Ubisoft and New Regency have today formally announced that they are partnering on the forthcoming long-rumoured Assassin’s Creed feature film. Yes, that one featuring Michael Fassbender.
The film will be developed by Ubisoft Motion Pictures – the film and television division of Ubisoft – in “close collaboration” with New Regency. According to today’s press release, the development of the screenplay itself is “beginning immediately” and the project is being “fast tracked as the creative pieces come together,” whilst allowing Ubisoft to “maintain control of key elements of the movie’s creative direction.”
“Ubisoft chose to partner with New Regency because they are a talent- and filmmaker-driven company, with the same independent and creative mindset that we have at Ubisoft Motion Pictures,” said Jean-Julien Baronnet, chief executive officer, Ubisoft Motion Pictures.
“Bringing aboard New Regency’s renowned production and distribution expertise while maintaining our own creative and financial flexibility ensures that Assassin’s Creed will be a high-quality film that respects the lore and fans of the video game franchise.”
Today’s announcement comes rather hot off the heels of earlier reports – and now solid confirmation – that Michael Fassbender would be take up the mantle of – presumably – the game’s protagonist. It’s unknown exactly how the film itself will play into the overarching storyline of the Assassin’s Creed saga, or which character Fassbender will portray.
“We wanted to do everything we could to secure the rights to Assassin’s Creed, which Ubisoft has maintained with such care and quality over the years,” said Brad Weston, president and chief executive officer, New Regency. “Having just finished working with Michael on Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave (with Plan B) made the partnership even more irresistible.”
Ubisoft Motion Pictures was established in January of this year with goal to “expand the audience” of Ubisoft’s most successful video game brands by bringing them to new mediums including film, television and the web. In addition to the Assassin’s Creed movie, they’re also in production of 78 episode 7-minute CGI TV series based upon Ubisoft’s Rabbids franchise, in collaboration with France Televisions and Nickelodeon. As if that wasn’t enough, they’re also at work on two additional feature-length films based on the Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon video game franchises.
It’s not surprising that Ubisoft’s so eager to fast track an Assassin’s Creed movie, since its release in 2007, the console-based Assassin’s Creed games have sold more than 40 million units worldwide. The franchise has been branching out into other entertainment forms for some time now, having transcended video games, and now includes comic books, Facebook games, novels, and short films. With the third numbered entry into the franchise – Assassin’s Creed III – set to release later this month, alongside the series’ debut appearance – Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation – on Sony’s PlayStation Vita, there’s seemingly no end to Ubisoft’s smash-hit phenomenon.
Financial details of the Assassin’s Creed film are “not being disclosed” as of now.
Assassin’s Creed III is scheduled for release in North America on October 30 and in Europe on October 31 on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, ahead of its release on PC on November 20 and November 23, respectively. It’s also scheduled to release alongside the launch of Nintendo’s Wii U on November 18 in North America and November 30 in Europe. Its handheld counterpart, Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation will launch simultaneously alongside the release of Assassin’s Creed III in both North America and Europe exclusively on the PS Vita.