Prometheus star Michael Fassbender will lend his talents as an actor and a producer to the upcoming big screen adaptation of Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed series, Variety confirms. Fassbender will produce through his DMC Film label alongside the newly established Ubisoft Motion Pictures group.
The Variety piece offers only the most general of synopses for the in-development project, essentially recapping the main thrust of the game series. The story "revolves around a man who learns his ancestors were trained assassins after he is kidnapped by a secret [organization] with ties to the Knight Templar, and sent back in time to retrieve historical artifacts."
From the sound of that description, the movie will at least tip its hat in the direction of the first game's story. In that game, modern-day everydude Desmond Miles is kidnapped by the Knights Templar and sent to explore the past using the Animus, a machine which allows the person hooked into it to relive ancestral memories. It's not quite time travel, though the Variety description could just be a simplification rather than an indication of creative liberties being taken with the story.
Fassbender's involvement is a little bit surprising, but it bring a lot more legitimacy to this planned adaptation. He first drew attention with his role in the excellent Tom Hanks/Steven Spielberg-produced HBO miniseries Band of Brothers, though he's more recently been a geek topic of conversation thanks to his key roles in 300, Inglorious Basterds, and X-Men: First Class (among others). He's an immensely talented actor, and while I can't immediately picture him in the Desmond Miles role, I can definitely see him bringing a high level of quality to the adaptation.
Ubisoft will develop the film -- now alongside DMC -- independently in order to hang onto creative control, with plans to seek out a studio for marketing and distribution help only after work is completed on the film. The publisher seems to be learning its lesson after the debacle that was Disney's Prince of Persia movie adaptation, a summer action blockbuster that never quite came together, even with a script from franchise creator Jordan Mechner. There's no release date/window mentioned in the report, but with the project still in development it's a safe bet that this one is at least a couple years out.