After a tortured period of to-ing and fro-ing between studio Sony and game publisher Ubisoft, Michael Fassbender is officially on board to star and co-produce a cinematic adaptation of the immensely popular Assassin's Creed gaming franchise. It's a shot in the arm for the creators who, after rejecting Sony, have been without an official studio home.
Fassbender will be taking on the role of Desmond Miles - originally voiced by Nolan North, the man behind Uncharted's Nathan Drake and many more - as well as his bloodletting ancestors. The plot in of itself is still unconfirmed, but it looks set to hit the screen, big studio backing or not.
For anyone unaware of Assassin's Creed's set-up, the games' stories revolve around an unassuming barman drawn into a fantastical world of assassins' guilds. Travelling through history, he's asked to relive his ancestor's lives through the magic of cutting-edge DNA technology.
The creative forces behind the 30 million-selling gaming series have so far pushed back again the traditional studio system, keen to keep more control of the film's story, whether its setting be that of the first game's medieval period, the second's Renaissance or the upcoming third title's American Revolution.
"Michael Fassbender was our first choice" Jean-Julien Baronnet, CEO of the specially-founded Ubisoft Motion Pictures, tells Variety. "He's an extremely smart, talented, versatile and committed actor."
"We're open to re-discuss with the key studios once the production package is finalised," Baronnet adds. Other games on the fledging studios cinematic adaptation wishlist include the similarly popular Tom Clancy series.
Whether this will be another franchise as (financially) successful as Resident Evil or another unfortunate one-off à la Hitman, Max Payne and Doom, remains to be seen, with no fixed release date announced as yet.