THE BUZZ: Sony Pictures is giving Ubisoft an unprecedented amount of control in the production of its potential Assassin’s Creed movie, according to a report by NYMag.com’s Vulture column. Ubisoft was shopping the popular IP around Hollywood with very specific demands in place. Among them is approval of big budget decisions, principle cast control, control of the script, and even release date. These demands made it difficult for the french publisher to find a production company to strike a deal with before Sony Pictures stepped up to the plate.
Even with Sony agreeing to Ubisoft’s ransom, it has some Hollywood insiders doubting the possibility of an Assassin’s Creed movie ever being made. One anonymous talent agent said:
“The whole Ubisoft/Sony deal is a waste of ink, paper and time. The level of control Sony gave up means, effectively, that Assassin’s Creed will never — and I mean never — get made.”
According to the report, with this type of control over its IP, Ubisoft had to agree to put in a large sum of money towards the project and that certainly makes a deal like this easier for Sony. Still, some studio heads understand why Ubisoft is being so protective of their brand. One anonymous exec said :
“It’s [Ubisoft’s] billion-dollar brand, so I get that they’re protective, “But they’re not moviemakers, and the only way to make sure it’s a bad movie is to undervalue what movie studios do – and this is a deal that totally undervalues what movie studios do.”
EGM’s TAKE: If we had the Assassin’s Creed IP, we’d be protective of it also. A lot of the insider chatter here seems like sour grapes, but only time will tell if this is the right decision by Ubisoft. We would say Ubisoft understands where the brand is going more than anyone else, but with a third part two coming out in as many years, maybe we shouldn’t be so confident.