The Assassin’s Creed franchise of video games has been incredibly successful since its debut in 2007. Its genre bending combination of historical epic and science fiction would seem to be made for a TV or movie adaptation, but the one time the concept hit the big screen it fell flat. Now, it sounds like maybe the previously announced series for Netflix isn’t faring much better, as it’s still in “early” development despite being announced two years ago.
It was the fall of 2020 when it was first reported that video game developer Ubisoft and Netflix were partnering on a new live-action series based in the Assassin’s Creed universe. A year after that, we were told that Vikings: Valhalla scribe Jeb Stuart was being brought on as showrunner. You’d think that after all that, the show would be further along. However, as part of a showcase on the Assassin’s Creed franchise over the weekend, series producer Marc-Alexis Côté said the show, while clearly still happening, hasn’t moved much. He explained…
It’s great that the show is still in development at all, but it is more than a little strange that the show is still apparently so early that there’s really nothing that can be said about what it even is. Clearly, this process has been a slow one. It seems likely that when the show was announced, the deal had just been signed, and things may not have moved forward at all until the showrunner was hired last year.
Assassin's Creed follows a centuries old battle between Assassins and the Knights Templar. The games are primarily set in a historical time period, like the Italian Renaissance or the American Revolution, but the events being experienced are actually those of a modern day character, experiencing the genetic memory of an ancestor via advanced technology.
Moving slowly isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The last time Assassin’s Creed was adapted for the screen, it didn’t work out all that well, so taking their time to make sure that this new project is going to work isn’t the worst idea in the world. Even star Michael Fassbender admitted the film just wasn't entertaining. What else is there to even say after that?
While one might read the lack of movement as a potential lack of interest, indicating the show could end up in development hell forever, as so many shows and movies have, that doesn’t appear to be the case. Alongside the news that the Netflix series is still moving forward comes the news that Netflix and Ubisoft are working together on three different mobile games, one of which is also based on Assassin’s Creed, so both sides of this partnership due appear to be committed to each other, making it look like this show will eventually happen.
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