Michael Fassbender Says ‘Assassin’s Creed’ Is Like ‘The Matrix’
Unlike Duncan Jones’ Warcraft movie, Justin Kurzel’s Assassin’s Creed seems like it may be able to appeal to a wider audience beyond the niche video game fan base. That’s thanks in part to the casting of Michael Fassbender (who doesn’t love that guy?), the hiring of Kurzel, the sci-fi / action genre appeal, and their commitment to using practical effects and stunts when and wherever possible. But just in case you need a little more convincing, Fassbender’s got you covered.
Those unfamiliar with the game series may be a bit more curious about what exactly this movie is supposed to be. Basically, the protagonist participates in a program that uses revolutionary technology to access his genetic history, allowing him to travel back in time to live as his ancestor, a member of an ancient order of assassins.
Perhaps a comparison to an established classic might help to better sell the uninitiated on Assassin’s Creed? That’s where Fassbender comes in, dropping a Matrix comparison in this Empire interview:
I’ve always thought about The Matrix when we’ve approached this. This idea of DNA memory elevates it from a basic fantasy genre [piece], because you have something an audience can actually believe in. Then the journey becomes so much more elevated, because you’re on board in a different way.
Don’t take that comparison too literally, though. The Wachowskis’ use of CGI in The Matrix trilogy set a new standard, but Assassin’s Creed won’t be using nearly as much of the digital stuff. Fassbender explains that not only is there very little CGI, but that they leaned heavily on practical stunts — one of which sounds incredibly daring and dangerous:
There’s very little green screen in this, which is highly unusual in these films. We have stunt guys jumping across buildings in [Maltese capital] Valletta. We’ve got [stunt man] Damian Walters doing a 120-foot leap of faith, without any rope, into a bag, so it’s pretty incredible to see.
Those familiar with the game series know that the protagonist does a whole lot of climbing and jumping and leaping, and while those things can be accomplished easily with some CGI, it’s cool to know that Kurzel and Fassbender are committed to making this look as good as humanly possible.