Among movie stars, the business model is widely known as “One for them, one for me”: an appearance in a small, heartfelt film followed up by a paycheck part in a presumed blockbuster.
Hot on the heels of her surprise best actress Oscar nomination for the intimate drama Two Days, One Night, French actress Marion Cotillard has signed on to a project that – at least at first blush – would seem to exist as the polar opposite of prestige film: a big budget live-action adaptation of the Ubisoft videogame Assassin’s Creed.
This isn’t out of character for Cotillard. The actress scored an Academy Award portraying torch singer Edith Piaf in 2007’s La Vie En Rose but also played a key role in comic book adaptation The Dark Knight Rises. In Assassin’s Creed, she’ll star opposite Michael Fassbender in an as-yet unspecified part that will reportedly span multiple movies should the first film rack up enough box-office returns to spawn a franchise.
Assassin’s Creed also marks a reunion for Fassbender and Cotillard, who star together in Macbeth, a kind of gothic reimagining of the Shakespeare classic directed by Australian filmmaker Justin Kurzel, that arrives in theaters later this year. In what might also be fairly called a “one for them” maneuver, Kurzel is also directing Assassin’s Creed and seems to have succeeded in regrouping his A-list his principles.
The video game series encompasses nine different games that have reportedly sold a combined 91 million units. It follows the travails of a bartender who is kidnapped by a secret organization with ties to the Knights Templar and must travel back through time to relive the memories of his ancestors—all of whom happened to be highly trained professional killers—and retrieve historical artifacts. The film will be released in December 2016.