It’s been a long time since any video game looked as promising as Assassin’s Creed. The genuine talent in front of and behind the camera gives this one a fighting chance to flip the struggling genre up on its head. The film follows Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender), who is used by a secret government agency to travel back to the times of his ancestors — all of whom were notorious assassins. He then becomes Aguilar de Nerha, a member of the Spanish Brotherhood in 15th Century Spain. And how he’s able to do that is through the Animus, a highly advanced virtual reality machine.
If you’ve not played the Assassin’s Creed video games, the Animus is a central part of their architecture. Players begin in the modern day, but can then travel back to various time periods — the Italian Renaissance, England’s Industrial Revolution, etc. — where they become a highly skilled assassin. It’s a fascinating concept that has helped the series become one of the biggest of its kind. However, an outlandish idea like the Animus doesn’t always translate well when adapted into another medium. Luckily, Assassin’s Creed seems to be taking very scientific approach to properly explain the device.
20th Century Fox has released a great new featurette that delves into the inner workings of the Animus. There are some interesting clips with Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, who explain how the device is used in the story. The video also shows more of the film’s gorgeous visuals and action sequences. Take a look above.
What’s really interesting about Assassin’s Creed is the way in which its adapting the video games. Unlike past entries in the genre, Assassin’s Creed has created an entirely new set of characters and locations. Many presumed that the film would simply use one of the games’ storylines, and expand on it. It was recently revealed that the film’s historical scenes will actually be in Spanish, so director Justin Kurzel (Macbeth) is clearly trying to bring as much realism to the film as possible.
What makes it even better is in the off chance a sequel is announced, the choices of where the could-be Assassin’s Creed movie franchise can go are truly endless. The use of historical settings is definitely one of the most enticing aspects of the games, and it appears that the film adaptation is taking equal advantage of it.
The Animus is definitely what makes the video game series so malleable. The device is also, of course, the pièce de résistance because there wouldn’t be any other plausible way for the genetic time-travel to occur. The comforting thing about the film is how realistically it’s being presented. Whether or not that’s enough to convince all the skeptics out there – that remains to be seen. Assassin’s Creed may have limited financial promise, so it could use all the help it can get.