Earlier this year, Netflix revealed the adaptation of classic video game franchise Castlevania to an animated series for their virtual streaming service. The show would be written by the original comics’ author Warren Ellis and produced by one Adi Shankar, who had previously gained Internet fame for his work on a live-action Power Rangers short film. Now, it would seem, Shankar has taken on a project of a similar genre.
“I’m happy to let you guys know that I’ve selected my next project! I played the first edition of Assassin’s Creed the year I moved to Los Angeles to pursue my dream. At that moment I knew absolutely no one in the industry could never have imagined that one day Ubisoft would ask me to take the world of Assassin’s Creed and create an original story set in it as an anime series. If anyone ever tells you not to follow your passion in life they are wrong.”
This isn’t the first time Ubisoft has tried to sell the studio’s flagship franchise through other entertainment mediums. Assassin’s Creed aired on the big screen late last year and despite an impressive cast (Michael Fassbender, Jeremy Irons, Marion Cotillard), the film nevertheless received harsh reviews for its rather boring and incoherent narrative.
Not that Ubisoft can really be blamed for the failed crossing between industries; video game adaptations have long suffered at the hands of movie producers, with few films reaching what one could call “critical success.” Everything from Lara Croft to Doom to Warcraft has struggled to land on its feet in the cinema, suggesting that the transition is either more difficult than it seems – or heavily underestimated by its producers.
Still, there is hope for the decision to animate the Assassin’s Creed franchise. Shankar worked as the executive producer for Dredd, which is highly regarded for not only closely sticking to its comic book source material, but for successfully translating it to an entertaining flick. This background in adapting franchises from one medium to another suggests that, while Adi Shankar will certainly have his work cut out for him, he’s certainly more qualified than most in Hollywood.