The fact that Ubisoft does not plan to launch a new mainline Assassin's Creed game in 2016 may be a downer for fans of the series, but the production team behind the Assassin's Creed movie is happy with the news, apparently. Speaking during an earnings call this week, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said no new, major Assassin's Creed game this year gives the movie's marketing team more space to promote the film.
"The movie guys are extremely happy we don't have a new game because they will have the full-year marketing space and they feel they will be able to do a better job at promoting the movie," Guillemot said.
He went on to say the movie's "all-star" cast (the film stars Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, and Brendan Gleeson), its "outstanding" director Justin Kurzel, along with its production partners, give the film a chance to become one of year's biggest hits.
"With the great production expertise of New Regency and the fantastic marketing and distribution power of 20th Century Fox, the Assassin's Creed movie has the potential to be one of the biggest blockbusters of 2016," he said.
Indeed, the casting for the Assassin's Creed movie is impressive. Cotillard is an Oscar-winner and Fassbender has been nominated multiple times. Kurzel's latest movie, Macbeth, which also starred Fassbender and Cotillard in the lead roles, received a generally positive critical response. None of this guarantees Assassin's Creed will break the trend of video game movies not being very good, of course.
Assassin's Creed opens on December 21, 2016, one week after Star Wars spinoff Rogue One is released. The movie finished filming last month and is now in post-production.
Recently, Fassbender cited The Matrix as an inspiration for the Assassin's Creed film.
"This idea of DNA memory elevates it from a basic fantasy genre [piece], because you have something an audience can actually believe in," he said. "Then the journey becomes so much more elevated, because you're on board in a different way."
Fassbender also said the Assassin's Creed film will not rely heavily on CG shots. The film will include the franchise's trademark "leap of faith" jumps, and at least one of which was performed by a stuntman who leapt 120 feet without a rope.
Ubisoft has at least six movies in the pipeline. In addition to Assassin's Creed, the Paris-based publisher is making movies based on its Far Cry, Rabbids, Watch Dogs, Splinter Cell, and Ghost Recon franchises. In all instances, Ubisoft will retain some level of creative control through its Ubisoft Motion Pictures group.
For more on movie adaptations of video games, check out GameSpot's gallery of 18 video game films currently in production.
As for why Ubisoft is giving the Assassin's Creed game series a year off, the publisher says it's taking time to "re-examine" the franchise with the hope that when it returns, it will have a "new dimension,"