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Exclusive: new look at Michael Fassbender in Assassin's Creed

Assassin’s Creed – AKA What The Macbeth Clan Did Next – reteams Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard and director Justin Kurzel for another epic-feeling tale that will weave its way through the pages of history. The new issue of Empire is proud to debut a pair of exclusive stills from the movie showing Fassbender’s two characters, 15th-century swordsman Aguilar and his modern-day ancestor Callum Lynch, in action.

Michael Fassbender in Assassin's Creed 2

Judging by those manacles and that burning pyre, Aguilar, the hero of Ubisoft’s stellar gaming franchise, looks like he’s just escaped a Macbethian fate here, possibly at the hands of the shadowy Knights Templars.

Meanwhile, his contemporary, Lynch (below), the equivalent of the game’s Desmond Miles, is a man forced to relive his ancestor’s exploits via a VR machine called the Animus. No, this isn’t an outtake from Hunger. The shorn and noticeably gaunter Lynch is incarcerated either as a criminal or a madman, presumably with the Templar’s corporate avatars exploiting his connection with the past for their own nefarious ends.

Michael Fassbender in Assassin's Creed

It’s a truism to say that there’s never been a successful video-game adaption. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider had its moments, Silent Hill has its fans, Prince Of Persia has Jake Gyllenhaal riding an ostrich; none stood repeated viewing. But with Duncan Jones’s Warcraft: The Beginning and especially Kurzel’s Assassin’s Creed, 2016 could well run that old cliché through with a scimitar. Expect parkour and action galore, but with Kurzel’s track record, also expect hefty dramatic beats.

Pick up the new issue of Empire on December 31 for more on both those movies, as well as a pile more big preview goodness. Assassin’s Creed hits UK cinemas in December 2016.