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Though he seems to have about a dozen new movie roles coming up at any given moment, Michael Fassbender has kept a relatively low-profile since his stunning work as the android David in Prometheus. His work in that film was no surprise to everyone who's loved him in Inglourious Basterds or Hunger or Shame or Jane Eyre, but it was yet another chance for Fassbender to introduce himself to bigger audiences, and become the full-blown movie star many of us have assumed he is for years now.
But hey, what better way to establish your movie-star bona fides than to star in a video game adaptation? Alright, sure, there might be better ways, but Fassbender is giving that route a shot anyway-- Variety reports that Fassbender is set to star in and co-produce Assassin's Creed, an adaptation of the Ubisoft video game franchise. A slightly different version of this adaptation got started at Sony last fall, but Ubisoft is now focusing on making the film independently, through their production company UMP and DMC FIlm, the unit run by Fassbender and Conor McCaughan.
Fassbender will play the title character of the game franchise, Desmond Miles, who learns that his ancestors were trained assassins only after he is kidnapped by a mysterious organization related to the Knights Templar. They strap him into a machine that allows him to project himself back into any of his previous ancestors, so that he winds up as as an assassin in the Holy Land during the Crusaders, or on a quest to avenge his family's death in Renaissance-era Italy. It's not a question of whether that kind of setup would work, but which historical adventure they'll pick for Fassbender on his first go-round.
Though Fassbender has starred in both action films (X-Men: First Class, Haywire, Prometheus) and historical dramas (Inglourious Basterds, Jane Eyre), Assassin's Creed would probably be most similar to Neil Marshall's Centurion, a little-seen but highly enjoyable Ancient Roman epic, in which Fassbender played a Roman soldier on a mission to destroy the vicious Pict tribe of northern Scotland. It's available to watch on Netflix Instant, and might be a necessary preview for seeing Fassbender holding a sword and shield in Assassin's Creed.
There's no question that Fassbender will be good in the movie-- he's good in everything. But recent history is littered with video game adaptations that fell completely flat, be they high-profile stinkers like Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, or more low-key stuff like Hitman. Could Assassin's Creed be the first good one? This would be an excellent time for someone familiar with the video games to step in and let me-- and maybe some other noobs-- know what to expect.