Hi everyone! My name is Justin Kurzel, director for the upcoming movie Assassin’s Creed, in theaters December 21! And I’m Aymar Azaïzia, Assassin's Creed head of content at Ubisoft. We are here to answer all of your Assassin’s Creed questions! Fire away!

Proof: https://twitter.com/AssassinsMovie/status/808338913420984320

Thanks everyone for your great questions. We are all very excited to put AC out there in the world. Go see it!

Comments: 267 • Responses: 22  • Date: 

1iam28 karma

We've had many great historical eras represented throughout the games....what was the thinking behind the Spanish Inquisition? What made you want to do that period specifically? Thanks, can't wait to see the movie!

justinkurzel34 karma

Visually it's a great looking period that hasn't been explored in the games before and we wanted to find a time of great turbulence and the religious persecution that was occurring at this time and place in history was perfect for the brotherhood of Assassin's to fight against.

foxfreeman17 karma

Film adaptations of video games have always had a stigma about them. With that in mind, what attracted you to the project?

justinkurzel30 karma

I think it's always tricky adapting from a source material at times which might not have enough behind it to sustain a compelling narrative. Fortunately, Assassin's Creed has a world behind it with big ideas, visually unique and compelling ideologies. It's just great material for a film, so hopefully it can be something for fans and also those that are not familiar with this universe.

Cam9r15 karma

For Director Justin Kurzel: Regarding the Assassin's Hidden Blades. How hard was it to design and create the function of the blades? Like did you use CGI? Did you use rubber props? Was there an actual mechanism to them? Would love to see the blueprint lol

justinkurzel32 karma

So we're very lucky that we had a hardcore fan designing the weaponry in Tim Wildgoose. He recreated all the blades from original designs reflecting the Moorish look of the Assassin's costumes. Each blade was practical which allowed the actors to use them within the take. The guy's a genius and we're very proud of the execution of all our Assassin's blades.

feebleweak11 karma

Hey Mr Kurzel, thanks for this AMA. Do you consider yourself a gamer, and have you ever played an AC game before joining the movie version? If not, what interested you in this video game adaptation?

justinkurzel26 karma

Hi Feebleweak: I used to play a lot of games in my teens, i didn't play AC before coming on to do the film but then I had a pretty great AC bootcamp in Paris with an Olympian gamer who shared with me the brilliance of this game. I was extremely surprised by the level of depth and complexity in the game and thought it had an amazing amount of meat on the bone to do a film. It's been a pleasure to be a part of the community and can't wait for the fans to see the film.

eggreddit10 karma

Mr. Kurzel... what was more daunting, adapting Shakespeare for the big screen or adapting Assassin's Creed?

justinkurzel39 karma

Adapting Assassin's Creed. I think the fans are probably more passionate than Shakespeare fans.

liamquane9 karma

What was it like working with Michael Fassbender?

justinkurzel14 karma

It was pretty amazing seeing Michael do a lot of the stunts and fight sequences himself. Everyone knows he's a fantastic actor. People are going to be surprised just how skilled he is with action. I was very lucky to be able to work on a film this size with someone who I had already formed a relationship with on my previous film Macbeth.

RinoTheBouncer8 karma

Jesper Kyd was credited in the AC Movie IMDB page, does that mean that the soundtrack by Mr. Jed Kurzel inspired by some of the tunes from the games soundtracks such as how Ezio's Family was used to promote the movie poster by IGN on Snapchat (the animated poster)?

justinkurzel14 karma

The soundtrack for Assassin's Creed the film is completely original and gas been created for this film. Jed and I really wanted to come up with something unique to the feel of the Spanish Inquisition. We worked with London Contemporary orchestra to create a pounding pulsing soundtrack which could make you feel the action of the Assassins. There's a slight Moorish influence in the past and a more electronic sound for Abstergo. Check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPcCzVJOvj0

Davetek4638 karma

Thank you both for doing this!

What's the final runtime on Assassin's Creed? I've seen two different lengths with a pretty big disparity between them.

Mr Kurzel, taking the length into consideration, was there anything you found you weren't able to include?

justinkurzel15 karma

It's a 102 mins without credits. There's plenty I wish I could have included but I feel like we got the best bits.

ultranate986 karma

Hi Mr. Kurzel!

Did you feel a lot of pressure on yourself directing Assassin's Creed with video game movies not having the best history? Also, what was different (besides budget) with directing Assassin's Creed and directing Macbeth!

Big fan of your take on Macbeth and can't wait to see Assassin's Creed!

justinkurzel8 karma

I think the great thing was Ubisoft right from the beginning engaged with Michael Fassbender to create original characters in the story so that the film could exist outside the world of the games. This was really exciting for us as we could take the spirit of the games and the ideas and celebrate them in a world that was unique to the film we wanted to show.

Sorrosyss5 karma

Hi all! The decision to make the Spanish sections subtitled was a bold move to some. In the games, the Animus is capable of translating foreign languages, so I'm just curious about this change and why you went down this route. Thanks!

justinkurzel13 karma

We wanted to take the audience literally back in the past and not have it interpreted by the Animus in the modern world, so that when you went back to the Spanish Inquisition it felt real, authentic and not an appropriate of 15th Century Spain. The Spanish actors are fantastic and the Spanish language is pretty cool, so I'm glad we have it in the film.

liamquane3 karma

Mr. Kurzel, what was it like working with Marion Cotillard on both Macbeth and in Assassin's Creed?

justinkurzel6 karma

It's interesting. Marion's character Sophia kind of formed into her as we were writing the screenplay. We needed a sophisticated, intelligent actress who could make an audience believe in the idea of curing violence while also introducing us to the world of Templars and Abstergo.

NewFoundRemedy3 karma

What was the idea/reasoning behind setting the majority of the movie in the present, when the games themselves are predominantly set in the past?

justinkurzel9 karma

What was exciting about making a film on Assassin's Creed was setting up a modern day Assassin who discovers who he is through the past. This idea of the Animus, of genetic memory travel, is such a unique idea it seemed crazy not to embrace the concept in a film. Having said that, the history scenes are really prominent and part of the DNA of this film and surprisingly co-exist in the modern world, which you'll have to wait to see.

liamquane3 karma

Mr. Kurzel, what is it like working with Adam Arkapaw? Is he genuinely and is it true he can bend light to his will? lol :~P

justinkurzel9 karma

Yes, i don't think he's human. He definitely can bend light and many more things.

FashionableAssassin2 karma

I'm dying to know- was the shaky camera technique was used for filming any segments of the movie? I'm extremely sensitive to it so I'm afraid the movie will make me nauseous.

justinkurzel9 karma

There's not that much hand-held. You should be ok. If not, I would suggest putting a sick bucket next to you. Never let your ailments destroy an entertaining experience.

dmvquestion2 karma

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justinkurzel6 karma

We're really excited that we can release Assassin's before the holidays and thought it was the most profiled time to make sure as many people get to see it as possible.

liamquane1 karma

What is it like going from your smaller budgeted films to your first blockbuster? Was it scary?

justinkurzel5 karma

yeah one of the reasons i decided to do it was how huge the task was, not only to take a hugely loved game and try to form it into a film, but also survive such a huge undertaking. Yeah, it was scary, but then most things that mean something are.

vivork1 karma

Hi Justin Kurzel, I really love the themes that you have in your movie. Was there any message you intend to give to the audience after watching the film?

justinkurzel5 karma

I loved the idea of someone discovering and understanding who they are through their past. I think the idea that genetic memory and our own blood can give us the answers to our destiny is a real powerful idea which I connected to when making the film. I think that within all of us we have skills, ideas, and vision that is unique to us and has been formed through the experiences of every single ancestor that has come before us.

DarthSunshine1 karma

What was the most challenging part of shooting the film? (Staying true to the source material, production design, the stunts, etc.)

justinkurzel7 karma

Doing all the stunts and parkour and fighting sequences for real. Shooting on location and in-camera is always harder than in a studio in front of green screen. And we're really proud that our Assassins crash, bump and bleed for real throughout this film.

Thirdlegproduction1 karma

Hi there Justin and Aymar, if you could personally plug into the Animus, which timeperiod would you like to experience and why?

justinkurzel8 karma

WWII would be a pretty amazing time period to go to. There's some figures of history which could make excellent targets for the Assassins.

liamquane1 karma

How were the areal overhead shots done? Drones? CGI?

justinkurzel4 karma

IT was important for us to give a sense of flight in the film, not only to create a sense of Eagle POV, but what it would feel like being an Assassin jumping and parkouring across the rooftops of a city. We did use drones and helicopters, but the best technique we found worked best was a cable slingshot where a camera, like a flying fox, could move great distances in the air during a short period of time. This was something quite new to film like this.

therealcooldude1 karma

Was your priority for the film making it for the fans first or making it a great movie first? How do you balance both?

justinkurzel6 karma

The first is to make a great movie, but you cannot ignore this pretty passionate fanbase. I hope also though we can introduce the universe of Assassin's Creed to a whole audience that is not familiar to the game.

liamquane1 karma

Mr. Kurzel, how do you like to give direction? Do you go in depth or keep it simple?

justinkurzel7 karma

with Action, I keep it really simple. With performance, I like to make the set feel as intimate as possible and encourage actors to listen to each other as much as possible.