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Sony Turning ‘Assassin’s Creed’ Into Film Franchise; ‘Red Dead Redemption’ Writer Plans Directorial Debut

Written by on October 20, 2011 

It is only a matter of time before popular videogames series get their Hollywood treatment. We saw recent critical disasters (a recurring theme in the genre) with Prince of Persia, Max Payne and any number of the Resident Evil films. There are a few promising ones in the works, with Limitless director taking on Uncharted and Legendary PicturesMass Effect coming to mind, and now Variety reports another in the works.

Sony Pictures have just beat out rival studios including Universal, and signed a deal to acquire Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed for film franchise treatments. The studio will work with the newly launched Ubisoft Motion Pictures and its president Jean-Julien Baronnet, who recently ran Luc Besson‘s EuropaCorp.

In a promising turn for these videogame adaptations, the production company was formed with the intention to have more creative control over these film franchises. In the past they would simply hand over the rights for a single movie, and we all know how that turned it. Check out a synopsis of the Assassin’s Creed series below.

Revolves around a bartender named Desmond Miles who is captured by a secret corporation called Abstergo Industries and forced to go back in time to various historical periods like the Renaissance and Crusades to relieve the memories of his ancestors — all assassins — in order to recover ancient artifacts. New game is set in 16th century Constantinople.

I’ve played the first game in the series and it was highly repetitive, an issue reportedly fixed in future installments. I remember the story being quite weak as well, compared to something I was actually invested in, like the Uncharted series. I’d much rather see other cinematic-worthy videogame properties like Mass Effect being developed, but with Ubisoft’s heavy involvement, there is promise.

In other Hollywood/videogame news, Variety also reports that the lead designer and co-writer of Rockstar’s uber popular westerner Red Dead Redemption is planning his directorial debut. Christian Cantamessa and his writing partner Chris Pasetto have written the postapocalyptic sci-fi spec Wake Cycle, and Boss Media is on board to produce.

Cantamessa, who also worked on Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and the Manhunt games for Rockstar, will direct the film that follows “an underground hyperbaric facility, where the world’s greatest scientists are placed after a nuclear fallout.” It sounds like it will take place in one location as the film’s title refers to “the available air every six months that allows two custodial workers to maintain the facility.” Conflict comes up when “when one of their sleep tanks is damaged” and “they engage in a life-and-death struggle.”

I didn’t really bother with Red Dead‘s story, but the sprawling attention to detail in the design of Rockstar games is a definite plus for Cantamessa and I’m surprised more people in the videogame industry don’t dabble in Hollywood considering the similar ideas at play. Casting will reportedly being very soon.

What do you think about these two videogame-related projects? Which one are you looking forward to most?

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