It’s true that the action of Justin Kurzel’s big screen Assassin’s Creed feature film follows Michael Fassbender’s dual characters: Callum Lynch and Aguilar de Nerha, in the modern day and 15th Century Spain respectively. But there are other members of the Assassin Brotherhood in the film too, in various stages of their development, with many of them hiding in plain sight.
In the 15th Century, Aguilar is joined by Maria, a more experienced Assassin than him, who is his most trusted ally. In the modern day, Cal finds himself at the Abstergo facility with a rag-tag bunch of fellow inmates who are all suffering from the effects of prolonged exposure to the Animus, and have their own ancestral Assassin legacies. So who are some of the other Assassins of Assassin’s Creed?
When we first meet Cal Lynch, he’s at the end of the road. Convicted of murder, and awaiting his punishment on Death Row, Cal is lost, a victim of a traumatic experience he had as a boy, and unable to control himself or believe in others. He doesn’t know his genetic lineage, and hasn’t heard of the Assassins, let alone of their history and their conflict with the Templars. “Cal is a sort of drifter,” notes Michael Fassbender. “He’s been in and out of correctional facilities for most of his life and he’s fairly underprivileged. He doesn’t really believe in much. He’s certainly got no allegiance to anything, since his family was taken away from him pretty early on. It’s on his journey, through Aguilar’s memories, that he starts to learn where he comes from and that be belongs to something. He belongs to this bloodline, and it’s something special. It gives him a direction for the first time in his life.”
AGUILAR DE NERHA
When Cal steps into the Animus, he relives the memories of Aguilar, a 15th Century Assassin fighting the Templar forces behind the Spanish Inquisition in Granada and Seville. “Aguilar believes very strongly in the Creed,” says Fassbender, referring to the titular belief of the Assassins about the importance of free will and the responsibility they have to protect it, even as that contrasts with the strict discipline of their order. “Aguilar belongs to the Creed and he lives for the Creed.” He says there were long discussions about how Aguilar would look. “Sammy Sheldon-Differ has done an amazing job on the costume, and that was a major part of it. And I wear contact lenses that turn my eyes brown. The eyes are funny because you know something’s different, but you don’t really know what.”
Actress Ariane Labed describes Maria as Aguilar’s closest ally. “She was already part of the Creed when he arrives, and she was leading him a little bit. They become this duo, and they clearly need one another. He saves my life, I save his life.” Maria is more precise and measured than Aguilar, but no less deadly in combat. “You feel you have this power when you play her,” Labed notes. “It’s all about the way you look at the world, and for the Assassins, there’s no difference between the sexes. Usually feminine characters in action movies are there for other purposes, and you’re just kind of a sexy killer. But it’s not like that here; it’s about being powerful and fighting for something together.”
The first of the Assassins trapped in the Abstergo facility with Cal, Michael Kenneth Williams says Moussa is, “The trickster. He’s the ringleader of the Assassins in Abstergo, and he sees everyone’s gifts and recognises their potential. He pulls everyone together.” Like the rest of the Assassins at Abstergo, Moussa is put through the Animus and has to deal with his own regressions. It’s through these regressions that he learns his own unique brand of Assassin combat. “He’s from a Caribbean ancestral background, and he’s a Voodoo poisoner,” notes Williams. “He has all that energy behind him. Can he fight? Yes. But would he rather just sprinkle something in your tea and kill you softly? You bet.”
While Moussa immediately recognises the role Cal can play in changing the balance of power within Abstergo, Nathan is not so sure. “Nathan is warning Cal constantly,” says Callum Turner (the actor who plays Nathan). “I think we’re all aware of who he is and what he means, but I’m the one who warns him not to mess it up. We can see that if he goes to the Templars, we’re in trouble. The others are a little warmer to him, but I see him as a fanatic.” Given the subject of Nathan’s regressions, it’s no wonder he has some familiarity with the ease with which allegiances can change. “It’s a fascinating decision to make; to be so convinced and unwavering in your belief, and then have one little thing change your mind and put you on the other side,” notes Turner.
A Chinese Assassin with a grace that comes from years of training in martial arts, Lin is precise but deadly, just like the Assassin she discovers in her genetic regressions, who is well-travelled and hardened by the struggles of life for a woman in 16th Century China.
“Emir’s a believer,” says Mathias Verala of his character at the Abstergo lab. “He sees Cal for who he could be right at the start. He’s quite calm, and pretty reserved, and he’s not a man of many words.” An Assassin of Middle-Eastern descent, Emir’s regressions would explain where his belief comes from. With an ancestor who lived where East meets West, and observed and knew perhaps one of the most accomplished Assassins of all time, Emir is no stranger to recognising potential.
A mysterious young girl, Lara is a favourite of Abstergo’s head, Alan Rikken. A quiet girl, she has a passion for drawing and seems to channel images from the Animus sessions of all of Abstergo’s subjects. With a wisdom beyond her years, Lara holds secrets that the staff of Abstergo would do well not to underestimate.
Written by: 20th Century Fox / Joe Utichi