First trailer & poster for Assassin's Creed + description of 1st 20 minutes!
The trailer for the much-anticipated ASSASSIN'S CREED has arrived and it's got all the style and atmosphere that both hardcore fans of the game would desire and enough action, setting, and character to appease those with no prior knowledge. Directed by Justin Kurzel (MACBETH) and starring Michael Fassbender, Jeremy Irons, Marion Cotillard, Michael Kenneth Williams, and Brendan Gleeson, this looks to be the videogame adaptation that could break the stigma that typically follows these types of films. With such elevated talent on the property it's hard to imagine this being anything but badass. Take a look at the trailer and judge for yourself, then join me below for a description of the first 20 minutes of the film!
Pretty sweet, right? I had the pleasure of visiting the set last year (and will have my report up later today), where we saw all kinds of cool shit that teased a very promising adaptation. In addition to that, last week I got a look at the first 20 minutes of the film (plus an additional scene), so if the trailer has you jazzed up for more, let's get into it.
FIRST 20 MINUTES
The film opens in 1988 as we soar over a desert area (I believe New Mexico) in the daylight, flying along with a bird in the sky (effects were unfinished here, but you get the idea) as The Black Angels "Young Men Dead" plays loudly. We hone in on a young boy, Cal (Fassbender's character) who pulls a hoodie over his head and rides his bike towards a small desert town. He gets to his home in the dusty town and walks in the door calling to his mom. A woman is seated at the kitchen table, eyes wide open and unmoving. Blood pours down from her chest to her arms and legs. In her left hand she clutches a necklace with Creed symbology on it, blood dripping from it as well.
Cal turns and sees a man in a green hood, holding what appears to be a version of the wrist blade, again with blood dripping from it. Cal calls this man "Dad" and his Dad addresses him as Cal. Cal's father approaches him slowly and menacingly, obviously determined (possessed?). As he gets closer to Cal, presumably to kill him, he says "Your blood is not your own." Then, sirens are heard and cop cars begin pulling up. Cal makes a run for it as the police storm in to capture his father. We see Cal on the roof of the house, running away, jumping in slow motion from rooftop to rooftop, a tease of things to come.
CUT TO: Present Day. We're now in a prison. The grown-up Cal (Michael Fassbender) is in his cell, making a pencil drawing. His wall is adorned with them, ranging from violent to eerie images, as if transcribing nightmares. A priest talks to one of the guards who says that's all Cal does is make drawings. It's revealed that Cal killed a man in a bar with his bare hands, landing him in prison and on death row. The priest attempts to talk to Cal just before his execution, in which he reads from Robert Frost's poem "After Apple-Picking".
We are then taken to the execution chamber. Fassbender's Cal seems unapologetic and as they prepare him to be killed he's asked if he has any last words. He says, "Yes, tell my father I'll see him in hell." At this point he is injected and we see a series of quick-cut images, which tease all manner of timeframes.
CUT TO: Abstergo. Fassbender's Cal opens his eyes and is in a white-colored room. In front of him is Marion Cotillard's Dr. Sophia Rikkin. She addresses Cal and informs him that he is dead. Not literally, but that his faked execution has rendered him no longer of the known living world. She tells him that he is at Abstergo and that he is her patient. Cal gets up and tries to run away, but is still dazed from the faux execution drugs. Rikkin says to let him go as we see there are guards stationed throughout the area.
Abstergo has a futuristic, yet organic feel to it; steel, wood, and mortar all mixed together to create a kind of timeless atmosphere. The Abstergo symbol is seen on the walls, lit up in lights. We see numerous patients wandering around, almost like zombies. Fassbender stumbles at some point and falls. A woman patient helps him and says the same words his father said to him back in '88: "Your blood is not your own." Cal gets back up and keeps going. He stumbles into a garden area where we see Michael K. Williams character and a few others. Cal makes it to a window area and stands on the edge where it's open. Williams starts to talk to him, almost beckoning him to jump and Rikkin arrives to talk him back. We see a wide reveal of the Abstergo facility, built into what appears to be a mountain, just in front of a city. Before Cal can do anything more he's shot by a tranquilizer dart and falls to the ground.
CUT TO: Scene from the past. Cal's ancestor, Aguilar, is seen in a flashback sequence (or rather, an Animus flashback), where he's dressed in the darker unifrom and with tattoos on his face. He is accompanied by a female assassin (Ariane Labed) as they attempt to escape from a group of men trying to kill them in the time of the Spanish Inquisition. They fight through a series of buildings, running, jumping, fighting, using bow & arrow (with a really cool POV shot from it), sword, or hand-to-hand. It's fast and frenetic, and cuts back to the present day as it moves along, where Cal is seen, attached to the new version of the Animus, which attaches to the Assassin and allows him/her to "reenact" the memories they're reliving, thereby "training" them as they do so. The sequence is in rough cut form, with much of it unfinished and with shots that still need digital work.
All said, the footage showed immense potential, even in rough form, and played very well. Fassbender is fully committed to the role of Cal/Aguilar and Kurzel's style is in full force. I think both fans and non-fans will be very happy with this adaptation, which honors the mechanics and story of ASSASSINS CREED, while still telling it anew and with some new angles. The footage teases a film that's obviously rooted in some bigger ideas and with a narrative that is seeped in mystery as much as action. Based on the footage, the teaser, and the set visit (again, coming later today), ASSASSIN'S CREED has easily become one of my most anticipated films of 2016 and I firmly feel it has the potential to break the videogame adaptation curse. Fingers crossed, but with the talent involved I won't have to cross 'em too tight.
ASSASSIN'S CREED hits theaters on December 21st, 2016.
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