Huge news on the TV front yesterday as Netflix announced that they would be making a show based on the Assassin’s Creed franchise. And like many of you, I AM FUCKING PUMPED. The series has seen its ups and downs in terms of storytelling but there is so much awesome content in those games that will translate wonderfully to a TV series if someone will actually, ya know, try? Like they did with The Witcher and not with every single video game movie of all-time?
I’ve written about this before: video games have to be one of the easiest mediums to translate to TV/film but Hollywood just can’t seem to get out of their own way. They feel like they have to transform these games into big blockbuster Michael Bay style movies when many of them need a very different treatment.
So, as a seasoned veteran of both the entertainment industry and the Assassin’s Creed franchise, here’s how I would do things if it were up to me:
Use The Ezio Auditore Storyline From Assassin’s Creed 2
First things first, if they tell me that I’m not allowed to use a story from the game and I have to write my own original one, I’m out. I quit on the spot.
End blog. Bye bye.
It’s the biggest mistake in Hollywood. The source material is just too fucking good. Stick to what you know will be successful and don’t try to reinvent the wheel.
I know some people will call for the series to begin with Altaïr’s story, but fuck that. Give the people what they want right out the gate and start with the story from AC2. It’s the best game in the series, Ezio’s arc covers multiple games, and it can easily be stretched into at least 4-5 seasons before covering any other characters. We’re trying to make money here, and the best way to guarantee a greenlight on multiple seasons in to come out the game swinging.
So we’ll shoot for Season 1 and Season 2 to take place during AC2, Season 3-4 to take place during Brotherhood, and Season 5 to take place during Revelations.
Director/Co-Showrunner: Steve Lightfoot
It is just as important to nail the director of a show as it is to find your star. And I know what you’re thinking: who the fook is that guy?
Well, let me inform you. His debut film was the 2012 horror flick The Cabin in the Woods, one of my favorite spooks of all time. He’s the genius behind Cloverfield, World War Z, and Bad Times at the El Royale. But most importantly, he was the showrunner and writer for the Netflix Daredevil series. Maybe you’ve forgotten about it. Allow me to remind you how incredible it is.
Everything about that show is phenomenal; the filmography, the pacing, the writing, the way they honor the source material. Imagine all the hallway fight scenes from Daredevil taking place in an alley in Assassin’s Creed? Gives me goosebumps. And he’s already worked with Netflix in the past (and made them a shitton of money). He’s my first choice.
Ezio Auditore Da Firenze: Kit Harrington
My first thought was someone like Michiel Huisman (Daario Naharis from Game of Thrones). He probably looks more the part but…he’s just too old at 40 to portray that young Ezio Auditore from AC2. If this series started as Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood? The easiest casting choice of my life. But we need someone that looks a bit younger and will age into that older, more experience Ezio as the series progresses.
Enter Kit Harrington: the 33-year-old stud known best for playing Jon Snow in Game of Thrones that hasn’t seemed to find his new home ever since the show ended. And yea, that last season didn’t exactly do wonders for his career considering he just said “you are my queen” a billion times, but I’ve got your back Kit. Go get a tan, learn Italian, straighten your hair, and I’ll see you when filming begins.
Vieri De’ Pazzi: Aaron Taylor-Johnson
He didn’t have a huge role in the game itself, only showing up a handful of times before being assassinated in Ezio’s first big mission against the Templars but he is Ezio’s younger counterpart and rival and would the main antagonist in the first season of my show. So you need someone that’s easily hateable and snide. Someone who will make tons of mistakes as a young antagonist but still cause Ezio pain and suffering.
So let’s go with Aaron Taylor-Johnson. We all know him as the dork from Kick-Ass, but he’s really grown as an actor over the years in roles like the psychotic James Douglas in Outlaw King and the sadistic Ray Marcus in Nocturnal Animals. He’ll do more than enough as the first season villain.
Rodrigo Borgia: Ian McShane
The Spaniard. The main villain of AC2 and a supporting villain in Brotherhood. In the game, the look of The Spaniard under that black cloak with the grey and black beard is so iconic. The round pompous man needs to be played by someone who can embody that look and do it justice, like Ian McShane. This was probably the easiest decision. As soon as I looked up an old screenshot of Rodrigo Borgia, Ian’s face from his time in Game of Thrones was ingrained into my head. He’s a star that will support Aaron in Season 1 and will lead Ezio toward maturity through all of Season 2.
Leonardo Da Vinci:
I would imagine Da Vinci has to be the comedic relief of the show especially considering he’s always experimenting with new technologies. Usually, this role is given to an up-and-comer as they did with the bard from The Witcher, and I would assume that would be found during the casting process. But since there is no casting process for this fictional world in my head, let’s go with Thomas Middleditch from Silicon Valley. I mean, who else would play a good Da Vinci than someone who already has played in a comedic role as a smarty pants?
Female Co-Star: Camila Mendes
In the game, Ezio isn’t really accompanied by anyone outside of his mother and sister early in the game and a girl that he gets caught fooling around with. But as with any TV show nowadays, there has to be some companion/love interest that helps the main character along the way like Karen from Daredevil. Again, like the comedic relief, this type of role can usually be given to an up-and-comer but I’m gonna give it to Camila Mendes. You could technically say she’s an up-and-comer still considering she’s very early in her career, and yea, her acting in Riverdale is much more “sitcom-y” than I would expect in the Assassin’s Creed universe, but have you seen Coyote Lake yet? She’s going to be a huge star in the next few years and this show could be the one that launches her even further into the mainstream.
That’s how I would run this series and I guarantee it would make millions. Just wait until we get to Season 3-4 and Ben Barnes comes in to play Cesare Borgia. Oh the chills you will have then…
Reminder: Episode 1 of Open Lobby debuts tomorrow and Episode 0 is live now!