The film features the highest free fall performed by a stuntman in almost 35 years. The stuntman Damien Walters performed a free fall from the height of 125 feet (38 meters), which lasted almost 3 seconds with a 61 mph impact speed.
This movie is based on a game with the same name. The actor Michael Fassbender had never played any of the nine games in the series until just before filming commenced; he didn't even know that the games existed until he was hired by Ubisoft.
The story of the film will be a new screenplay written specifically for this purpose, and not following the storyline of the games, allowing Ubisoft to develop unique stories for the big screen while maintaining their stories on our small screens.
Director Justin Kurzel didn't want to show Assassins as heroes and Templar as villains, or the opposite, because both ideologies can't be clearly called right or wrong and both of them can be corrupted, they can go to extremes: anarchy for Assassins and control for Templars.
Michael Fassbender was Ubisoft's first choice to play the franchise's iconic hooded hero, according to Jean-Julien Baronnet, CEO of Paris-based Ubisoft Motion Pictures. Baronnet also stated in an interview that none of Ubisoft's upcoming film adaptations will follow the same plot as their respective games, but will instead focus on telling new stories parallel to those games.
The historical sequences set in 15th century Spain were shot in Spanish language. According to Justin Kurzel, they tried to do them in English first, but the decision about Spanish was too obvious and good, and it adds an exoticness and richness to the film. In games, however, this sequences were in English as well as modern-day scenes, which was explained by the presence of built-in translator in the Animus machine.
While portraying Aguilar de Nerha, the protagonist of the past time-line, Michael Fassbender wore brown contact lenses, creating an alienating effect to the outward world and achieving the subtle difference between him and Callum Lynch, the protagonist of the present time-line.
Alicia Vikander was considered for the role of Maria before Ariane Labed was cast. Vikander dropped out as she chose to do Jason Bourne (2016) instead largely due to fan factor. According to her, the role of Maria was one of the three roles offered at the same time besides Heather in Bourne and the lead role of Mae Holland in The Circle.
The film features a 125 foot drop that Michael Fassbender's character takes and it is not CGI, it's a real stunt man plunging the high and dangerous drop. Such a stunt hasn't been performed in 35 years.
In the Assassin's Creed video game series the present-day character, Desmond, has a scar on the right side of his lip. This same scar can also be seen on the assassin from the first game, Altair, as well as the assassin from Assassin's Creed II, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, and Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Ezio. Coincidentally, Michael Fassbender also has a similar scar on the same side of his upper lip.
Marion Cotillard told French magazine Studio Ciné Live in May 2016, that when she was on the set of Mal de pierres (2016), she received a new version of the script of Assassin's Creed and discovered that her character and by extension the film, no longer corresponded to what she had loved. So she called director Justin Kurzel and he fully agreed with her disagreements. For fifteen days, Kurzel, Michael Fassbender and Cotillard reworked the script.
In the games, the Animus is a virtual reality machine rediscovered, developed, and sold by Abstergo Industries. It allows the user to read a subject's genetic memory, and project it onto an external screen in three dimensions.
Michael Fassbender puts the themes of the film to the contrary of the Star Wars, in which there's a dark side and a light side, while this movie is a very ambiguous morally: both of the sides - the Templars and the Assassins - are hypocritical at certain points, and there are not clear-cut good and bad characters. From this point of view, the film is a little more provocative for an audience, because it doesn't tell people to which characters they should empathize and what to feel about each one of them.
According to producers, Justin Kurzel directed huge action sequences really fast thanks to his high level of organization. For example, they prepared horses for five weeks to make an action scene with them, but the scene was already shot within three days.
The cast contains stars of various countries: Michael Fassbender is Irish/German. Marion Cotillard is French. Jeremy Irons and Callum Turner are English. Brendan Gleeson is Irish. Michael Kenneth Williams is American. Carlos Bardem and Javier Gutiérrez are Spanish, Ariane Labed is Greek and Hovik Keuchkerian is Lebanese/Spanish.
Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Irons have all starred in films based on comic books, in particular Marvel and DC comics. Michael Fassbender played Burke in "Jonah Hex", and the young Magneto in Marvel's "X-Men: First Class", "X-Men: Days of Future Past" and "X-Men: Apocalypse", Marion Cotillard' played Talia Al Ghul in "The Dark Knight Rises" and Jeremy Irons played Alfred Pennyworth in "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice".
At the beginning of the film, seen in the backdrop of the exterior of Abstergo Industries in Madrid, a large soccer stadium is visible just behind the facility. This is the Estadio Vincente Calderon, current home stadium of La Liga giants, as well as the 2014 champions of Spain, Atlético Madrid.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
In the scene in which Callum is surrounded by projections of his Assassin ancestors, several of them appears to be protagonists from the game series including Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad (Assassin's Creed), Ezio Auditore (Assassin's Creed 2 / Brotherhood / Revelations) and Arno Dorian (Assassin's Creed Unity)
Jeremy Irons is playing the villain in the Assassin's Creed movie. In the TV show The Borgias (an unrelated project), he also played Rodrigo Borgia, who is the main villain in Assassin's Creed 2 (video game).
In the film's finale, three other test subjects assist Callum in his escape and they all use their ancestor's weapons to fight the guards. The woman in the group uses a rope dart and a boot hidden blade, notable weapons of the former Mentor of the Assassins in China, Shao Jun. The first man uses what appears to be a Schianova sword from Assassin's Creed II or a cutlass from Assassin's Creed Unity, as well as a phantom blade from Assassin's Creed Unity. The second man uses poison bombs and has referred to his ancestor by name earlier in the film as "Baptiste." All of this information heavily implies that these three are the descendants of Shao Jun from Assassin's Creed China, of Arno Dorian from Assassin's Creed Unity and Jean-Baptiste from Assassin's Creed: Liberation (respectively.)
At the end of the movie Marion Cotillard's character suggests the line "Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds" as an introduction for her father's speech. The line is from the ancient Hindu scripture the "Bhagavad Gita" which was quoted by J. Robert Oppenheimer to describe his feelings towards his invention of the atomic bomb. The line was also referenced in Assassin's Creed II, in a glyph puzzle created by Subject 16 regarding Oppenheimer and the atomic bomb.
Despite having been present in Spain to aid Christopher Columbus and assassinate Tomas Torquemada during the events of the film, as shown in the Nintendo DS game, Assassins Creed II: Discovery, Ezio Auditore da Firenze does not make an appearance in this film.
When Callum first falls into the Animus, the following scene shows a young prince getting caught by the soldiers. The leader orders the soldiers to hang his family in front of him. This scene is similar to Assassin's Creed II when Ezio's family (excluding his mother and sister) is hanged right in front of him.