The Assassin's Creed franchise tried to happen in cinema, and those efforts led to poor reviews from critics, with modest success at the box office. Despite that, Netflix has taken a crack at developing a live-action television adaptation and, given its success in greenlighting other successful game franchises like Castlevania, there's definitely optimism it'll succeed. Beyond that, though, there hasn't been a lot about this series to speak of, yet it now appears the show has finally taken a major step forward.
Jeb Stuart has been brought on to pen the upcoming Assassin's Creed live-action series, according to Variety. Stuart, who is known for writing iconic films such as Die Hard and The Fugitive, also penned Vikings: Valhalla, the upcoming follow-up to the hit series Vikings. Netflix declined to comment on the report, as did Stuart.
The Assassin's Creed franchise definitely needed someone like Jeb Stuart to get behind this upcoming live-action series. Like the games, the series will likely focus on the centuries-long feud between the Brotherhood of Assassins and the Knights of the Templar Order. The protagonists (typically modern-day members of the Assassin Brotherhood) take on the role of an assassin from another time period. The hero's experiences in the past are achieved with the help of the Animus, a virtual reality device that reads a subject's genetic memory and renders it on an external screen in three dimensions.
Part of the allure of the Assassin's Creed franchise is that games are set in notable past historical eras, which allows players to experience life in other time periods as well as an action-packed high stakes adventure. While it's too soon to say what Jeb Stuart has in mind for the live-action series, it's possible this show could be a potential anthology series with a central character in the present tapping into the memories of Assassins across multiple eras. It's definitely an avenue Netflix could take, though one that could be expensive given the number of set pieces that would be required from season to season.
Another route Assassin's Creed could take is adapting the story of one of the franchise's more prominent assassins. For example, there's plenty of source material for Ezio Auditore da Firenze, who was an assassin during the Italian Renaissance, and seeing his adventure adapted to live-action would be a treat for longtime fans of the franchise. Of course, characters like Altaïr, Conner Kenway or Bayek of Siwa would also make solid protagonists for the upcoming series.
It's also worth mentioning that Assassin's Creed Valhalla is the franchise's most recent installment, so it's interesting that Netflix looked to Jeb Stuart, who was working on Vikings: Valhalla for the company. Perhaps he was brought on because Netflix has plans for an AC series with similar subject matter. But honestly, there's really no telling what the streamer has planned. If Stuart was only recently hired for the job, I'm sure the actual writing process is only in its earliest stages and Netflix hasn't settled on all of the details just yet.
I'll be eager to see what Netflix does with the live-action Assassin's Creed series when it releases, but that could be a long wait. For more assassin-related news in the meantime, read up on Michael Fassbender's upcoming movie, which, fortunately, has nothing to do with the 2016 Assassin's Creed film.