Sony stalking Assassin's Creed film rights

Variety reports Sony Pictures in final negotiations with Ubisoft for big-screen adaptation of action game; publisher insists on maintaining a measure of creative control.

Although Assassin's Creed has been an Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 mainstay since the first game's 2007 launch, Sony wants one aspect of the multiplatform franchise all to itself. According to the movie biz publication Variety, Sony Pictures is finalizing a deal to make a big-screen franchise out of Ubisoft's open-world action stealth series.

Which characters should the Assassin's Creed film focus on? Who should play them?

The trade magazine reports that several other studios had been bidding for the film rights in recent months, with Universal among the companies ultimately losing out to Sony. One of the key factors in Sony's favor during the bidding process was reportedly its willingness to let Ubisoft maintain a larger measure of creative control in the project. At the moment, Sony and Ubisoft are said to be in final negotiations on a deal.

Ubisoft has made no secret of its multimedia ambitions in recent years. In 2008, it acquired the Montreal-based special effects studio behind 300 to work on live-action adaptations of its various franchises and earlier this month announced a Raving Rabbids TV series that will air on Nickelodeon starting in 2013. Last year saw the publisher's highest-profile foray into film to date, with the Disney feature film Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time debuting to a tepid reaction at the box office.

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