Director: Assassin's Creed movie different from video game
Will Assassin's Creed be able to break the curse of bad video game movie adaptations?
Director Justin Kurzel hopes so, but he is also a "realist".
"I know there is a history about those sorts of films and their successes. But I have put it aside and approached (the movie) as making an adaptation of source material," he told The New Paper recently in Sydney.
Assassin's Creed, which opens here tomorrow, is the first blockbuster Kurzel, 42, helmed.
But as far as adaptations go, the Australian seems to have them down to an art.
His first feature film, Snowtown (2011), is based on a series of real-life murders in the Australian town of the same name.
Last year, he helmed the critically acclaimed Macbeth, which was selected to compete for the prestigious Palme d'Or at Cannes.
The Macbeth gang - Kurzel and his two leads Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard - are back together for Assassin's Creed. The decision to make a video game adaptation after doing Shakespeare may seem odd, but Kurzel and producer Fassbender took pains to ensure Assassin's Creed was not just a sequence of effects.
"(Game developer) Ubisoft said, 'You find the film, you find the story'. They weren't interested in it being an appropriation of the game," said Kurzel.
"Hopefully those who play the game see the things they love and the spirit... and those who have not seen the game engage with the originality, the story and the complexity of the ideas."Assassin’s creed director Justin Kurzel
Fassbender and Cotillard play original characters created for the movie, which explores a time period not featured in the games - the 15th century Spanish Inquisition.
According to Kurzel, the actors brought the same intensity from Macbeth to the Assassin's Creed set.
"They were incredibly present. They both prepare enormously and they were magical on set," he said.
He hopes the magic translates to the audience, whether they are fans of the original video game or not.
"Hopefully those who play the game see the things they love and the spirit, and also engage with something that is fresh and new," he said.
"And I hope that those who have not seen the game engage with the originality, the story and the complexity of the ideas, and also get really entertained.
"I think it is a real ride."