It doesn’t look like the Assassin’s Creed film is going to be pulling any punches – particularly stunt-wise. A new behind-the-scenes video shows one of the film’s biggest undertakings: stuntman Damien Walters performing the Leap of Faith live, in costume, from a platform suspended up to 125 feet above the ground onto what appears to be an oversized bounce house..
A key component of the video game source material is the leap of faith — a death-defying jump from a tall tower. Most films would take this scene and re-create it with today’s cutting-edge digital effects, but the Assassin’s Creed producers figured, eh, fuck it: we’ll do it live.
Patrick Crowley, one of the film’s producers, says in the video that typically a stunt of this magnitude would be done digitally. But because director Justin Kurzel wanted the film to look as real as possible, they were going to attempt to do it for real.
The video shows the process of testing the waters, increasing the height of the platform from which Walters jumps from 70 feet, then to 90 feet, then, eventually, 125 feet. Walters jumps from the platform and free falls onto a massive inflatable cushion and makes it look easy, despite the fact that for the 125-foot fall, his impact speed is just over 60 mph.
This is one of the highest free-fall stunts attempted in the last 35 years, and that’s evidence enough that it takes a lot of guts to be a stunt performer. Charting new territory is exciting, sure, but free falling onto a safety cushion that appears, as Walters says, like a sheet of paper on the ground requires more than just nerves of steel.
So, if come the release of Assassins Creed, you find yourself thinking that the signature Leap of Faith looks awfully convincing, just remember: That’s because it is real.
The movie is set in the same world as the popular video game series from Ubisoft. It’s directed by Justin Kurzel and stars Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, and is scheduled for release on December 21.