If one thing is clear, is that most video game properties don’t translate well into movies. Most video game films have been box office flops, after all. But this did not deter Ubisoft from putting out a movie based on one of its hottest video game properties (Assassin’s Creed) last year though.
Of course, as is typical with movies based on video games, reviewers had a field day criticizing director Justin Kurzel’s sci-fi historical epic, even if the movie itself certainly wasn’t the worst example of the video game genre we have seen to date.
Actually, Assassin’s Creed the movie had its share of cool moments, and in particular the action sequences shot in medieval Spain were a standout. Plus, the Animus sure looked like the technological marvel it’s supposed to be in the movie, and the film might even influence the way certain elements of the games (such as the Animus itself) are portrayed from now on too.
Assassin’s Creed did not fare so poorly at the box office either, and is actually one of the top-grossing video game movies of all time as well, although it’s likely it wasn’t a big money-maker for Ubisoft though.
But it’s clear the French company had invested heavily in the movie, creating its own movie studio (Ubisoft Motion Pictures) so that it could have more control over the filmmaking process.
However, in a recent interview with IGN, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has revealed that the company did not actually exert much influence over how the Assasssin’s Creed movie was made. “What we realized with the launch of the movie is that we thought we had more control, but… [ultimately] we didn’t have as much control as we thought”, said Guillemot. Ubisoft’s president also said that “in the video game industry, when you’re not ready, you push the date. In the movie industry, you don’t push the date”.
Guillemot also pointed out that Ubisoft wants to avoid such a situation in the future (having a set release date which cannot be changed), and would like to have a greater degree of collaboration with movie studios, as well as more control over future films based on its video game properties.
This is because Ubisoft has more movie projects in the pipeline, including a Splinter Cell film which will star Tom Hardy, and also a movie based on the highly popular The Division game, which will star Prince of Persia actor Jake Gyllenhaal. There’s also a Far Cry film in the works, which hopefully will be better than 2008’s dismal effort by Uwe Boll.
Ubisoft’s CEO also mentioned in the interview that he expects the movie industry to change and stop setting release dates so long in advance, and it will sure be interesting to see whether Ubisoft’s future film projects manage to break the video game curse once and for all. These upcoming films based on Ubisoft’s properties are still a while off, though, but for the time being fans of the French video game powerhouse can look forward to upcoming games like Assassin’s Creed Origins and Far Cry 5, with the former hitting shelves later next month.
Assassin’s Creed (Ubisoft Motion Pictures)