It was announced this week that Michael Fassbender will be starring and producing Ubisoft’s movie adaption of Assassin’s Creed. That’s great news because among other things it means that the film hasn’t fallen into movie limbo. Now that a lead actor has been attached, Ubisoft Motion Pictures (the indie studio that Ubisoft created to turn their game into a film) is looking at getting a screen writer and a director on board. Meanwhile, nerds everywhere are asking themselves “so who else are they gonna cast in the movie?” Since it’s gonna be awhile before there’s an official answer, we’d like to offer up our wish list of who we’d want to see on screen.
Right off the bat we should point out that this article is particularly speculative because there’s been no word yet on which game the movie will draw from for its plot. It’s not even clear if the movie will be following one or more games or telling a new story in the Assassin’s Creed series because the script hasn’t even begun to be written. Since the natural starting point for many would be to adapt the first game, we’ll be offering out thoughts on the characters from that and which actors we think would be best to play them.
For starters, let’s take a look at the past era which most of the first game focuses on…
Inside the Animus
1. Altair - Naveen Andrews
One of the bigger questions that’s going around about the movie concerns which character or characters Fassbender will be playing. The official announcement has listed him as playing the lead character, but in a series where the protagonist is viewing memories of his ancestors that means that there’s really more than one lead. While Fassbender would be great as the modern day character Desmond Miles, he doesn’t really look like he should be playing someone named Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad. Part of the reason that Ubisoft has created their own film studio to make this movie themselves is to presumably avoid another disappointment like Prince of Persia. The best way to make an Assassin’s Creed movie look and feel properly done would be to learn from Disney’s mistake and keep the cultural and ethnic diversity of the game intact on screen.
Naveen Andrews not only looks the part to play Altair, but his time on Lost as Sayid Jarrah demonstrates that he’s got the physical prowess to pull off the action sequences and more importantly the dramatic range to convey Altair’s redemptive transformation from an arrogant loose cannon into a humbled and wiser man.
2. Al Mualim – Erick Avari
The leader of Altair’s order, Al Mualim spends a good deal of the story being reproachful of of the young assassin for his reckless ways while also being rather secretive about the ultimate purpose of his current mission. Character actor Erick Avari (who is most notable for his role as Dr. Bey in The Mummy and as Chandra Suresh in the first season of Heroes) has a good track record for playing secretive father figures with a knack for stern lectures.
Avari’s role as Dr. Bey in The Mummy perfectly demonstrates his ability to believably portray someone keeping others in the dark about important matters for the sake of a greater good. His performance as Dr. Suresh on Heroes shows that he can pull off the ‘disapproving father figure’ which is a key ingredient to Mualims relationship with Altair. As an added bonus, he can also rock a pretty sweet beard, which is one the more prominent visual features of the character (the other being a creepy eye which can be handled by the make-up department).
3. Malik Al-Sayf – Oded Fehr
Altair’s rival in the Brotherhood of Assassins, Malik looses an arm early on and spends most of the rest of the story being bitter towards Altair about it. While Malik only appears in a few scenes of the game, a movie would offer a great chance to expand his role and use the tension between him and Altair for some dramatic moments.
Oded Fehr is no stranger to video game adaptations having played Carlos Olivera in the Resident Evil series, but he’s likely to be more fondly remembered for his role in The Mummy movies as Ardeth, leader of the Medjai Order. Fehr is good at being stand offish and aggressive when he has to. The idea of seeing him and Naveen Andrews butting heads on screen is definitely fun to think about.
Now let’s take a look at some of the Assassin’s enemies…