*Cue Eagle noise* It's our first look
We've had plenty of news about Fassbender's version of our favourite time travelling stabby franchise but now here's out first look at our brand new pair of Assassins on film. Fassbender, in both producer and starring roles, takes on the parts of both the 21st century Callum Lynch and his 15th century ancestor, Aguilar during the Spanish Inquisition.
Trailer music aside - Kanye, really? - there's plenty to get excited about for the Christmas release. Director Justin Kurzel has clearly taken plenty of inspiration from the game - yes, that leap of faith was the only way to truly finish the trailer - but there's a few interesting additions that are worth looking into in detail. Eagle vision on. I'm going in.
Dead man walking
The trailer starts with Callum Lynch apparently not long for this world. A criminal, he's been sentenced to death by lethal injection. While the rest of the world might believe that the execution actually took place, he's actually being stolen by the modern day face of the Knights Templar, Abstergo.
It would be easy to lose track of Abstergo in the later games as there has been no sign of the corporation since we saw the interior back in Black Flag. Just to recap, the company looks like it wants to fix the world with science and to use its animus technology for good, while actually it wants to sneak into people's genetic memories and rule the world. So. Yes. Evil.
Marion Cotillard is Sophia Rikkin
The daughter of Abstergo head Alan Rikkin - who you'll see on the next slide - Sophia might think she's doing the right thing and, y'know, saving Lynch's life but Abstergo will definitely have other plans for his memories.
It's worth noting that the design of Abstergo's labs is beautifully minimalistic just like the games. The aesthetic is simple. Black and white. Clean lines and smooth concrete interiors. It's nice to see some inspiration from the franchise but extended into a fully real world. Abstergo isn't brushed aside here. The film is clearly going to spend as much time in these walls as it does in the Spanish Inquisition.
Jeremy Irons is the villain, can you tell?
That's Alan Rikkin, head of Abstergo and someone that wants something from inside Callum Lynch's head. Given that we'd all watch Jeremy Irons playing a shoe, he's further proof that video game movie casts don't get much better than this. Director Justin Kurzel has attracted some serious talent and has far bigger aspirations for this than a cookie cutter adapatation. If Fassbender wasn't enough, this seals the deal and I'll happily drink some Black Flag promotional rum to that. Also, if that's a thing then I want it.
I once wrote a feature saying I didn't want an Assassin's Creed movie to have the same actor playing the past and present characters. I fully renounce that. Fassbender looks pretty spectacular as 15th century Assassin Aguilar, complete with a full face of tattoos - somewhat reminscent of the battle make up in Macbeth - who's battling the chaos of the Spanish Inquisition. We'll see the seige of Granada and plenty of rooftop running as he takes on the Templars with a full Brotherhood of Spanish Assassins.
There's something about Maria
This is Maria, Aguilar's stabby partner in crime played by Spanish actress Ariane Labed. Looks like she's got matching facial tattoos to Aguilar and clearly has absolutely no regard for Templar life. It's great to see double Assassins hurtling across the rooftops like Evie and Jacob. The combat here looks astonishing and it's clear that she's every bit the Master Assassin that Aguilar is. Evie's got some competition.
The Animus has had a serious upgrade
A giant claw that looks like it plugs into Fassbender's spinal cord? What the hell was wrong with that couch that looked like it came from Ikea? This new version of genetic time travel machine the Animus is the biggest change we've seen so far and, you know what, I really like it. If we're meant to watch Callum relive the experiences of Aguilar, it definitely makes sense that his body goes through the same motions as his ancestor. I mean, it looks like he's being eaten by a giant industrial UFO catcher but I'm in. Also it makes it easier to believe in the...
The Bleeding Effect
If you've spent all your time playing Assassin's Creed, you might have experienced this too but the Bleeding Effect sees those who go into the Animus come out with the powers and abilities of their genetic ancestor. While it does make most people go slightly mad, it means that Callum Lynch can go into the Animus a normal man and come out as a free-running, swan-dive leaping, hidden-blade wielding Master Assassin like Aguilar. And... probably a bit mad too.
Interestingly, you can also see a few designs of the hidden blade in the trailer and Lynch actually wears a deadly gauntlet while plugged into the Animus. Abstergo teaching a man to be an Assassin and still expecting to take over the world afterwards? This might not go to plan...
Blade running done right
360 views of men in hoods? Check. Insane technobabble about DNA having memories? Check. Ridiculous free running stunts. Affirmative. It's a lot to squeeze into two minutes but it looks like there'll be no shortage of heart in mouth action sequences. The movie shot on location in Malta and Spain and it looks like Kurzel wants to push his Assassins as far as you push your left analogue stick. On top of plenty of sneaky throat stabbing, the parkour going on in the trailer looks crunchy and heart in mouth inducing. Plus, it looks like Fassbender won't accidentally run up any walls if you hit the trigger too early. Victory!
Take a leap of faith
While it would have been easy for the iconic Assassin’s leap of faith to be done entirely digitally, that’s not how director Justin Kurzel wants this to go. In his quest for the stunts to look as real as possible, Kurzel had British stuntman Damien Walters do a very real swandive without wires from 120ft. The tower in this shot might not be real - he was on a platform held up by cranes - but the Assassin in this case is very real.
If that's how the rest of the movie goes, we might not have to take too much of a leap to say that this might just be the gaming movie we deserve.