It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything regarding the upcoming Assassin’s Creed movie, set to hit cinemas across the globe by January. The first trailer for the hotly anticipated adaption dropped over five months ago and for me at least, the release date for the film has really jumped out of nowhere after so many delays. Assassin’s Creed hitting the big screens has brought about much discussion since it was first announced a few years back, with Michael Fassbender attached from the outset. It’s no surprise that the film has been the topic of much debate, with many fans hopeful that this could finally be the film to end the game adaptation curse.
With the release of a second trailer earlier today, the debate goes on over whether Assassin’s Creed really could end the curse, or whether it will be a massive flop and the butchery continue. Fassbender leads the way as Callum Lynch, who appears to be a convict facing death row, that is until he discovers that his ancestor was a 15th century assassin during the Spanish Inquisition. Threatened by Abstergo Industries, Callum is forced to tap into his roots and live the memories of Aguilar de Nerha through the ‘Animus’.
Before I go on to dismantle the latest trailer, take a look for yourselves…
The main message that folk have taken from the latest trailer is the prevalence of Abstergo and action in the present day against little footage of Fassbender in the role of the ancestor. The focus on the present isn’t exactly new information as it’s been known for a while that a huge proportion of the film takes place at Abstergo, rather than in 15th century Spain. Along with this, we’ve also been given a much greater insight into Abstergo, with a new narrative that we’ve not experienced in the Assassin’s Creed games.
As you can see from the trailer, we see Callum physically fighting, climbing and going stabby stabby whilst in the Animus, rather than us seeing Desmond (and later, others) put to sleep in order to travel through the ancestral memories. From the footage in the trailer, it can also be assumed that this idea extends further as the plot develops, with Callum physically fighting guards and other folk in present day.
In the course of the trailer we also see a whole host of other characters forced into similar situations, all of which who look like patients or prisoners in the facility, who we see fight alongside both Aguilar in Spain and in the Animus later in present day. This brings the absolutely brilliant Michael Kenneth Williams to our screens as Moussa, along with a whole host of fantastic actors. I absolutely adore Marion Cotillard, who appears as Dr. Sophia Rikkin of Abstergo, with Jeremy Irons alongside her. Of course, Fassbender himself is of course a fabulous actor to have on board, in fact, I believe that the interest in the inception and development of the film is hugely down to his involvement from the outset.
The key criticism of the latest trailer is, of course, the focus on present day action over footage of Fassbender as Aguilar, with fans complaining that they don’t play Assassin’s Creed for Abstergo, but to be sent back in time to these fascinating historical periods. However, if the movie were to entirely take place in 15th century Spain, that would be equally as problematic. I’m a long serving fan of the franchise and my word, did I bloody hate playing as Desmond in present day. What an utter plank that guy was. Despite that, I feel that the involvement of Abstergo and the Animus devise are key to the enjoyment of the game.
As much as I love games that move us to another historical or alternative world, I thoroughly enjoyed the idea of someone tapping into the memories of their ancestors. For me, the connection and movement between two worlds in Assassin’s Creed is what has kept the series going, creating a much greater narrative rather than simply plonking you in 15th century Florence or the American Civil War.
I’ve ranted on far too long here, but despite the debate over the latest trailer, I absolutely cannot wait to see Assassin’s Creed. For me, this really could be the film to right all of the wrongs of the game to screen adaptations that have come before it. If not, it still looks absolutely beautiful and bloody good fun.
I’ll leave you with this fascinating video demonstrating how they shot the ‘leap of faith’ scene, which is one of the most notable elements from the game franchise. Fassbender’s character jumps 125 feet, which would usually be created digitally, but was actually performed by a stuntman to create a sense of realism. For anyone with a fear of heights, turn back now. That’s some scary shit right there.