I saw this and decided to add a few of my own. Some of these may overlap with the very fast-paced video here.
I’m pleased to see that Ubisoft themselves are producing this film, giving them final say over both creativity and budget – something that has hindered other producers in the past and created some truly horrific video game adaptations. The only one I like is Resident Evil and I know I am not with the consensus there.
1. Strike a Balance Between Broad and Fan Appeal
So hard to get right anyway, and this certainly will be the case with the AC film. If you put in too much of the complex narrative, it’ll confuse and repel the curious outsider who just want to see a good scifi film about exploring genetic memory. If you don’t put in enough of the games’ narrative, fans will not like it because it’s too dumbed down. We’ll feel (justifiably) cheated. With two very good actors in Fassbender and Cotillard, I’m confident the script and plotting will be up to it.
2. Don’t Be Afraid of the Concept
It’s weird and it’s not particularly scientific, but the Animus is a great plot device so don’t be afraid to use it and make it seem plausible. We all like the idea of genetic memory even when we realise it’s highly unlikely and just a little bit silly. Don’t be afraid to explore not just the mechanics (as stated in the video above) but the possibility that such an advanced technology could give the series. By now, the average fan knows what it does and it’s time to introduce it to a new audience.
3. Tease Me, Baby!
Show me a hint of Renaissance Italy. Hint at a second film featuring Ezio Auditore. Go on – you know you want to. Would it be too much to see Edward Kenway aboard the Jackdaw or Arno Dorian perching high above the Notre Dame Cathedral? These things do not have to be prominent, but a flicker of a couple of seconds of these different time periods while the Animus calibrates or bugs out would certainly tantalise fans and new viewers, albeit in different ways.
4. Shaun & Rebecca (& Lucy)
In the games, smart talking – often caustic – historical researcher Sean, and the computer wizard Rebecca do not appear until ACII, but that’s no reason for them not to appear in the film. I suspect Lucy will appear – for reasons that are obvious – which is why I have put her name in brackets. If the film takes off, then it’s likely they will come in later, but here’s hoping!
5. Ancient Technology – Used Sparingly
Feature it but at this stage, limit its use. There will be a lot of information to absorb for new viewers and a film can be easily crowded – just look at Spiderman 3. New fans may be thrown and feel the producers were desperately cramming too much in. Leave some things unsaid in case it’s a success and leaves fans gasping for more. In the games, the ancient technology bit didn’t really develop until ACII anyway.
The AC series has always used humour to great effect; there are also instances of fantastic in-jokes that are easy to miss. Towards the end of ACIV, there is a character walking through the streets of Nassau moaning about the shoddy architecture and lack of character, how much he missed Firenze. There are two jokes here, the first is that this character is voiced by none other than the same voice actor for Ezio. The second joke is that it airs much of the complaints of fans of ACIII who described New York and Boston as soulless and missing the real sense of place we had in earlier games.
Not sure whether it will feature, but it will be a great way to show off a cityscape, effects and cinematography in seeing Altair climb church spires and minarets to get his bearings.
And just for laughs:
- Altair randomly climbing up walls and hanging there for 30 seconds when being pursued by a horde of enemies
- Altair should Leap-of-Faith in the wrong direction, missing the hay bales by 50 feet and splatting his blood, guts and brains all over medieval Jerusalem before desynching and returning back to the top. Fassbender should shout “why does that keep happening? Why don’t you go where I tell you to go?!”
- When fleeing an enemy, Altair should simply sit on a bench. The enemy should then be completely oblivious to where he disappeared to, even when standing just 6″ from our protagonist
- Half the film should be taken up looking for chests, feathers and flags