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17 Through ’17: Assassin’s Creed

Here’s our list of 17 not to be missed movies to see starting next month and through the end to 2017.  Each day we will bring you the next on the list.  These are in chronological order of release date, not any specific ranking of hype or expectations.  We leave that up to the reader!

Let’s get started . . .

Note: All release dates are subject to change.

Assassin's Creed

Assassin’s Creed

Opens:  December 21, 2016
Rated:  PG-13
Director:  Justin Kurzel
Starring:  Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons

Assassin’s Creed could be a definite outlier on this list.  Why?  Because it’s based on a video game, and video game movies are almost universally horrible . . . or horribly received.  The exception here being Michael Fassbender (who appears twice on this list).  In this original story for the screen he is forced to participate in the Animus Project and relive the memories of his ancestor Aguilar de Nerha, an Assassin in the time of the Spanish Inquisition.  It’s a mix of science fiction, action and historical time travel (without actual time travel). To accomplish this Fassbender’s character must enter a machine called the Animus that’s capable of reading his genetic memories and projecting him into a virtual reality world of the past.  If executed well it could make for a great viewing experience.

The game franchise, of the same name, is extremely popular having nine titles to its name and selling ~100 million (yes, million) copies worldwide and generating nearly $5 billion in gross revenue for Ubisoft.

Here’s the official synopsis:

Through a revolutionary technology that unlocks his genetic memories, Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) experiences the adventures of his ancestor, Aguilar, in 15th Century Spain. Callum discovers he is descended from a mysterious secret society, the Assassins, and amasses incredible knowledge and skills to take on the oppressive and powerful Templar organization in the present day.

Assassin’s Creed stars Academy Award nominee Michael Fassbender (X-Men: Days of Future Past, 12 Years a Slave) and Academy Award winner Marion Cotillard (The Dark Knight Rises, La Vie en Rose). The film is directed by Justin Kurzel (Snowtown, Macbeth); produced by New Regency, Ubisoft Motion Pictures, DMC Films and Kennedy/Marshall; co-financed by RatPac Entertainment and Alpha Pictures; and distributed by 20th Century Fox. Assassin’s Creed opens in theaters worldwide on December 21st, 2016.

The Hype: This is a bit of a new genre.  It melds science fiction, virtual reality, and history into a game-like driven package.  If the producers can balance that mix, this could be a sleeper hit.

The Caution:  While the game is (was?) extremely popular, that popularity seems to be waning.  The latest game in the franchise, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, was the worst selling to date . . . and the game franchise has been on a hiatus.  As with the recent Warcraft movie, Assassin’s Creed probably should have been filmed and released about five years ago to take advantage of peak popularity.  Also, this is a movie base on a video game, which is a historical death sentence for movies.  If Assassin’s Creed gets bogged down focusing on video game defying physics at the expense of story, audiences may balk.  Lastly, it opens opposite of Passengers, another science fiction recommendation on this list.

About Neal Ulen

Neal Ulen
Editor/Webmaster - Engineer by training, nerd by passion. Speculative fiction has influenced me since I was a kid, guiding me to the career I have now, and likely saving me from myself during times in my young life when the path was fraught with a minefield of choices. I dabble in tech, game, film, fiction, and writing. These are my true passions, and have been since the summer of '77.