There’s no shortage of big-name stars who have tried to make movies out of hit video games. Mark Wahlberg and “Max Payne.” Dwayne Johnson and “Doom.” Jake Gyllenhaal and “Prince of Persia.”
There is, however, a shortage of such movies that have succeeded on any level (pretty much “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” and, if you count Milla Jovovich as a big-name star, the “Resident Evil” franchise.)
Which makes today’s news, first reported by Variety, that Michael Fassbender is throwing his weight behind an “Assassin’s Creed” movie just a little bit noteworthy. Continuing a departure from his largely art-house-y past, the Irish-German actor will produce and star in a tent pole action adventure that’s being developed in-house by the video-game giant Ubisoft.
“Assassin’s Creed” is the hugely popular video-game franchise about an unassuming bartender, Desmond Miles, who is actually descended from an elite group of assassins called upon to fight evil forces throughout history. Previous versions have been set against the Crusades and the Renaissance; a new edition set during the American Revolution comes out in October.
Fassbender, who will play Miles, has a unique cachet. He’s a highly skilled actor who’s also hugely popular, something that can’t be said of many of the actors who’ve tried this before. He also has currency in the fan world thanks to some of his recent blockbuster turns as Magneto in "X-Men: First Class" and as a cool-headed cyborg in this season's "Prometheus."