Ubisoft, the game studio behind the hit Assassin’s Creed video games, announced that the long-rumored film is most definitely happening, with Michael Fassbender not only playing the lead, but co-producing as well. While I find this to be one of the best bits of movie news this summer, my first thought after hearing it was “Who is going to direct?”. Fassbender can only take a movie so far on his own, and without a great director at the helm, Assassin’s Creed could easily fall into the realm of “Piss Poor Video Game Adaptations”. Before I go into my list of ideas of who could direct the film, I also want to point out that Ubisoft is going to be making the movie on their own, with no big studio taking the reins. This could be very, very good, or the complete opposite but, either way, you can’t deny the fact that the studio behind the creation of the franchise will certainly be careful with its adaptation. I’m also hoping that making Fassbender a producer will give him a significant amount of creative control over the character and movie.
For those unaware of the game’s plot, the story follows Desmond Miles, a simple bartender who’s kidnapped by a secret organization. While captured, Desmond is told that he has the ability to tap into his ancestor’s memories using a machine called the Animus. In doing so, Desmond relives the lives of his forefathers who were assassins of the brotherhood and enemies of the Templars. The two factions have warred for centuries, each seeking ultimate power by gathering the Pieces of Eden, which are items set to have the power to control mankind. The first installment follows Altair, an assassin who lived during the Crusades, while the second follows Ezio Auditore, an assassin from the time of the Renaissance. The third game, which comes out this October, features Conrad, an assassin who lives during the American Revolution.
You can expect much less content from me come October 30.
I’m going to assume that the Assassin’s Creed movie will feature Ezio Auditore, the protagonist of the second installment, as well as two of the franchise’s “semi-sequels” (Brotherhood and Revelations). While Altair from the first game is a very interesting character, I see Ubisoft moving forward with the star of his own “mini trilogy” and putting the focus completely on Ezio. Plus, Ezio is a much more likable character who has the charm and personality of an Italian aristocrat. He’s damn good at killing people, but he’s also willing to crack jokes, drink, and have fun.
Now for the purpose of this article- who should direct?
Known for: Hunger, Shame
You can’t mention McQueen without mentioning Fassbender, as the man has starred in both of McQueen’s films. With Fassbender producing the film as well, McQueen’s name has to be at least mentioned, and while the man has yet to break into a blockbuster size movie, Ubisoft’s smaller budget would certainly be looking for a “cheaper” director. While McQueen has the visual talents to make anything look good, I am not 100% sure he’s necessarily meant for an epic-scale movie. I’m not saying he doesn’t have what it takes, and I would be completely on board with the possibility, but McQueen may be the kind of guy that wants to stick with the smaller, more contained films.
Known for: 300, Dawn of the Dead, Watchmen
Snyder has previously worked with Fassbender on 300, a movie some consider to hold his breakout performance. Snyder is a great visual director, and every one of his movies has looked incredible. He blends green screen and live effects into eye-candy marvels and could certainly make an Assassin’s Creed movie look great. He’s no rookie to brutality and violence, and I can only imagine each of Ezio’s victim’s blood paint itself across the screen a la 300. Keep in mind, this suggestion is only for Snyder to direct, as I find him to be a rather weak screen writer (see Sucker Punch). However, Ubisoft may not be looking for the stylized action Snyder is known for and instead focus on a more realistic tone.
Known for: Stardust, Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class
Now, I’m not trying to make a list strictly based off of the directors Fassbender has already worked with. Matthew Vaughn just seems like a perfect fit for the Assassin’s Creed director’s chair. The man has proven that he can make a damn good action movie and his style is just over-the-top enough to still be believable as something plausible. Vaughn proved in First Class that he has the ability to capture the feel of the past (sure, it was just the 60s) as well as keep a large cast contained into a strong, centralized story. While I don’t see this happening, as Vaughn has proven to be incredibly selective concerning what he does, the idea of a Fassbender reunion brings a smile to my face.
Known for: Severance, Triangle, Black Death
Christopher Smith is certainly not a director a lot of people have heard of. He’s a British director who has made three incredible films and has continued to fly under the radar in the film world. Assuming Ubisoft is looking to go to a no-name, small-time director, Smith would be the perfect choice. He wrote and directed one of my favorite films of 2009, Triangle, an extremely effective thriller that I feel no one watched. His 2010 follow-up, Black Death, is one of the most realistic looks at Medieval life I have seen on film and I can see Smith carrying that into the Renaissance period of Assassin’s Creed. I feel Smith is on the brink of earning a spot at the helm of a larger budget movie and Assassin’s Creed could be that film.
Known for: Wanted, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Night Watch
Bekmambetov is probably my oddest choice on this list, as his films are more bizarre than the average director. Even so, the man knows how to direct action sequences and can make even Honest Abe look badass. Just like Snyder, Bekmambetov can make almost anything look good. However, Bekmambetov may not be the best choice, as his control over a film’s narrative is rather lacking. His movies look great, and have a whole lot of style, but lack substance, which is probably not what Ubisoft is looking for. But if the studio is looking to make something along the lines, but better than, the Resident Evil movies, Bekmambetov would be a great choice to direct.
Known for: Children of Men, Y Tu Mamá También, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Cuarón is another “out of left field” choice. The man’s a phenomenal director and is one of the biggest influences on the Harry Potter franchise taking a darker turn (that made the movies better). The first thought that comes to mind concerning Cuarón’s directing Assassin’s Creed is him using a long take (similar to Children of Men) following Ezio down a Venetian alleyway, blending into the crowd, slowly approaching his target. In one swift motion, withdrawing his hidden blades and making haste of the kill. Of all the directors listed, I believe Cuarón could produce the best finished film. His technique and style is incredibly unique, even masterful, and his take on the Renaissance era would not only be epic, but beautiful as well.
Written By Nick
Nick is a man obsessed with all things related to film. From the most obscure to the very popular, he’s seen it all and hopes to one day turn his obsession into a career that makes a lot of money so he can buy a monkey, a bulldog, and a full size Batman suit.