- Published: Thursday, 22 December 2016 01:33
- Written by Justine Browning
The long-awaited big screen debut of Assassin's Creed is finally here!
Starring Michael Fassbender, the film follows Cal Lynch as he travels back to 15-century Spain via a technology that unlocks the genetic memories of his DNA. There he aligns himself with a secret society that fights to preserve free will. Through his battle, he gains the strength to battle oppressive modern day forces.
During a recent New York press day for the film - Fassbender, Marion Cotillard and director Justin Kurzel discussed being a part of the highly-anticipated project.
Here are five things we learn about the flick.
1. Fassbender was Unfamiliar with the Video Game Before Signing On
“I didn’t know anything about it,” Fassbender said of the popular game.
Yet the star was quickly drawn into the story’s timeless themes.
“The Templars were the elite, powerful, wealthy who run the world,” the actor added. “They believed in science and order. They believed people should be enslaved. On the flip side, you have the Assassins. Their ethos was free will should exist for humankind as equals. And they will do what they can to protect that.”
2. Strong Women Are Integral To the Story
Marion Cotillard who plays Sophia is a magnetic presence on-screen and it was vital to director Justin Kurzel that she be shown as an equal of the male characters.
“When we were developing this, we really wanted to have female characters in this movie that did not….their objective did not depend on the arch of the male characters which happens so often,” Kursel said. “Especially in films like this. Both Sophia’ character and Maria (Ariane Labed) are very much their own [people] and they have their own goals independent of the men around them. In fact, [Maria] is a mentor to Aguilar. Usually, it would have been the other way around. But, it was very important to have that in this film."
3. Much of the Stunt Work is Authentic
Fassbender, who has appeared in an array of action films - including the X-Men franchise and 300 - devoted himself to performing many of his own stunts.
“We wanted to do as much of it as possible,” the Oscar-nominee said. “When shooting, we were on real locations with real people. It wasn’t going to be on a green screen with generated characters. We were doing it for real in old school fashion. Therefore, we needed to do as much of it as we could. I would say 95% of the fights we did ourselves. In terms of the jumps, obviously, we didn’t do the Leap-of-Faith. The 120ft. drop, or jumping from building to building we left that in the stunt personnel’s hands.”
4. It Stands Out From Other Game Adaptations
According to director Justin Kurzel, one of the biggest challenges was making a distinct, origin story that set itself apart from the game. Kurzel had primarily worked on smaller art fare like The Snowtown Murders and Macbeth, relished the opportunity to bring his unique style to a blockbuster adaptation.
“It’s incredible material to base an origin story on,” the filmmaker said. “It really felt like a film and a piece of narrative. The discussions were able story and how we were going to land this as a separate narrative from the game. It was a huge task.”
He added: “It was really thrilling. A really amazing ride.”
5. It Features Lush Locations
One of the joys many have experienced playing the video game has been the lush colorful backdrops and distinct world the characters exist in. In order to bring that to life, the film was shot in striking destinations like Malta and Spain. Several sequences were also shot on the 007 stage at Pinewood Studios.