Now that we've finally got a proper look at Assassin's Creed, we've got more than a few hundred questions as to what exactly is going on.
The clearest thing we can take away is that is that, although it's set in the same universe as the games, the film isn't following any particular series or plot arc. In a lot of ways, it would seem they're taking a comic-book approach to the series - cherry-picking what works and using the broad strokes of the story for the film.
That, it has to be said, is a smart move. A lot of what made Assassin's Creed work, in our view, was just how immersive the experience of playing it. You weren't necessarily there for the story, or at least that's how it was for us. So, let's go through the trailer and see if we can pick out any clues or nods.
That looks like modern Seville to us. We can spot La Giralda - that's the huge tower that features heavily in the trailer - and a few other places. Could it be that the Animus is kept in Spain?
Michael Fassbender's character is Callum Lynch, who's on death row for an unspecified crime. Fassbender openly admitted he'd never even heard of Assassin's Creed before he signed on for the role. Our guess he was more into Hitman. It's a similar vibe, in fairness.
Marion Cotillard is Sophia Rikkin, who works for the Templars and the Animus project. The Animus is basically this revolutionary piece of technology that accesses people's genetic memories and allows them to relive their past. The mechanical arm thing you'll see later on acts as a harness and moves them around in a 3D-projected world. Think the Holodeck from Star Trek: The Next Generation or Troy & Abed's Imaginarium from Community.
The DR on Fassbender's back doesn't tell us a whole lot. We know his ancestor's name is Aguilar and his name is Callum Lynch, so maybe DR is a reference to Death Row? Most likely, we think.
That's the symbol of Abstergo Industries, this giant multinational conglomerate who's built the Animus and are the modern front for the Templars.
In the game, the Animus works sort of like the Matrix. In other words, you're put into a reclining seat and then transported back to whichever time-frame desired. Here, there's actual physical movement. Fassbender explained that the reason for the dramatic change between the Animus we know and this one is simple. "We just didn’t want to have something where I sit into a seat. Number one, we’ve seen it before in The Matrix. And it’s also just not a very dramatic experience when we’re doing the modern day version of the regression. We wanted to have something where the character is actually physically involved in it." Makes a lot of sense, in fairness. Plus, Inception did the same thing as well.
Through the Animus, we're transported back to 15th century Seville. That's La Giralda, which is located bang smack in the middle of Seville. There's a really nice hotel that's just across from there. In fact, Seville's a lovely place to visit. Great food, great weather, you'd walk the old town quarter in a day. What? Right, the trailer.
Michael Fassbender, now with a beard and a snazzy tattoo and hood, as Aguilar. Please, for the love of Yeezus, let's hope that he doesn't attempt a Spanish accent in this.
Huge, sweeping battle sequence that almost looks like a Caravaggio painting, to be honest. Justin Kurzel's visuals are hugely impressive here.
That looks like there's a group of Assassins working in Seville, with Fassbender's Aguilar leading them.
That's Spanish actor Hovik Keuchkerian, who plays Ojeda. Although we're not 100% sure if it's the same one, there was a historical Alonso de Ojeda who was an explorer and conquistador who worked alongside Columbus.
Wow, Fassbender does NOT look good with long hair. Like, at all.
Justin Kurzel's using the same cinematographer from Macbeth; Adam Arkapaw. He also worked on the first season of True Detective, Top Of The Lake and the upcoming and also starring Michael Fassbender weepydrama The Light Between Oceans.
One of the really cool things we clocked in the trailer is how they do seem to be taking visual cues from the game. That looks exactly like a cutscene, which is pretty cool.
That's Denis Menochet, who you'll know from Inglorious Basterds. We're guessing the whole Animus experience goes haywire.
That's Ariane Labed, who plays Maria. We're guessing she's one of the Assassins working with Aguilar / Lynch / Fassbender.
As you read earlier, the Animus in this film has a physical component - meaning that Fassbender moves with his movements when he's in as Aguilar. Which is why you get very cool visual cues...
...like this. We're guessing the security guards we saw earlier double as the warriors in 15th Century Spain.
Look at that shot, man. It's like a painting. If nothing else, we're at least going to get some stunning visuals out of this film.
You can't have any mention of Assassin's Creed without free-climbing. You just can't.
This does look very similar to one of the Assassin safehouses from the earlier games. Could it be the same here?
Slow-mo jumps because come on, obviously.
"Superhero landing! It's really hard on the knees, totally impractical."
"Michael Fassbender... AWWWWAAAAYYYY!"
So, thoughts on the trailer? It looks very, very promising. There's a lot of information to take in, but there's also a sense that we've got the general gist already. Matrix / Inception mind-bending adventure, but you're time-travelling instead. With such a strong cast - Jeremy Irons, Marion Cotillard, Brendan Gleeson, Fassbender - and a strong director, the only place we can see this faltering is in the script.
Let's hope it's up to scratch as both this and Warcraft are the two hopes for videogame adaptations. If both of these fail, that's basically it for videogame adaptations.