I was surprised to see the Assassin's Creed movie poster and teaser video last week. It looked really good to me, and being a long time fan of the series, I'm excited for any more content that might be produced. As fans of the series might recognize, my title for this post is a part of the actual Creed in the Assassin's Creed series. My concern comes up, and has been echoed in any of the conversations I've been having about the movie since seeing the trailer. Everyone comes back with some form of ". . . but movies based on video games haven't done very well. Hopefully this will be different . . . ". I agree, of course. I'm hopeful, but we haven't had a lot of success with video game transitions into movies so far. We're going to have at least two across the next year with Assassin's Creed being accompanied by the Warcraft movie. I'm hopeful, but cautiously so. This led me to wonder what makes media translations so challenging.
It's pretty natural in todays day and age to have these cross platform translations. We have Star Wars movies, Star Wars books, Star Wars comic books, Star Wars video games, etc. Certainly there's the entire revolution of the Comic Book film, which have found a way to become mainstays in our movie theatres. And its these that give me hope for video game translations.
It wasn't so long ago that we had comic book translations that were absolute flops at the Box Office. It wasn't until Marvel made the X-Men and Spider-Man movies around 2000 and 2002 that we started to see some success with film going fans. And then real success starting with the actual Marvel Studios films with Iron Man, etc. I think that we really saw that success because American audiences discovered a need for heroes again (more on this theory in a later post), but also because the movies started to become respectful of the source material. There's a reason that people gravitate to these stories in the first place, and previous iterations of super hero films tried to come at this source material from some new perspective, using movie writers. I think that the more emphasis we put on the actual source material writers influencing the writing of the translation material, the better off we are. So the fact that this Assassin's Creed movie has some strong influence from Ubisoft itself, that gives me hope.
I don't need a movie writer to translate the material that I already love into a movie story. I also don't necessarily need a retelling of the story I already know. That's what I kind of like about this Assassin's Creed movie. There would be so much material, and so many choices that I made in the games to try and distill into one compiled story, that I feel like what I love about the games would get lost in the movie. So this new take gives me hope. If it works, I'm hopeful that we'll see other stories begin to translate across. As with the other media translations out there, I love getting more content in different forms. So I'd love to take advantage of this scenario with my favorite game stories too. After all, what I show up for is a great story, regardless of the medium.
Look forward to talking again later, please comment in the section below. I'd love to have the interaction. What's your favorite franchise translation?
All the best,