Assassin's Creed Movie Star Fassbender Cites The Matrix as Inspiration
Plus, the film won't use much green screen; a stunt double actually performed a 120-foot leap of faith.
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The upcoming Assassin's Creed movie is not just a straightforward sci-fi film about traveling back in time, according to Michael Fassbender, the Oscar-nominated actor who plays the lead role in it. In an interview with Empire, Fassbender cited The Matrix as an inspiration for what he hopes the movie can achieve, saying he hopes the film can be "much more elevated" than what people might expect.
"I've always thought about The Matrix when we've approached this," Fassbender said. "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."
1999's The Matrix takes place inside of a simulated reality called the Matrix. A group of rebels get "unplugged" and then hop between the simulated reality and the real world basically at will. Somewhat similarly, the Assassin's Creed movie will, using technology called the Animus, allow Fassbender's present-day character Callum Lynch to access the memories of his 15th century Spanish ancestor, Aguillar, also played by Fassbender.
Before this, Ubisoft Motion Pictures CEO Jean Julien Baronnet said the Assassin's Creed movie would be, in some ways, modeled after films like Batman Begins and Blade Runner.
Also in the interview, Fassbender said the Assassin's Creed movie will use a lot of practical effects and stunts. In fact, he confirms that a stunt performer actually does a 120-foot "leap of faith" without rope.
"There's very little green screen in this, which is highly unusual in these films," he said. "We have stunt guys jumping across buildings in [Maltese capital] Valletta. We've got [stunt man Damian Walters] doing a 120-foot leap of faith, without any rope, into a bag, so it's pretty incredible to see."
The Assassin's Creed games feature quite a bit of violence, and while there will surely be stabbing and slashing in the movie, it won't go too far, Fassbender said.
"We're not trying to make it too crazy violent," he explained. "Although obviously there is an element of that, but what is really cool is that our action sequences are on real sets and real locations."
The Assassin's Creed movie finished filming last month, and is now in post-production ahead of its scheduled debut on December 21--one week after Star Wars Rogue One arrives on December 16.
In December, some new images from the movie emerged, including an epic-looking one that shows Fassbender in costume, wielding a sword. Additionally, a viral marketing campaign has begun.
The movie is directed by Justin Kurzel, who recently helmed Macbeth, which also featured Fassbender in the lead role. His Macbeth co-star Marion Cotillard will also appear in the Assassin's Creed movie, alongside Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson, and Michael Kenneth Williams.
It has a reported budget of $150-$200 million. For it to be a financial success, Baronnet said he's hoping it appeals to basically everyone who likes movies.
"Our big gamble is that it works for three audiences," Barronet said in an October 2015 interview. "Fans of our games, which there are some 95 million of; fans of mainstream cinema who are going to see Star Wars and Spider-Man; and in parallel, we're also aiming it people who would never think of going to see an Assassin's film, people who like independent films."
Ubisoft has at least six movies in the pipeline. In addition to Assassin's Creed, the Paris-based publisher is making movies based on its Far Cry, Rabbids, Watch Dogs, Splinter Cell, and Ghost Recon franchises. In all instances, Ubisoft will retain some level of creative control through its Ubisoft Motion Pictures group.
For more on movie adaptations of video games, check out GameSpot's gallery of 18 video game films currently in production.