〉 The actioner won’t hit theaters until December, but it appears as though producers feel they may already have a hit on their hands.
The adaptation of the blockbuster video game Assassin’s Creed from New Regency isn’t set to bow until December, but The Tracking Board has learned that the company is officially underway with plans for the sequel, ASSASSIN’S CREED 2. With star Michael Fassbender on board, the stage is set for a new action-adventure franchise starring the two-time Academy Award nominee.
The sequel sees familiar names from the yet-to-be-released title’s production team, with Jean-Julien Baronnet producing for Ubisoft Motion Pictures, Frank Marshall producing through his Kennedy-Marshall Company, while Fassbender and Conor McCaughan will produce through their DMC Films shingle. Matt Phelps will oversee for Ubisoft, while Pam Abdy will oversee for New Regency.
Director Justin Kurzel’s forthcoming action-adventure story stars Fassbender and Marion Cotillard – the three of whom worked together previously on last year’s critically acclaimed MacBeth. Fassbender plays Callum Lynch, a man who discovers that he’s the descendant of a secretive society of deadly assassins, who are at war with the Knights Templar. Through a machine, Lynch becomes able to tap into the memories of his ancestor Aguilar, an assassin in 15th century Spain. Commanding his ancestor’s incredible skills, ability, and knowledge, Lynch sets forth to take on the Knights Templar in the present.
The film takes its name from the mega-popular Ubisoft video game series, though the storyline involving Lynch/Aguilar was created specifically for the film. The movie won’t be a retelling of games’ stories, but will exist in the same world.
That the studio is already laying the groundwork for the sequel is hardly surprising, given the international appeal of both the game and its star, Fassbender. But skeptics of video game-based films may interpret this move as a sign of confidence from those involved that, unlike previous attempts to bring popular video game properties to the big screen, Assassin’s Creed could not only work – but thrive. The hefty $125 million budget, which includes financing from co-financiers like Alpha Pictures International and Brett Ratner’s RatPac Entertainment, is all the more reason to get started on a sequel, as Regency Enterprises, distributor 20th Century Fox and the bevy of investors involved will want to pounce any momentum that the film finds at the box office.
The mostly positive reactions to the first images of Fassbender as the Lynch/Aguilar character may have further fueled producers to initiate plans for a sequel. Previous attempts to launch franchises based on Tomb Raider, Prince of Persia, and Silent Hill have yielded lackluster results, to say the least, but as the pictures of Fassbender spread across social media, they quickly prompted some to announce that 2016 could be the year that video game adaptations break their losing streak – the latest trailer for World of Warcraft from Duncan Jones has somewhat quelled that hopeful spirit.
Assassin’s Creed is set to hit theaters on December 21st, 2016.
Josh Lyons | Managing Editor