Netflix’s planned TV series adaptation of Ubisoft’s flagship franchise “Assassin’s Creed” has lost its showrunner.
20th Century Fox released a 2016 film adaptation of the franchise, which served as a re-teaming of “Macbeth” director Justin Kurzel and its stars Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. The result was met with poor critical reception and made only $240.7 million from a $125 million budget.
Netflix, meanwhile, has successfully released several video game adaptations over the last few years with strong critical success on the animated front with “Arcane,” “Castlevania,” and “Cyberpunk: Edgerunners”.
“Assassin’s Creed” marks one of its few live-action adaptations and originally had “Vikings: Valhalla” showrunner and “Die Hard” scribe Jeb Stuart set as series showrunner.
Speaking with Collider recently ahead of the launch of the second season of “Vikings: Valhalla,” Stuart confirmed he is “no longer involved” in the project. Asked why that is, he says it was an executive regime change, and there are no hard feelings:
“I think it was a little bit of a move of executives from LA to London, and it allowed the London group who, unfortunately, had to inherit my vision of what it was instead of getting to develop their own vision. So I think that’s fair. I know it’s going to be great whenever it comes out. I think the Ubisoft guys are fantastic. I think it’s a terrific franchise. It was just a good, mutual time to move on for both sides.”
The game series kicked off in 2007 and explores the war between the rival secret orders of the Assassins and the Templars. Each entry was mostly set in a different time period – Third Crusade, Renaissance Italy, American Revolution, Caribbean at piracy’s height, Revolutionary France, Victorian England, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Norse Viking era, etc. accessed from the present-day via the Animus, a machine allowing access to genetic memories of Assassins in different periods.
The TV series remains in early development, with Ubisoft Film and Television producing the show alongside Netflix. The next game in the series, the 9th-century Baghdad-set “Assassin’s Creed Mirage,” is to be released later this year.