With Ubisoft's recently unsurprising announcement that they were indeed going to turn the Assassin's Creed games into films I was excited an hesitant at the same time. They were handing the project over to Sony but they would still remain the head creative team for the film. After the failure of Prince of Persia, we're all a little hesitant about video game films. Some based on games like Tomb Raider have actually been sort of decent and others like Doom, Hitman, and even the now cult film Super Mario Bros have all disappointed fans of their respective games because they heavily differed from the source material. Unlike most of the other video games turned into films, Assassin's Creed is movie material with it's complex and fascinating mythology all spun out of the first game.
For those of you who live under a rock and haven't played it, then I'll tell you what's it about. It follows the story of Desmond Miles who via genetic memories accessed by a device called the Animus can relive his ancestor's memories. Abstergo Industries who created the Animus essentially keeps him like a prisoner as his ancestor is connected to a powerful device called the Piece of Eden created by the first of Earth's civilizations-Those Who Came Before. His ancestor is Altair Ibn-La'Ahad who lived during the time of the Third Crusade and was a member of the Order of Assassin's which he eventually became Grand Master of. I will defend the first game even if it did have many flaws. As a History Buff I enjoyed seeing the Crusades because it's a time period nobody has ever really done much with.
In order for the film to truly work, it would have to be split up into two parts so that the story could be told properly. I don't know if that's even talked about but it is essential nonetheless because the plot is too long and complex for just one film and if it ended up being one movie, that would be extremely disappointing. Even though the studio would have to spend more, they could make even more with two films and have them released six months apart or so. Also essential would be the casting of a Middle Eastern actor for the role of Altair because Prince of Persia had Jake Gyllenhaal instead of someone who was Persian.
Because I would love to have the opportunity to direct this film, It's very hard for me to find a director who I think is good enough to take on this project because it requires someone who is knowledgeable of the franchise. All the project needs is a Director with a clear vision of how the film should be and is knowledgeable on the games so that it alienate the fanbase that the series has. Though after much thinking, I did come up with a Director whose films many cinephiles including me love. That director is the all mighty Ridley Scott. The man knows how to do a period piece as evidenced by Gladiator and to a lesser extent Robin Hood.
While Robin Hood wasn't great, Gladiator was an amazing film. It brought a genre nobody ever thought would come back. That genre is of course the Sword and Sandal genre. Sure there had been films like Spartacus in the past and that had been successful but the whole idea sort of became cheesy for a while until Scott came along and resurrected the genre.
Ridley Scott may be fond of 3D technology these days but the fact that he mainly relies on practical effects and still builds sets means he could do a great job with an AC movie. Not to mention that he's a history buff himself and has done two period pieces one of which was set in the same time that Assassin's Creed is set in. I enjoyed Robin Hood even if it felt like Scott was trying too hard to recapture the magic that made Gladiator such a success.
I've changed this several times as I've been unhappy with my first two choices-Wentworth Miller because I was a bit worried about his talent and Gerard Butler because of his age but now I think I've finally found the right actor-Ryan Gosling. Gosling is a rising star in Hollywood due to his appearances in films like Drive and 2011's The Ides of March. It never really occurred to me that he fit the age range for the role. Altair is 25 years old in the first game so I had to find an actor not really older than 32 or else I'd be going too old. Gosling is 30 years old-a prime age for the role.
At 6'1", he seems to be around the height necessary to play the character. I don't know if he's buff or in shape for the role but I'm sure there are some women on this site who have seen every movie of his and could easily tell me that piece of info. Gosling is willing to do all kinds of roles and he's a very professional actor who sees what's wrong with Hollywood today. That is exactly why I like the guy, he's honest about the distressing situation in Hollywood not only applying to movies but he understands what the world of television is like today.
The Grand Master and the secret villain in the story. Al Mualim really for the most part actually doesn't do much in the game. He mostly just provides counsel and sort of wisdom to Altair. Though as he is essential to the story, he has to be kept in. I'm not sure whether or not the character should appear to be Middle Eastern or as an older white guy like he was shown to be in the game because finding an older Middle Eastern actor to play the guy is going to be difficult. Though an actor who resembles how he looked in the game is Michael Gambon. Sure he played Dumbledore who also served as the wise advise giver but Dumbledore was a hero and Al Mualim isn't.
The role doesn't require a whole lot of physicality but it does require someone with a presence and I feel that Gambon is that kind of actor. I'm sure he could make the character different enough from Dumbledore but I'm sure many will only be able to think of him as Dumbledore.
The problem with casting this role is finding an actor that could fit it but would still play the role because he doesn't have a huge role in this one. I would like to see Bradley Cooper do the role but he's a star and I doubt he'd do a small supporting role like this one. The actor I have found is somebody I would also have play Ezio because the two do look very similar because of the bleeding effect.
Thanks to the awesome Mistress Redhead, I stumbled upon an actor by the name Joe Manganiello. Manganiello happens to be one of those few actors that is actually professional because he went to school for acting. I only vaguely recall him as Flash Thompson in two of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man films. Apparently people liked him as the character I believe and he doesn't have a huge filmography so an appearance in this could break his career open even farther than his role on True Blood has. His performance has garnered quite a bit of acclaim so I'm pretty sure this guy is talented. The guy is thirty-four years old and while that's eleven years older than Desmond currently is in the games, I don't see a problem with him playing the character. With the bleeding effect, Desmond began to resemble Ezio so he would play both roles and he can easily look both parts especially when it comes to Revelations which takes place years after Brotherhood ended.
Casting this role was a no nonsense job for me as I could think of the perfect actor for the role as soon as I came to this character. That actor is the Duke himself Jeff Bridges. Bridges is a very versatile actor as proven with his roles in films like The Big Lebowski (Which I haven't seen), TRON Legacy, Iron Man, and True Grit. These days scientists are very rarely villains since most people tend to think of businessmen as villains due to the Economy being the way it is here in the US.
Vidic is a pretty important character so getting Jeff Bridges to do it would simply be incredible. Bridges is a very talented actor and this film needs somebody with star power in it and that someone is definitely the Duke himself.
Why not cast an actress who actually plays a character in a fellow video game series? So why not cast Emily Rose to play Lucy Stillman. She's currently the tough and beautiful Elena Fisher. Stillman is a pretty small role in the first one but that doesn't mean that you can cast anybody to play the role. Lucy isn't your typical scientists' assistant as she's pretty tough and she's secretly an assassin.
I think Emily Rose could play the role even if it's based on Kristen Bell. Bell isn't an actress I know a thing about so I can't say whether or not she should play the role. Still though looking at her photos, I'm convinced that Kristen Bell could possibly play the role as well. She voices Lucy so she already knows the character and while she's perfect the role in Live-Action, I think it'd be a little weird having her play the character in live-action after voicing her.