How Do You Do An Assassin’s Creed Sequel Right?
So the long awaited ‘Assassin’s Creed’ movie has finally come out and the majority of the critical and fan reception has not been that good, well, it’s been really damn bad actually. Sitting at a 16% (4/10 Avg) on RottenTomatoes it’s an incredibly disappointing result for a film that had so many people hoping it would pull through, but it seems to be continuing the trend of bad video game movies. Now that the movie is out in around 50% of the world with the rest to follow in the first week of 2017 eyes are beginning to turn towards what is going to happen with the sequel hopes New Regency, Ubisoft and Justin Kurzel had going into the films release.
It was reported way back in March that New Regency was apparently planning on moving forward with the sequel to the unreleased film. More recently Assassin’s Creed director Justin Kurzel has also talked about his ideas for a possible sequel taking place in the 1950’s Cold War or a range of other undisclosed timelines that may take more advantage of the time period.
The film was produced on a $120M budget and hasn’t had an impressive start to its box office taking in only $17.7M off its 5 day domestic opening. On a more optimistic note the way some films perform over the Christmas to New Years period varies from film to film, so this movie could get a little boost, we’ll just have to wait and see. It’s looking like the foreign box office is the only chance this film will have at bringing in a substantial profit, something that will be needed in order to warrant the go ahead on those sequels. But lets just say, that in the off chance this movie manages to make money and a sequel does get green-lit; how should the studio go ahead with handling a sequel considering this first film got universally panned? Well this is just my two cents on how i think an Assassin’s Creed sequel should play out, mainly with handling the overall structure of the film and modern day sequences.
It is obviously going to contain spoilers from the first movie.
First thing’s first, you need Michael Fassbender attached to the film as losing the high profile lead actor and producer will undoubtedly result in failure. Justin Kurzel should also stay as the director as his visual style was a highlight of the film. Keep the film at a length of around 2 hours 20 minutes, not too much longer than the first at most. You can have less of a character focus on Sofia Rikkin (Marion Cotillard) and have her in a more commanding Abstergo roll, taking over her fathers position after his death in the first film.
The sequel will be set 2 months after the first film, Callum Lynch (Fassbender) and Moussa (Michael K. Williams) have been in hiding, lurking in the shadows as the Templars are still hunting them after stealing the Apple of Eden. Lin has since been caught and killed after not giving up the location of the new Assassin Hideout. This hideout is in an undisclosed location with only Lynch and Moussa, along with fellow members of the Assassin Order Shaun and Rebecca knowing of the hideouts current location. Some of this can be briefly put as text at the front of the film as they did in the first film.
MOVIE – PRESENT
It starts off fast and loud, Callum Lynch and Moussa are raiding an Abstergo base for a piece of technology they desperately need. Breaking their way in, cutting down enemy after enemy they steal the device and have to fight their way out using combinations of throwing knifes, blades, and firearms they may pick up. They make their way through to the roof with parkour elements where they perform a leap of faith into a nearby channel which transitions into the Assassin’s Creed logo right before they hit the water. (Make the modern day scenes minimal and exciting, save the character building for the past).
From here don’t slow down, create a sense of urgency, even though there is no visual threat create the feeling that the Assassins are racing against the clock. Lynch and Moussa arrive at their Assassin Hideout where Shaun and Rebecca are waiting for them (No need to elaborate on their characters, one’s the tech assistant and one’s the historian). In a quick sequence where Rebecca is installing the technology to her new Animus 3.0 Shaun and Rebecca frantically explain to the point the current scenario to Lynch and the viewer;
Following the securing of the Apple of Eden, the Templars/Abstergo were sent into a frenzy, throwing new subjects into the animus project searching for a new Piece of Eden in an earlier time period (unspecified in this pitch) that has supposedly deadly powers. Through cross referencing multiple historical documents Abstergo have been rumoured to have found a subject possibly capable of revealing the location. Luckily, Shaun managed to trace Lynch’s bloodline further back and discovered that his Assassin ancestor in that time also may have come into contact with that Piece of Eden.
This is a very small, easily consumable piece of exposition that gives the viewer all they need to know to get into and understand the story. Lynch is then told that he needs to get into the Animus 3.0 (which is of the more practical bed/chair design as oppose to the claw), relive key moments in his ancestors life and hopefully find the location of the Piece of Eden quickly as it is only a matter of time before Abstergo catches up to them. Quickly he goes in….. “see you on the other side”…….. sucked into the past and we STAY there for at least the first half of the film. This entire initial sequence, with the fast pace can last for say 10-15 minutes.
MOVIE – PAST (UNSPECIFIED)
Now that we are in the past (unspecified period), you get introduced to the main character that will be focused on, Lynch’s ancestor, as well as a few key side characters fighting in the Assassin Order. Make a charismatic protagonist, a badass who the viewers can get behind, obviously also played by Fassbender. He predominantly operates with another slightly more experienced Assassin (Similar to ‘Maria’. Can be Male/Female, doesn’t matter) who he is also competing with, someone the audience can also recognise. Working as a duo.
When undertaking an assassination task set by their current master they uncover a Templar plot to seek out a long lost artefact and use its powers to command armies. Determined to stop the Templars getting their hands on it, the Assassin duo set out, investigating other victims, climbing the ladder of Templar authority, kill after kill, interrogation after interrogation getting closer to finding its location. It plays out like an action/thriller with mystery elements whisked in there. Obviously focus on a few key assassination tasks set a brief distance apart, where you can get the evolution of the competitive relationship between the Assassin Duo, with opposing methods of handling victims.
There is a lot more variety of options possible with these past sequences so any progression of events, especially in this first historical visit, would do the story well. At the end of this first past sequence our protagonists locate the current Master of the Templar Order, a thrilling chase sequence ensues, combining parkour with vehicle/horse based combat (time-period determined). They are unsuccessful in their pursuit as the Master just barely escapes, and months of searching is wasted as they now have to find the location of the Master once again.
But suddenly, an occurrence in the present day forces Callum Lynch to desynchronise and be thrown out of the Animus. This past sequence may last for around 1 hour.
MOVIE – PRESENT DAY
Come back to the present for another short, fast paced sequence. When Lynch awakes, Rebecca, Shaun, and Moussa are frantically packing up all the equipment they will need into a truck that is positioned and ready to leave out a back exit. It turns out Sofia Rikkin managed to track the location of their hideout and has now accompanied a small army of agents to attack and kill Lynch and co.
Rebecca and Shaun mention that they need more time to secure all of the data so Lynch and Moussa move forward through a hallway towards the entry to the hideout, where the agents are about to break in.
This hallway is similar in lighting to something out of an ‘Alien’ film, dark, with flickering lights, and crevasses in the sides providing hiding spots for Lynch and Moussa. As the Abstergo agents slowly make their way through the dark passage, the Assassins jump out and a close quarters fight sequence ensues between blades and batons, as weapons are being disarmed. As more agents are pouring through the doorway, Lynch and Moussa are being pushed back with the team almost ready to depart. If Lynch and Moussa turn and run for the truck now Abstergo will be able to catch up, so Moussa has Lynch get back to the truck as his survival is essential and Moussa stays behind to delay the agents in a final stand resulting in his death.
Shaun, Rebecca, and Lynch then escape through a back exit in their truck but have no time to lose, Lynch needs to return to the Animus 3.0 located in the back of the truck and finish reliving his ancestors memories as they try to get to a safer location. Again, this present day visit could be quick, another 10-15 minutes.
MOVIE – PAST
When Lynch gets back in Sync with his ancestor, Shaun has thrown him back in 6 months after the Templar Master last escaped as they need to find the location quickly.
Lynch’s Ancestor and Assassin Buddy have since been investigating locally and hearing word that the Templar Master may be unusually attending a special exclusive event at a very high profile government building. They come to the conclusion with the suggestion from their mentor that it would be best to infiltrate the event and track the Master in stealth. So you get a brief planning and setup sequence and then the infiltration begins with the duo climbing and sneaking their way in, executing guards for disguises upon entry. This would play out as a stealth/heist/break-in sequence.
After locating the Master they tail him further into the building and discover the reason he attended the event was due to them uncovering the location of the vault containing the Piece of Eden. Upon witnessing guards breaking open the ancient vault and the Master obtaining the Piece of Eden, the Assassin duo swiftly dispatch of the guards and confront the Master. A final fight ensues with the Master wielding the Piece of Eden against the Assassin duo, but they manage to overpower him and assassinate him, securing the piece.
But it turns out, Lynch’s ancestor’s partner has other ideas about what to do with the Piece of Eden, being drawn in by its power and refusing to secure it. He then proceeds to exit the vault. But determined to keep the Piece hidden, Lynch’s ancestor then collapses the entrance to the vault, trapping both of them inside leaving the vault and all of its contents hidden inside forever.
Callum Lynch then awakes from the animus, ending his session with the team now knowing the resting place of the Piece of Eden. This revisit to the past could last around 30 minutes.
MOVIE – PRESENT DAY
Finally, you have Lynch leave Shaun and Rebecca, travel to the location of the vault, get into it, and find the body of his ancestor in the end holding the Piece of Eden. Upon exiting the vault he is confronted by Abstergo agents once again by Sofia Rikkin. She commands one of the agents to engage with Lynch and retrieve the Piece of Eden, the agent turns out to look exactly like the partner of Lynch’s ancestor. Revealing that Abstergo was reliving the same memories through the partners perspective. A one on one fight begins ending with Lynch showing how much he has learnt by dispatching of the Abstergo agent.
Following that fight, before Sofia can order her army of men to engage, Lynch goes against what he has been taught and uses the power of the Piece of Eden to control Sofia’s forces to kill each other. Once they are all dead Lynch returns the favour by allowing Sofia to escape before returning to hide the Piece of Eden besides the Apple stolen in the first film.
And that’s it, that is how i think you could successfully do a sequel to the Assassin’s Creed Movie. Is it guaranteed to be good? No. Is it complete? Definitely not. But in my mind this works, picturing it with the visual aesthetic introduced by Justin Kurzel in the first film and the characters he introduced sells to me the idea that this would be a good way to continue and correct this film series. Now even though the existence of any sequel is looking like a bit of a stretch, from here you could even begin to delve further into Assassins Creed lore bringing in some more mystical sci-fi elements and stuff involving the Roman Gods. But who cares about that stuff now?
Anyway, so what began as a short little one paragraph explanation in my Assassin’s Creed SPOILERS REVIEW turned into a 2000 word, blown out post. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as i did writing it, it’s always fun to speculate and imagine what could have been and what could still be, especially when looking at what the movie turned out like……