Blogs & Comment

Assassin's Creed movie mired in controversy

Insiders say Ubisoft’s steep creative control demands are unreasonable, but not everyone agrees.

Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed: Revelations gets showcased at E3 2011 (Photo: Valerie Macon/Getty)

It was reported two weeks ago that Sony Pictures Entertainment will play ball with video game publisher/developer Ubisoft—appeasing what others have called unreasonable demands—in order to make a movie out of the company’s massively successful, Montreal-developed franchise, Assassin’s Creed.

The controversy? Ubisoft wanted a lot of creative control—as in, it will have approval over budgeting, casting, the script, even the release date. Some Hollywood spectators are shocked Sony would strike such a deal. DreamWorks, Universal and Warner Bros. had all shot it down.

According to New York Magazine’s Vulture blog, a Hollywood talent agent representing a smaller video game publisher had this to say: “The whole Ubisoft/Sony deal is a waste of ink, paper and time. The level of control Sony gave up means, effectively, that Assassin’s Creed will never—and I mean never—get made.”

Bold words from an anonymous source. Sony’s defence? Ubisoft is footing most of the development costs, and the brand has wide appeal and a strong following. The three Assassin’s Creed titles have together sold 30 million copies worldwide, and a fourth installment, Revelations, hits shelves November 15.

And despite all the huffing and puffing in Hollywood, it’s a move that may also inspire confidence in gamers, who tend to think studios have a bad habit of turning good games into crummy movies. That sentiment is expressed in the top rated comment on IGN’s version of this story: “It is in fact the smartest thing EVER done for a video game movie,” writes KDonivan. “Go Ubisoft!”