By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist October 22, 2012 at 9:43AM
Even as this week's "Silent Hill: Revelations" creeps into theaters, the search for a good -- or at least watchable -- video game movie continues. But game titans Ubisoft are at least being pro-active, taking a leaf from Marvel's approach and deciding to develop and partially finance their own movies, starting with one of the crown jewels, the "Assassin's Creed" franchise.
The series -- which involves a man in a near future dystopia who relives the memories of his ancestors, who were assassins in the crusade-era Middle East, Renaissance Venice and, in the imminent latest entry, Revolutionary America -- has been brewing for a while, but landed a real coup earlier this year when man-of-the-moment Michael Fassbender signed on to not only star in the potential film, but also produce the picture.
And now, we're one step closer to actually seeing the thing, as a press release reveals that New Regency (who are backing the Fassbender-starring "12 Years A Slave") have struck a deal with Ubisoft to co-finance the film and release it through their deal with 20th Century Fox. Sony were in the hunt last year, but were beaten out, with Ubisoft head Jean-Julien Baronnet commenting "Ubisoft chose to partner with New Regency because they are a talent- and filmmaker-driven company, with the same independent and creative mindset that we have at Ubisoft Motion Pictures. Bringing aboard New Regency’s renowned production and distribution expertise while maintaining our own creative and financial flexibility ensures that 'Assassin’s Creed' will be a high-quality film that respects the lore and fans of the video game franchise.”
The idea is to find a writer and put them to work shortly, with Fassbender likely to be involved closely in the development process, and to have a package including a director and a completed script ready to roll by next summer, meaning we could see the film as early as 2014. Of course, there's a way to go yet -- it's likely to be a tough nut to crack, given the nature of the source material. But Ubisoft certainly seem to going about things in the right way, so we're reasonably optimistic that with the right director and writer, this could break the video game movie curse. Watch the trailer for the latest game below.