How did the director of one of this year's biggest blockbusters stay true to his film indie roots?
This week on The No Film School Podcast, I got a chance to sit down with Justin Kurzel, director of the new Assassin’s Creed movie. The film is, of course, based on the incredibly popular Ubisoft game series. There has yet to be a video game movie release that one could call "excellent," but it's easy to identify the factors that make these adaptations so challenging to do well.
This would certainly seem to be a higher profile guest then we usually have on the show, but like many other recent blockbuster directors, Mr. Kurzel is a low-budget filmmaker at heart. His two previous movies, The Snowtown Murders and Macbeth, are a few of the more stylized indie action flicks to have come out in recent years. This same visionary style shines through in Assassin's Creed—whatever unevenness the script presents—making it one of the most enjoyable video game adaptations to date.
With an $130 million budget, Assassin’s Creed is a far jump from the $15 million Macbeth, which was already a leap from the $ 2 million spent on The Snowtown Murders. In this conversation, we break down the biggest challenges of making the jump from independent film to blockbuster, where the scale is massive and there are endless voices in your ear throughout production.
In the end, Mr. Kurzel insists what’s most important is keeping your vision strong despite all of those voices, and how in doing that himself, he hopes to have broken the dreaded “video game curse."
Listen to the episode by streaming or downloading from the embedded player above, or find it on iTunes here.