Assassin's Creed Movie Will Break History of Video Game Film Mediocrity, Ubisoft Says
"There is always a first."
Video game movies have a track record of mediocrity and worse. But Ubisoft believes its upcoming film based on Assassin's Creed could break through and become a hit.
Ubisoft's Azaizi Aymar, who is the head of content for the Assassin's Creed brand, spoke up on Twitter to respond to a suggestion that "movies based on video games have and never will work."
Aymar doesn't see it that way. As an example, he pointed to how movies based on comic books didn't always have the critical and commercial standing they have today. Like comic book movies, video game films will get better, and Assassin's Creed could be the film to prove that, he argued.
Aymar is not alone in thinking video game movies will eventually get better. Adrian Askarieh, who produced last summer's Agent 47, which was one of the worst-reviewed video game movies of all time, said earlier this year the key to making better video game movies is to involve the creators.
"Marvel became Marvel once they started creating their own movies," he said. "I think the way to do video game movies is, number one, have filmmakers that are passionate about them and know them; they're fans, they're not just looking at it as a job. And also have developers and publishers involved."
Ubisoft has established an internal film division, Ubisoft Motion Pictures, to develop films alongside Hollywood production companies. Ubisoft was apparently quite involved in the production of Assassin's Creed to ensure it was staying true to the game franchise.
Assassin's Creed's first trailer came online last week. The response was generally positive, though not everyone was pleased with its use of Kanye West's "I Am A God."
The film has a deep roster of talent attached to it. Oscar-nominated actor Michael Fassbender plays the lead role, alongside Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard, Brendan Gleeson, Jeremy Irons, and Michael Kenneth Williams. It is directed by Justin Kurzel, who also directed Fassbender and Cotillard in Macbeth.
Additionally, with no new mainline Assassin's Creed game coming out this year, the film's marketing team has more space and opportunity to promote the picture, according to Ubisoft.
Assassin's Creed opens on December 21, a week after Star Wars spinoff Rogue One comes out. Fox reportedly has plans for two sequels. "It's not a one-off," producer Pat Crowley recently said. "Everybody expects that this movie will continue."
A new poster has also been released; check it out below.
You won't have to wait until December to see a video game movie, however, as Angry Birds comes out this Friday, May 20. The movie already opened in some international markets, bringing in $43 million, which is ahead of The Lego Movie for its initial opening. Additionally, Legendary's Warcraft, which is based on Blizzard's popular PC game, comes out in June.
For more on Assassin's Creed, check out GameSpot's interview feature, "Michael Fassbender on Why Assassin's Creed Will Matter to Moviegoers."
In other news about video game movies, Nintendo has announced it is in discussions with multiple partners to produce films based on its franchises. No projects have been announced, but CEO Tatsumi Kimishima is not interested in a simple licensing deal. He said he wants Nintendo to be more heavily involved than the company was in the production of 1993's poorly received live-action Super Mario Bros.
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