Assassin's Creed film deal gives Ubisoft 'unheard of' control - Report

Hollywood insider predicts publisher's influence on adaptation of popular stealth action franchise will keep it from ever being made.

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When Ubisoft announced an Assassin's Creed movie, the publisher touted its creative control in the project. While that may have given fans of the series hope for a positive outcome, at least one Hollywood insider is predicting that the publisher's level of control will keep the film from ever being made.

Some Hollywood insiders think the Assassin's Creed film is doomed from the start.
Some Hollywood insiders think the Assassin's Creed film is doomed from the start.

New York Magazine entertainment blog Vulture reports that the terms of Ubisoft and Sony's Assassin's Creed film deal could spell doom for the adaptation. An unnamed Hollywood agent told Vulture, "The whole Ubisoft/Sony deal is a waste of ink, paper and time. The level of control Sony gave up means, effectively, that Assassin's Creed will never--and I mean never--get made."

The deal in question is reported to grant the publisher "unheard of" control over many aspects of the adaptation, including final say on budget, principal cast, script, and release date--control said to be impossible for even Steven Spielberg to land. With Ubisoft's terms seen as demanding for even a property with a large built-in audience, Warner Bros., Universal, and Dreamworks reportedly ended up passing on the project.

On the surface, having a property's creator retain control over every aspect of a film adaptation may seem like a good thing. However, an unidentified studio head reportedly feels different, telling the magazine, "The only way to make sure it's a bad movie is to undervalue what movie studios do."

Ubisoft previously partnered with Disney for last year's Prince of Persia film, with a story adapted for the screen by series creator Jordan Mechner. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time was seen as unsuccessful, which Ubisoft reportedly felt was due to its lack of control over the project.

The Halo film met its demise under similar circumstances, according to Vulture. Microsoft required a large chunk of the theatrical gross for the film, and when Peter Jackson and others were brought on board insisting on their own share of the proceeds, Fox and Universal balked. An industry insider said that the Assassin's Creed deal isn't identical to the failed Microsoft mega-franchise adaptation, since Ubisoft is footing the bill for a large part of the film's development.

For more on Ubisoft's open-world stealth action game, check out GameSpot's previous coverage of Assassin's Creed: Revelations.

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