Assassin’s Creed Film Going Real & Long

If you can overlook the misplaced choice of a Kanye West track on the trailer, the first look at Justin Kurzel’s “Assassin’s Creed” film this week was highly promising in terms of its visuals and look. Speaking with Collider this week, he revealed that despite the subject matter – the film is trying to do as little green screen and visual effects as possible.

Part of achieving that tangible feel is working with cinematographer Adam Arkapaw. The pair worked on “Macbeth” and “Snowtown” together, and Arkapaw responsible for the looks of films like “Animal Kingdom” and shows like the first seasos of “True Detective” and “Top of the Lake”. Kurzel says:

“I think after True Detective, there’s a kind of classic style that he’s developed now that … A very in camera style, that grounds things but at the same time finds a magic to it that we’re trying to embrace with this. He’s been a huge part of the re-imagining of Assassin’s Creed as a piece of cinema.

We’re trying to do as much as possible in camera. We’ve gone and shot in rural locations and I was kind of determined not for this film to be a car park film, where you’re shooting just in green screen and you’re using most of post to help you out. It’s been really important, also just to differentiate ourselves from the game as well in terms of timing.

We don’t want this to be a superhero film, we want it to be a film that embraces what it is to be human. All our jumps and all our parkouring, it has to feel as though you’re watching it and thinking, on a good day I could do this. Otherwise I think it goes into a fantasy, which I don’t think the game is about.

Assassin’s Creed is based on real history. They spent a lot of time basing it on real characters. The details are just completely true to the period. It’s very important that it feels tangible, the film feels tangible and it feels as though it has existed, but also that it just feels human.”

Kurzel also reveals plans to use long takes, keep the editing minimal where possible:

“We’re trying not to cut a lot. We’re trying to shoot the action in camera and try to work with the best stunt people. We’ve got some of the best parkour guys in the world at the moment. We’re just trying not to cheat as much. I think that, some of these films, you can get away with creating an action sequence with continuous cuts. I think we’re trying to, I guess, in an old school way, allow action to play out, and for you to be engaged with the action that’s in front of and the sequences that are in front of you before you’re cutting into them.

When you look at Michael doing something, it’s Michael doing something. It’s Michael parkouring or it’s Michael having spent three weeks learning a certain move. I guess that kind of uninterrupted, sort of longer takes is something that is definitely apparent in Adam’s style but it’s also something that we’ve brought into the film.”

The “Assassin’s Creed” film is slated to hit cinemas on December 21st.