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There’s quite a lot riding on Assassin’s Creed. Previous attempts to adapt video games have failed rather badly. But there’s hope that the Michael Fassbender led adaptation of the hugely popular action adventure game will finally break that trend. And to help it do just that, Fassbender himself has admitted that it will be heavily influenced by The Matrix.
The Irish actor, who recently finished shooting Assassin’s Creed, made this revelation to Empire Magazine, confessing that ever since he’s been working on the blockbuster he’s constantly be thinking about the Wachowski Siblings’ classic.
I’ve always thought about The Matrix when we’ve approached this. 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.
In Assassin’s Creed , Michael Fassbender plays the dual lead characters of Callum Lynch, a modern man, and his ancestor from 15th century Spain, Aguilar. After Callum discovers that his ancestor was an Assassin, he starts to use Aguilar’s memories to get the necessary skills and knowledge to fight the Templars, who just so happen to be the centuries old enemies of the Assassins. If that doesn't sound like The Matrix's rivalry between the Agents and humanity, we don't know what does. Alongside Fassbender, whose performance in Steve Jobs is in the running for the Best Actor Academy Award, Assassin’s Creed has assembled as rather formidable cast. The Irish actor will be joined by Marion Cotillard, Michael K. Williams, Jeremy Irons, and Brendan Gleeson.
Michael Fassbender will also reunite with Justin Kurzel on Assassin’s Creed, with the pair having worked together last year on Macbeth, also with Marion Cotillard, which was widely praised for being a stylish and moody adaptation of William Shakespeare’s seminal piece. It’s hoped that this will be the first video-game adaptation to truly chime with a mainstream audience, and the comparison to The Matrix certainly helps with both the brand recognition and storytelling aspects. Every other cinematic adaptation of a video-game has been met with only lukewarm reviews. But with 20th Century Fox having invested somewhere between $150 and $200 million on Assassin’s Creed, they clearly have confidence that the tide is now set to turn.
Assassin’s Creed might actually be beaten to the punch though. That’s because the Duncan Jones directed Warcraft, which is based on the hugely popular fantasy epic, is due out in June, and Universal Pictures have spent around $100 million on that adaptation. Either way, it seems as though it’s now or never for the video-game genre. Because if these two fail, it will take a huge leap of faith from another studio to invest in another adaptation from the medium.
Assassin’s Creed will be with us on December 21, 2016, while Warcraft precedes it by a couple of months, hitting cinemas on June 10, 2016.