3 Things The Assassin’s Creed Movie Changed From The Games (& 3 It Kept)

In 2016, the Assassin’s Creed movie premiered to mostly negative reviews, however, as much as the film changed aspects of the original Assassin’s Creed, it also kept some vital parts of the game. Assassin’s Creed is a video game series that first began in 2007 and has since released twelve more games, with the most recent being 2020’s Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. The games follow a long-running conflict between the Order of Assassins and the Knights Templar wherein a present day character is connected to an assassin of the past, and must use that doorway into history to defeat the Templars and find Pieces of Eden.

While the Assassin’s Creed movie uses this general concept and storyline, watching the film is far different from playing a game of Assassin’s Creed. This is because the movie isn’t a direct adaptation of a certain Assassin’s Creed iteration, but instead, is its own story within the video game’s preexisting world. Michael Fassbender plays Callum Lynch, an assassin who is forced to connect with his ancestor during the Granada War to steal the Apple of Eden for the Knights Templar. Overall, the 2016 film is not the most faithful video game adaptation but combines familiar elements of the franchise with new aspects.



6 Changed: How The Animus Works In The Assassin’s Creed Movie

The Animus in Assassin's Creed II

One of the biggest changes 2016’s Assassin’s Creed made was how the Animus works. In the video game, the Animus is a machine that allows modern-day assassins to access their ancestor’s memories. Typically, they sit or lay down in the contraption and are promptly brought to the past wherein they essentially are their ancestor. This makes for a more interactive and seamless playing experience. However, the Assassin’s Creed movie completely changed how the Animus works.

In the Assassin’s Creed film, Cal doesn’t just lay in the Animus and experience the past. Instead, Cal becomes connected to his ancestor and physically copies the movements his ancestor made. When Aguilar jumps, Cal jumps, and so on. While many disliked this movie change, it seemed to be for the benefit of the audience. Rather than watching Callum simply lay in the Animus, they could see him moving and acting, which is much more interesting. In this way, the film weaves the past with the present through Cal and Aguilar’s shared actions.

5 Kept: The Assassin’s Creed Movie Uses The Games’ Leap Of Faith

ac 1 altair leap of faith

The Leap of Faith is an Assassin’s Creed manuever that is iconic to the game, and luckily, was featured in the 2016 movie. In the game’s lore, the Leap of Faith is not only a skill that all assassins have, but also is an initiation requirement. By performing the move, an assassin steadies themselves and proves their bravery and resolve. The move itself consists of jumping from a great height and falling effortlessly onto a cushioning material.

Near the end of the Assassin’s Creed movie, the Leap of Faith happens when Cal, as Aguilar, must escape his execution, ordered by the evil Tomas de Torquemada. Alongside his partner Maria, Aguilar is part of a rooftop chase and ultimately uses the Leap of Faith to elude his captors. This is a strong reference to Assassin’s Creed, and also, creates an interesting parallel between his almost execution, named the auto da fe or act of faith, and his escape which is known as the Leap of Faith.

4 Changed: Assassin’s Creed Movie Is Mostly In The Present Day

Assassins Creed Movie Discussion

While Assassin’s Creed has a heavy focus on history and, for the most part, fully takes place in the historical period of the chosen game, the Assassin’s Creed movie is filmed a lot more in the present day. Assasin’s Creed always includes two main characters: the present day assassin and their historical ancestor. Usually, once the assassin has connected with his ancestor, the game focuses entirely on the ancestor’s time period. However, the film differs from this by skipping between the past and the present, with a stronger focus on Cal’s present. This change definitely weakened the film’s ties to the Assassin’s Creed games.

3 Kept: The Assassin’s Creed Movie Has Some Characters From The Games

Tomas Torquemada Assassins Creed

A major connection between the Assassin’s Creed movie and the games is their shared cast of characters. Although the film’s protagonist is an original character, there are still a variety of cameos from previous Assassin’s Creed assassins and even one of the game’s villains. In particular, 2016’s Assassin’s Creed includes characters like Baptiste, Shao Jun, Yusuf Tazim, and Duncan Walpole from Assassin’s Creed: Liberation, Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China, Assassin’s Creed Revelations, and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag respectively. Additionally, the film’s inclusion of Tomas de Torquemada connects to Assassin’s Creed II: Discovery.

2 Changed: The Assassin’s Creed Movie Is An Original Story

Ariana Labed as Maria in Assassin's Creed

As an Assassin’s Creed movie, it may have been anticipated that the film would be adapted from one of the preexisting games, however, this expectation was completely wrong. 2016’s Assassin’s Creed created its own original story that fit within the world the Assassin’s Creed games had already made. As previously mentioned, the film follows assassin Callum Lynch as he is coerced into finding the Apple of Eden for Abstergo, the modern day Knights Templar. Cal is the descendant of Aguilar de Nerha who lived in Spain in 1492 during the Granada War and Spanish Inquisition.

Related: Netflix’s Assassin’s Creed: Things The 2016 Movie Got Wrong That The Series Needs To Get Right

Although Assassin’s Creed has previously made a game set around this time period, the film and the game are not connected beyond both including similar historical events and figures such as Tomas De Torqemada, Christopher Columbus, and King Muhammad XII. In Assassin’s Creed II: Discovery, protagonist Ezio Auditore da Firenze of Italy searches for the Apple of Eden and travels to Spain to help the Brotherhood who have been targeted during the Spanish Inquisition. All in all, the Assassin’s Creed movie’s real history paralleled the second game except with an entirely new story.

1 Kept: Assassin’s Creed Movie References Real History

An assassin looks over his shoulder in Assassin's Creed

The most important characteristic of Assassin’s Creed is its ties to history. Although it is an action-adventure game filled with fighting and conflict, the game is very much centered on history and the past. Luckily, the 2016 film did not change this aspect of the game, maintaining the true essence of Assassin’s Creed. By delving into the Spanish Inquisition and Granada War, the Assassin’s Creed movie stayed true to the game’s historical leanings and evoked the same scenarios that appear in the games from rooftop chases and Leaps of Faith to the ongoing struggle between the Order of Assassins and the Knights Templar that exceeds time period.

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