott Frank (Minority Report, The Wolverine) was rewriting the script.[11] Adam Cooper and Bill Collage, who wrote the original draft of Ridley Scott's Exodus: Gods and Kings, were assigned to rewrite the script the following year.[12]

In April 2014, it was reported Fassbender was looking to reteam with director Justin Kurzel, with whom he collaborated on the upcoming film version of Macbeth.[13] In August, Fassbender confirmed Kurzel was attached to the project, as was his cinematographer Adam Arkapaw.[14]

Pre-production

Promotional image

In February 2015, it was announced that the film had entered production.[15] Costume designer Sammy Sheldon Differ said, "I have much respect for the historical accuracy and vast characterization represented in each game. This has been a fantastic starting point to understand what is needed to be faithful to the artistic content and begin creating our film world. Bearing in mind this rich base, I have used our period of 15th century Spain, with its strong influences of Moorish deco, to give the Assassin's looks a nomadic warrior personification."[16]

Filming

Filming began on 31 August 2015 and took place in London, Spain and Malta.[16] The movie has also been confirmed to be set within the same universe as the franchise's other media.[17] Shooting wrapped on 15 January 2016.[18] The original ending of the film had Callum as the lone survivor. He would then go on in subsequent films attempting to escape the Templars. Test audiences did not react favorably to this ending, so it was changed prior to release.[19]

Marketing

On 21 December 2015, Ubisoft tweeted a photo of Abstergo Industries CEO Alan Rikkin's business card. Fans emailing the address or calling the numbers on the card would receive a response: the voicemail was voiced by Jeremy Irons.[20] The voicemail changed later to a different message from Rikkin which was followed by an electronic "hacking" type sound and then Callum Lynch reciting the tenets of The Creed. Sometime after the movie's release, the phone number ceased working.[21]

Devin Graham of YouTube channel Devin Super Tramp worked previously with Ubisoft's support to make Assassin's Creed fan films. TeamSuperTramp was contacted to help with promotion of the film. After recording some of the creation of the film's principal production in Spain in December 2015, they returned the next month, after filming was completed, to film a promotion video with parkour stunts, Assassin's Creed Movie Meets Parkour in Real Life - Day in the Life of a Stunt Man, with Damien Walters separately, the stuntman for Fassbender. This was in case Walters had an accident which would normally hold up production. The precaution became justified when Walters tore ligaments in his left ankle on a bad landing, but the rest of the recording was able to be completed by working around the injury.[22]

A behind the scenes production book entitled Assassin's Creed: Into the Animus was released on 21 December 2016, alongside the movie. The book written by Ian Nathan with a foreword by Ubisoft CEO Gérard Guillemot and features concept art for the movie, as well as screengrabs from the movie and interviews.[23]

Release

Assassin's Creed was released on 21 December 2016.[2] Originally announced in May 2013 to be released on 22 May 2015.[24] The release date was then changed to 19 June 2015, and in November 2013 it was postponed again until 7 August 2015.[25] In September 2014, the movie was postponed one last time to 21 December 2016.[26] After its theatrical release, Assassin's Creed was released onto Blu-ray and DVD on March 21, 2017 and Digital HD from Amazon Video and iTunes on March 10, 2017.[27]

Cancelled sequel

By May 2016, work had begun on the movie's sequel.[3] However in August 2019, after Disney's acquisition of 21st Century Fox's assets the film together with other video game movies were cancelled.[28]

Trivia

Gallery

Appearances

By type 
Characters Creatures Events Locations
Organizations and titles Sapient species Vehicles Weapons and technology Miscellanea

Characters

Events

Locations

Organizations and titles

Sapient species

Weapons and technology

Miscellanea


References

  1. Vejvoda, Jim (12-06-2013). Frank Marshall to produce Assassin's Creed Movie. IGN. Archived from the original on February 21, 2015. Retrieved on August 28, 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Sneider, Jeff (05-01-2015). Channing Tatum's 'Gambit' Gets 2016 Release Date; 'Fantastic Four' Sequel Moves Up. The Wrap. Archived from the original on January 15, 2015. Retrieved on January 7, 2015.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Makuch, Eddie (16-05-2016). Assassin's Creed Movie Producers Have Plans for Two Sequels. GameSpot. Archived from the original on June 21, 2016. Retrieved on May 17, 2016.
  4. Doty, Meriah (27-08-2015). 'Assassin's Creed' First Look: Here's Michael Fassbender as Brand New Character (Exclusive). Yahoo! Entertainment. Archived from the original on December 18, 2017. Retrieved on August 28, 2015.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Bradford, Matt (17-05-2011). Ubisoft Motion Pictures prepping 3D Assassin's Creed, Splinter Cell, and Ghost Recon films. Archived from the original on February 6, 2018. Retrieved on August 28, 2015.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Brodesser-Akner, Claude (03-11-2011). Why a Killer Deal to Turn the Hit Video Game Assassin's Creed Into a Movie Has Shocked Hollywood. Vulture. Archived from the original on February 21, 2014. Retrieved on August 28, 2015.
  7. Stern, Marlow (16-10-2013). Michael Fassbender Opens Up About '12 Years A Slave', Religion, and Assassin's Creed. The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on August 27, 2019. Retrieved on October 17, 2013.
  8. Ubisoft and New Regency partner on Assassin's Creed film. Ubisoft Montreal (22-10-2012). Archived from the original on February 4, 2013. Retrieved on October 22, 2012.
  9. Graser, Marc (22-10-2012). New Regency, Fox partner on Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed. Variety. Archived from the original on October 18, 2019. Retrieved on August 28, 2015.
  10. Siegel, Tatiana (14-01-2013). New Regency and Ubisoft Tap Brit Writer for 'Assassin's Creed' Film (Exclusive). The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on January 8, 2020. Retrieved on June 18, 2013.
  11. McKittrick, Christopher (12-08-2013). Wolverine: Two Writers, One Character. Creative Screenwriting. Archived from the original on October 3, 2019. Retrieved on August 16, 2013.
  12. Fleming, Jr., Mike (07-04-2014). 'Exodus' Scribes Adam Cooper & Bill Collage Take 'Assassin's Creed'. Deadline. Archived from the original on November 21, 2019. Retrieved on April 8, 2014.
  13. Fleming, Jr., Mike (29-04-2014). Michael Fassbender Poised To Re-Team With 'Macbeth' Helmer On Assassin’s Creed'. Deadline. Archived from the original on August 13, 2019. Retrieved on April 30, 2014.
  14. Cornet, Roth (08-08-2014). Michael Fassbender Wants to Honor the Game & Bring in Original Elements on the Assassin's Creed Movie. IGN. Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved on August 10, 2014.
  15. Makuch, Eddie (12-02-2015). Assassin's Creed Movie Officially Enters Production. GameSpot. Archived from the original on February 16, 2015. Retrieved on February 15, 2015.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Varanini, Giancarlo (27-08-2015). Meet Michael Fassbender as Aguilar in 'Assassin's Creed' Movie. UbiBlog. Archived from the original on February 26, 2016. Retrieved on August 29, 2015.
  17. Lovett, Jamie (28-08-2015). Assassin's Creed Movie Confirmed To Take Place In The Same Universe As The Games. ComicBook. Archived from the original on June 4, 2020. Retrieved on August 30, 2015.
  18. Twitter.png Azaïzia Aymar (@AymarMtl) on Twitter "It is my honor to announce that #assassinscreedmovie last shot was taken minutes ago! Congratulations guys!!!"
  19. Gilyaov, Alex (14-03-2017). Assassin's Creed Movie's Original Ending Revealed. IGN. Archived from the original on March 9, 2018. Retrieved on June 4, 2020.
  20. Twitter.png Assassin's Creed (@AssassinsMovie) on Twitter "12.21.16"
  21. YouTube.png Alan Rikkin Voice Mail - March 25th 2016 on the Access The Animus YouTube channel
  22. YouTube.png Assassin's Creed Hollywood Movie Behind The Scenes! with Damien Walters and Michael Fassbender on the TEAMSUPERTRAMP YouTube channel
  23. Amazon favicon.png Assassin's Creed: Into the Animus on Amazon.com (backup link)
  24. Seeto, Damian Antony (17 May 2013). Assassin’s Creed Movie Has A Definite Release Date. Just Push Start. Archived from the original on September 18, 2013. Retrieved on June 18, 2013.
  25. Collura, Scott (12-11-2013). Fantastic Four Reboot, The Secret Service Release Date Changes. IGN. Archived from the original on October 29, 2019.
  26. Makuch, Eddie (19-09-2014). Assassin's Creed Movie Delayed to 2016. GameSpot. Archived from the original on January 11, 2016. Retrieved on June 4, 2020.
  27. Assassin's Creed DVD Release Date. DVDs Release Dates. Retrieved on June 4, 2020.
  28. "Gohra, Sam (11-08-2019). Disney Cancels Assassin's Creed Film Sequel, Mega Man and The Sims Movies. TechRaptor.net. Archived from the original on August 20, 2019. Retrieved on August 27, 2019.
  29. YouTube.png Assassin's Creed Movie Arno Dorian Cameo on the thug 4ng3l YouTube channel

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