Assassin's Creed (film)

Assassin's Creed

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Justin Kurzel
Produced by
Screenplay by
  • Michael Lesslie
  • Adam Cooper
  • Bill Collage
Based on Assassin's Creed
by Ubisoft
Music by Jed Kurzel
Cinematography Adam Arkapaw
Edited by Christopher Tellefsen
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • December 21, 2016 (2016-12-21) (United States)
Running time
115 minutes[1]
  • United States
  • France
  • English
  • Spanish[2]
Budget $130-200 million[3][4]

Assassin's Creed is an upcoming action adventure film based on the video game franchise of the same name The film is directed by Justin Kurzel, written by Michael Lesslie, Adam Cooper and Bill Collage, and stars Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson and Michael K. Williams.

The film will be set in the same universe as the video games but features an original story that expands the series' mythology. Filming began in late August 2015 and concluded in January 2016. Assassin's Creed is scheduled to be released on December 21, 2016 in France and in the United States.


Career criminal Callum Lynch is rescued from his own execution by Abstergo Industries, the modern-day incarnation of the Templar Order. He is forced to participate in the Animus Project and relive the memories of his ancestor Aguilar de Nerha, an Assassin in the time of the Spanish Inquisition. As Lynch continues to experience Aguilar's memories, he begins to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to confront the Templars—age-old enemies of the Assassins—in the present day.[5]


Original characters created for the film, Lynch is a descendant of Aguilar de Nerha, an Assassin alive and operating in 15th century Spain.[6][5] Fassbender described Callum by saying "He doesn’t have a lineage he can feel a belonging to... he's a bit of a lost soul. He’s always been drifting in and out of correctional facilities," and conversely described Aguilar as "very much somebody that belongs to the Creed. He has a cause, he’s sort of been following that cause. He belongs to it."[7]
A visionary CEO of Abstergo Industries and, particularly, his private Madrid-based organization Abstergo Foundation dedicated to the "perfection" of humankind,[12] and the father of Sophia.[9][10][11] The character previously appeared in the first Assassin's Creed game.[13]
Moussa is a descendant of Baptiste, a Haitian Assassin who uses voodoo poison against his enemies.[15][7] Williams said, "Moussa definitely has some assassin skills. Although I think he prefers to use trickery and magic and voodoo to slay his opponents as opposed to just hand-to-hand combat, but if it needed to be he could take it to the mat."[7] Baptiste previously appeared in Assassin's Creed: Liberation.[16]

Additionally, Ariane Labed portrays Maria, an assassin in 15th century Spain with Aguilar,[17][10] and Matias Varela appears as both Emir and his ancestor, Yusuf.[7] Michelle Lin portrays Lin, a descendant of an assassin, and another test subject at Abstergo, while James Sobol Kelly appears as Father Raymond, a priest.[14] Denis Ménochet also appears as the head of Abstergo security,[18]



"You know, we absolutely want to respect the game. There's so much cool stuff in the game that we're actually spoiled for choice in terms of what we can use and what we can't, but we also want to bring new elements to it and perhaps our own version of things that already exist in the game. But we're definitely making a feature film, and we're approaching it as a feature film, as opposed to approaching it as a video game. But I love the world... When I met up with the guys from Ubisoft and they started to explain this whole world and the idea of D.N.A memory – you know, I think it's a very feasible scientific theory. I just thought, 'This is so rich,' and about the possibility of it being this cinematic experience. So I'm really excited about it, and we're working very hard to make sure that we've got the best and most exciting, original package."

Michael Fassbender, star and producer of the film, on how much of the film would remain faithful to the game and how much would be an original story.[19]

By October 2011, Sony Pictures was in final negotiations with Ubisoft Motion Pictures to make a film version of Assassin's Creed,[20] to be released in 3D.[21] In July 2012, Michael Fassbender was announced to star in the film, as well as co-produce the film through his DMC Film banner with Conor McCaughan.[6] Jean-Julien Baronnet, CEO Ubisoft Motion Pictures, said Fassbender was the studio's first choice to star in the film. As well, negotiations between Sony Pictures and Ubisoft Motion Pictures was put on hold, with Ubisoft executives planning to develop the film independently in order to maintain greater creative control. Sony could still distribute the film, but Ubisoft Motion Pictures would not resume talks until packaging the project with a writer and director.[22] In October, Ubisoft revealed the film would be co-produced with New Regency and distributed by 20th Century Fox. New Regency financed part of the film's production, in order for Ubisoft to not shoulder much financial risk, yet still be involved creatively;[23] RatPac Entertainment and Alpha Pictures also co-financing the film.[17] Baronnet also revealed Ubisoft hoped to release the film along with a new game launch for the series.[23]

In January 2013, Michael Lesslie was hired to write the film.[24] In June 2013, Frank Marshall entered negotiations to produce the film, along with Fassbender and McCaughan for DMC Film and Eli Richbourg for Ubisoft.[25] In July, Scott Frank revealed he was rewriting the script.[26] In January 2014, a Linkedin profile for executive producer Fannie Pailloux stated filming was scheduled to begin in August 2014.[27] In April 2014, Adam Cooper and Bill Collage were hired to rewrite the script.[28] By the end of April, Justin Kurzel was in talks to direct.[29] In June, Olivia Munn expressed interest in appearing in the film.[30]


On February 12, 2015, Ubisoft's CEO Yves Guillemot confirmed that New Regency had begun production on the film.[31] The following day, Marion Cotillard was revealed to have joined the cast, and that filming was expected to begin in late 2015.[8] In April 2015, Fassbender revealed that filming is scheduled to begin in September 2015.[32] In May 2015, Alicia Vikander was in talks to star in the film,[33] though in the following month, she took a role in the fifth Bourne film Jason Bourne instead,[34] leading Ariane Labed to be cast in her place.[17] Producers on the film include Baronnet, Patrick Crowley, Fassbender, Marshall, Conor McCaughan and Arnon Milchan.[17] In July 2015, Michael K. Williams was added to the cast.[15] In late August 2015, Fassbender's role was revealed as Callum Lynch in the present day and Aguilar in 15th Century Spain, as well as filming locations for the film.[5]


Principal photography on the film began on August 31, 2015, with filming taking place in Malta, London, Spain and the 007 Stage at Pinewood Studios.[5][35][36][37] Adam Arkapaw serves as cinematographer, while Andy Nicholson acts as production designer.[38] In October 2015, Jeremy Irons and Brendan Gleeson joined the cast.[9] In December 2015, shooting took place in Spain,[39] and Irons' role was revealed to be Alan Rikkin.[12] Principal filming ended on January 15, 2016,[40] with further filming taking place in Ely Cathedral in July.[41]


In May 2016, it was announced that Jed Kurzel, the brother of director Justin Kurzel, would score the film.[42]

Connections to the video games

Aymar Azaïzia, head of Assassin's Creed content at Ubisoft, stated that the film, which is "a brand new story, [with] new characters set in our universe," had the possibility to feature "some familiar faces" and that the present day element would feature Abstergo.[43] Fassbender said, "We really want to respect the game[s] and the elements to it. But we also wanted to come up with our own thing. And one thing I’ve sort of learned from doing the franchises like X-Men is that audiences, I think, want to be surprised and to see new elements of what they already know, and different takes on it."[7] The Animus, the machine used to experience ancestors' memories, was redesigned for the film, from a chair to a machine that lifts the user in the air, to allow for a more modern, interactive and dramatic experience. Fassbender also noted the change was done to avoid comparisons to The Matrix.[44] The Abstergo compound in the film features an artifact room that holds specific weapons from the games beyond the traditional Assassin wrist blades, including: Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad's sword (Assassin's Creed);[7] Connor/Ratonhnhaké:ton's bow (Assassin's Creed III);[37] Edward Kenway's flintlock pistols (Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag); and Jacob Frye's cane sword (Assassin's Creed Syndicate). Fassbender also stated that Ubisoft was "very keen" about elements being created for the film and were considering incorporating them into future games.[7]

The film also features the games' signature "Leap of Faith" jump, performed by Fassbender's stunt double, Damien Walters, rather than a digital double, as the production team wanted to make many of the elements in the film as "real" as possible, without the use of visual effects. The 125 feet freefall was described as "one of the highest freefalls performed by a stuntman in almost 35 years".[45]


Assassin's Creed is scheduled to be released on December 21, 2016.[46] The film was originally announced in May 2013 to be released on May 22, 2015,[47] which was later pushed back the following month to June 19, 2015.[48] In November 2013, the film was pushed back once again to a new release date of August 7, 2015.[49] In September 2014, the film was pushed to an unspecified 2016 release date,[50] which was revealed to be December 21, 2016 in January 2015.[46]

Potential sequels

In March 2016, Daphne Yang, CEO of the film's Taiwanese co-financier CatchPlay, stated that New Regency was looking to turn the film into a franchise, since it is based on "successful Ubisoft games and would make ideal sequels."[51] Two additional films are planned, with the first sequel entering development during the production of the initial film.[52]


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