Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed video games spin a sci-fi tale of a centuries-spanning war between assassins and templars. Historical figures including Leonardo da Vinci, Suleman the Magnificent and in its upcoming installment, George Washington are embroiled in the tale. The surprise here isn’t that Hollywood is interested in adapting it for a movie, it’s that it took so long to happen.
Variety reports Michael Fassbender, a hot property thanks to starring roles in X-Men:First Class and Prometheus, has signed on to co-produce and star. Ubisoft Motion Pictures CEO Jean-Julien Baronnet said Fassbender was the studio’s first choice but didn’t say which character he’ll play.
Assassin’s Creed broad reaching conspiracy involves aliens and a machine called the Animus, which allows a person to relive ancestral memories. A man named Desmond Miles finds out his ancestors were cold-blooded and extremely acrobatic assassins. Each game splits time between Desmond and one of the assassins he’s descended from. All these characters have their own devoted fanbases, so this movie will have a hard time pleasing everybody.
The games have been a runaway hit for publisher Ubisoft, selling more than 30 million copies. Assassin’s Creed III, which releases October 30 brings the setting to the American Revolution. Video game adaptations often seem like easy money for studios. The story and characters are already fleshed out, and they have throngs of fans. They have a spotty track record though. Ubisoft knows this well. It lined up Jerry Bruckheimer to produce a trilogy of movies based on its Prince of Persia franchise. That movie underwhelmed, but hasn’t scared Ubisoft off trying again.