Fans and filmgoers may not realize the theatrical adaptation of the popular Ubisoft video game Assassin’s Creed is really unlike any other past movie based on a video game. Never before has a brand owner, here Ubisoft, taken such a hands-on approach to making a film adaptation. That comes through in Ian Nathan’s new look at the film and its unique production process, Assassin’s Creed: Into the Animus.
Ubisoft has been involved in not only several iterations of the game but continuations found in comic books and graphic novels, as well as behind the scenes concept art books for the various versions of the game. Pride in the brand and maintaining the integrity of the story for gamers was taken into account from the inception of the film as concept. From casting Michael Fassbender as the film’s lead to Fassbender’s role as a producer and personally delving in to understand the mechanics of the world of the gameplay and what that meant for his two parallel characters–Aguilar in the past and Callum in the modern age–loyalty to the game was always a priority, as recounted by the crew interviewed by Ian Nathan for this book.
For those who haven’t seen the film, the plot follows two protagonists in a world of Assassins and Templars, men separated by centuries of history yet linked by their DNA, necessitating the re-creation of a historically accurate fifteenth-century Spain and a technologically advanced present day world. Assassin’s Creed: Into the Animus is an introduction to the complex world of the games, a look at the elaborate sets and exotic filming locations, an understanding of the choreography of the parkour scenes the film is known for, and maintaining the trademark look of the franchise, including Aguilar’s famous assassin’s hood.