Assassin's Creed and The Matrix

Will Assassin’s Creed break the video game movie curse? World of Warcraft might accomplish that task first, based on director Duncan Jones‘ (Moon) involvement, but later this year, if Jones’ adaptation does disappoint, then director Justin Kurzel has a real shot at shattering the curse. Kurzel reunites with Macbeth stars, Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, for this Ubisoft adaptation, which Fassbender says is “old school” and inspired by The Matrix.

Assassin’s Creed recently wrapped principal photography. The story follows Callum Lynch (Fassbender), who learns he’s descended from a long line of assassins. Through cutting-edge technology, he accesses his “genetic memories,” reliving the experiences of his ancestor, Aguilar, in 15th century Spain. Speaking with Empire, Fassbender compares the film to The Matrix:

I’ve always thought about The Matrix when we’ve approached this. This idea of DNA memory elevates it from a basic fantasy genre [piece], because you have something an audience can actually believe in. Then the journey becomes so much more elevated, because you’re on board in a different way.

How the modern day scenes and the 15th century storyline gel together I am curious about. Is most of the film set in 15th century Spain? How much set up will there be until Callum Lynch fights as Aguilar? They have a big world to set up, based on the synopsis, but Kurzel is a very visual filmmaker, so hopefully, like The Matrix, there’s not too much exposition.

Kurzel is also a physical filmmaker. Looking at Macbeth and Snowtown Murders, the environments are completely tangible. The locations, sets, and costumes in Macbeth, especially, present a world that’s easy to lose yourself in. Will Assassin’s Creed also rely more on in-camera effects and environments? Fassbender says yes, calling the film “old school”:

There’s very little green screen in this, which is highly unusual in these films. We have stunt guys jumping across buildings in (Maltese capital) Valletta.

I can’t imagine how an Assassin’s Creed fan would react if they saw a CG Aguilar jumping from rooftop to rooftop in this movie. I don’t think anyone would want to see that, though.

Here’s the official synopsis:

Assassin’s Creed follows a character by the name of Callum Lynch who, through a revolutionary technology that unlocks his genetic memories, is able to experience the adventures of his ancestor, Aguilar, in 15th Century Spain. Callum discovers he is descended from a mysterious secret society, the Assassins, and amasses incredible knowledge and skills to take on the oppressive and powerful Templar organization in the present day.

Assassin’s Creed opens in theaters December 21st, 2016.

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