Though the project has been in active development for over a year and already has an August 7, 2015 release date, the Assassin’s Creed movie had thus far been moving ahead without a director. It appears that this has changed, though, as Variety reports that Justin Kurzel is now in talks to helm the video game adaptation for New Regency. Michael Fassbender is producing and attached to star in the pic, and Kurzel last helmed the upcoming Macbeth feature film adaptation in which Fassbender is also the star.
Daniel Espinosa (Safe House) had been rumored as a possibility to direct Assassin’s Creed a few months ago and Gareth Evans (The Raid) was also apparently eyed for the gig, but Variety adds that Fassbender lobbied hard for Kurzel to land the job. Screenwriter Michael Lesslie performed the most recent rewrite on the script, and wouldn’t you know it, he also wrote Macbeth. Kurzel is currently in post-production on the Shakespeare adaptation, but he’ll likely move right into Assassin’s Creed once he’s finished.
Michael Fassbender is currently winning praise for his riveting performance as a malicious slave owner in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave. But as he does press for the picture, he has shared some surprising news about an upcoming project with Ubisoft. The video game company has been moving into feature films with a movie adaptation of their popular game series Assassin’s Creed, which Fassbender is set to front and help produce. But if you’re thinking the captivating leading man signed on to this project because of his love of the game, you’d be wrong.
Asked for an update on the project’s development, Fassbender confessed to The Daily Beast:
“That’s definitely happening. We’re just developing the script at the moment. I’d heard of it but had never played the game. I don’t have a video game player … that’s not what they’re called. [Laughs] 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.”
The concept of Assassin’s Creed centers on a long line of assassin’s whose shared bloodline allows descendants to access the memories of their predecessors with the help of a device called Animus. When Ubisoft first considered adapting the game to a movie, they sent out surveys to their gamers asking which Assassin’s Creed protagonist they’d like to see a movie focus on, fifteenth century Italian noble Ezio Auditore da Firenze or Desmond Miles, a modern-day American bartender who long ago fled his life as an assassin, only to be sucked in again. Apparently, they picked Miles, as that is who Fassbender is said to play.
Fassbender signed on to headline Assassin’s Creed back in the summer of 2012. But it wasn’t until January of this year that a writer had been found to translate the time traveling-centric video game into an action adventure script that Ubisoft hopes will prove a solid foundation on which to build their film empire. Also in the works at Ubisoft Entertainment are a movie for Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon that Michael Bay has the option to helm, and Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, which has Tom Hardy attached to star.
While fans of the popular Assassin’s Creed franchise are likely shaking their head at Fassbender’s ignorance of the game, it’s not terribly unusual that an actor knows little to nothing about the movie’s source material. We hear that again and again whether it’s a movie based on a popular book or on remake of a well-known feature. Still, as a producer on the picture you’d think he’d want some insight into what the players appreciate about the game. Of course with Assassin’s Creed slated to hit theaters on May 22, 2015, Fassbender has got some time to do his research, and by that I mean play copious amounts of Assassin’s Creed. First, he’ll need to get one of those pesky video game players.
A couple of exciting Friday night release date announcements, the biggest one being that the movie based on Ubisoft’s popular video game Assassin’s Creed, starring Michael Fassbender, will be released over Memorial Day weekend 2015, taking the date of May 22.
So far, no director has been announced for the movie but with a date in place, one would expect that will change shortly. Also, 20th Century Fox has stepped in to distribute one of the more anticipated video game movies in recent years through their deal with co-producer New Regency Pictures. They also have grabbed a date that’s wide open with no competing releases although it will open three weeks after Marvel’s The Avengers 2 and anyone who knows the general release date for previous “Star Wars” movies might be thinking J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII could be released a week before Memorial Day that same year.