At this point, there is quite a bit of clout that comes with having Michael Fassbender be at the lead of a particular project, but apparently Fassbender's presence wasn't quite enough for the filmmakers behind the upcoming video game adaptation Assassin's Creed. It's become clear that they weren't satisfied just having an Oscar nominee playing the male lead in the movie, and have no cast Oscar winner Marion Cotillard to be the main female presence in the blockbuster.
News of this casting deal comes to us from Deadline, and while details about Cotillard's character are being kept under wraps for right now, she very clearly plays a vital role. This is because there is apparently already a plan in place that would see her return in her role should the first film be successful and lead to a sequel. Fassbender has a similar deal in place as well, and it's pretty clear that the companies behind the production, New Regency and Ubisoft, are very confident in the feature's potential.
Based on the game series that launched in 2007, Assassin's Creed follows a hero named Desmond Miles - an ordinary bartender who comes from a long line of prominent assassins. Despite having a desire to escape this lineage, Desmond is eventually kidnapped because of it, and winds up being forced to use a device called the Animus. This allows Desmond to experience the memories of his ancestors first hand, and his captors hope to use this so that they can locate a collection of tremendously powerful artifacts. At this stage, it's unclear how closely the movie adaptation will follow the video game, though Ubisoft is very involved with the production and may see to it that the film narrative doesn't stray too far away from the source material.
Marion Cotillard is best known for her work in smaller productions, having won the Oscar for her role in the Edith Piaf biopic La Vie en Rose, and last year earning acclaim for her performance in Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne's Two Days, One Night. Thanks in particular to Christopher Nolan, however, she has gotten a taste of blockbuster filmmaking before. In 2010 she played the femme fatale role opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Inception, and in 2012 she was the duplicitous Miranda Tate a.k.a. Talia al Ghul in The Dark Knight Rises.
What's interesting about the production of Assassin's Creed is that Marion Cotillard's arrival to the project creates a trio reunion for a film that we haven't actually seen yet. The film's director, Justin Kurzel, just recently worked with both Cotillard and Michael Fassbender on a big screen adaptation of William Shakespeare's Macbeth, which sees the two stars playing Lady Macbeth and Macbeth, respectively. That film doesn't have a release date just yet, but it's pretty clear that all three of them enjoyed working together on the project.
Filming on Asssassin's Creed is scheduled to start up in the early fall of this year, as the film has already been dated to be released on December 21, 2016.