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What Netflix can learn from Fallout's Success for Upcoming Assassin's Creed Projects


25 Apr 2024

Written By:

Edited By:

Colum Blackett

Amazon Prime’s new Fallout show is excellent, and like many people I got a bit addicted and binged the whole thing over the weekend. It's an intriguing, dramatic, action-packed narrative with some really compelling characters and performances. As a fan of the franchise, I felt it perfectly captured the tone that made me love the games, but importantly it was still welcoming to newcomers. This is likely why it's had such critical success, and why all of the games are seeing a massive rise in active players. 

It's an almost perfect live action video game adaptation, and as we wait for Netflix’s new Assassin’s Creed show, I think there are plenty of lessons that the Netflix production team could take from this success; a few of which I actually think we already got in the Assassin's Creed Movie (2016). 

While it has its fans, I think the film overall was a failure. It didn't resonate with audiences, and the narrative felt jumbled. But, choosing to create an original story within the world of Assassin's Creed that actively affected canon was the right move. I care about the stories of these games, and while it would be great to see characters show up (you could pull off a pretty cool Kassandra appearance with Melissanthi Mahut), I have no interest in seeing their stories again in live action. 

If you want to get people interested, show them something new and add to the games. An original story would be a great opportunity to introduce new people to the franchise, while giving hardcore fans something to chew on. 

With that, I also think that you need to ruffle a few feathers. 

Some Fallout fans have taken issue with the show’s additions to canon. There's nothing that breaks what came before, but theories and questions were put to bed, while the fate of a major city was decided. It's brave and shows a creative team who weren't willing to do a simple paint by numbers story. There are much easier, less controversial plots that could have been written, but by being bold the show stands out and doesn't feel like a watered down add-on. 

Even though some fans are annoyed, the decisions were handled well to fit within the narrative of the show (rather than be purely for shock value), by a team of creatives who are clearly fans of the games themselves.

If Netflix wants the Assassin's Creed show to work, they need to make some bold decisions. The show could be a perfect opportunity to finally conclude some of the dangling threads left by previous games that Ubisoft no longer cares about answering. We could find out what happened to someone like Bishop and Erudito, get details on the Roman Hidden Ones who Aya led, or even expand on the Juno and Phoenix Project sub-plot which, as far as I know, was quickly resolved in a comic. These are just suggestions, but if you get in a talented team who are also fans, you could pull off something really exciting here.

That, I think, was the core problem with the film. The filmmakers were incredibly talented, Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard and director Justin Kurzel had just come off making Macbeth (2015), a genuinely brilliant film. There's talent there, but for whatever reason it didn't manifest into a good adaptation of Assassin's Creed. There could be plenty of reasons for that, Kurzel himself admits the film was a mess and struggled with his first jump into Hollywood Cinema, but I would say that a big challenge may have come from his unfamiliarity with the source material. 

Recounting his involvement in the film, Kurzel explains that it was Fassbender who first informed and drew him into the project He was introduced to the idea as a director, not a fan. There's nothing necessarily wrong with that, but if Netflix wants to course correct now I think getting an actual fan who's played the games to show run would be an important first step. Jonathan Nolan, Fallout showrunner and brother of Oscar-winning Christopher Nolan, isn't just a talented individual (with work on Westworld, Person of Interest and many of his brother’s films), he's also a huge Fallout fan. He describes Fallout 3 as ‘consuming a year of his life’. He cared for the source material and made a show he would want to watch. 

That's the kind of person we need helming Assassin's Creed, someone who can't only prove their talent, but bring in the tiny details that made us all fall in love with the games to begin with. 

Fallout has given me hope, and I think if done right Assassin's Creed could end up as an amazing show.






Images via Amazon Prime video



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About the Author

Finn is a creative writer from Rotherham, UK who has previously supported TOWCB's Fundraising events, and raised awareness surrounding Men's Mental Health.

Finn's writing covers a wide scope, with releases so far including reviews, interviews and stories. He is known in the AC Community for his 'Pitching an Assassin's Creed Game' series, all of which you can find here on TOWCB website!

Finn Fletcher

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