One of the standing traditions of the Assassin’s Creed video games is that when you go back in history, you discover everybody speaks English with horrendous accents, even when you go back in time to England, among English speakers. It must be a glitch in the Animus. But it turns out the Assassin’s Creed movie won’t be faithful to the game in this important respect.
If you haven’t been following this franchise and its bizarre plot, the short of it is that all of human history has been defined by a war between the Templars, who want to take over the Earth to prevent a second catastrophe, and the Assassins, who believe in human freedom and defend it with parkour and stabbing. For reasons really too convoluted to fully get into here, a big part of that is exploring the genetic memories of both sides, via the Animus, a virtual reality device that lets you essentially watch your ancestors beat up people. As a result, about a third of Assassin’s Creed is taking place during the Spanish Inquisition, where the Templars are up to something and it’s down to the Assassins to stop them.
Justin Kurzel (who also directed Assassin’s Creed star Michael Fassbender in MacBeth) apparently tried it in English, but found the Spanish just worked better on screen:
We did play around with English as well, but it was really obvious what you wanted as soon as you went back and started speaking beautiful Spanish. It really adds an exoticness and richness to the film.
Honestly, it’s a nice touch. The Assassin’s Creed games have always had meticulously researched backdrops that let you explore Renaissance Italy, Victorian London, and a host of other historical eras, and as the games have gone on, they’ve added more historical detail and funny touches, like taking the drinking tour of London in the 1850s and discovering just why food safety laws were passed. Just hopefully they don’t ruin that by scoring the entire movie to Kanye.