|“||I'm about to pull the plug on your Subject 17. So either get me results or get another person in that Animus.||„|
|~ Rikkin to Warren Vidic|
Alan Rikkin is the Chief Executive Officer of Abstergo Industries and a member of the Inner Sanctum of the Templar Order. Rikkin serves as the Bigger Bad of the present day storyline in the 2007 video game Assassin's Creed, Assassin's Creed III, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and Assassin's Creed: Syndicate, and the main antagonist of the live action Assassin's Creed film.
He was voiced and portrayed by Jeremy Irons, who also played Scar in The Lion King, Simon Gruber in Die Hard With a Vengeance, Profion in Dungeons & Dragons, Rodrigo Borgia (aka Pope Alexander VI) in The Borgias, John Tuld in Margin Call, and Ozymandias in Watchmen.
Alan Rikkin's past is largely unknown, most likely due to the Templar Order's secretive nature. He was born sometime around the 1950s, as evidenced by his physical appearance. He rose through the Templar's ranks during his life until becoming one of the leaders of the group and was a feared name to the Brotherhood of Assassins, the Templar Order's age-old enemies.
Among the things he learned of during his life was the existence of the First Civilization, the ancient species responsible for the creation of the Pieces of Eden artifacts, including the Apples of Eden. Sometime during the 70's, he married a currently-unknown woman, and they had a daughter named Sophia in 1980, born in the United Kingdom. Alan's wife was killed by an Assassin in 1984, leading to him desiring revenge against the Brotherhood.
He was present at a trailer park in 1986 when Templar agents in black vehicles arrived to kill Assassin Joseph Lynch; however, instead of killing him, they decided to hold him prisoner for what would eventually become the Animus project.
Sophia grew up to become a scientist for Abstergo, experimenting with the Animus. Alan Rikkin became the CEO of Abstergo Industries in January 2012, following the demise of his unnamed predecessor. He reported directly to the Elder Council of the Templar Order and was dubbed the leader of the Templars by the Assassin Brotherhood.
He oversaw the Animus Project supervised by Dr. Warren Vidic and Lucy Stillman, reviewing the data obtained from Subjects 12-16. By the start of Assassin's Creed, he was becoming frustrated that it was taking a few days for Desmond Miles – Subject 17 – to synchronize with the memory they needed to map the locations of the Pieces of Eden, one of which would replace the Apple needed to power the Eye-Abstergo satellite. Desmond was able to review e-mails between Warren Vidic and Rikkin, as Rikkin seemed to be losing patience with Vidic over his supposed inability to carry out their plan with Eye-Abstergo. This plan, however, was jeopardized by Desmond Miles escaping the Abstergo facility in Rome with help from Lucy at the start of Assassin's Creed II.
Attention to Other Matters
By Assassin's Creed III, following Desmond's attack on the Rome facility on December 2012 to rescue the captured William Miles (which resulted in Desmond killing Daniel Cross and Vidic), the lack of an Apple of Eden forced Rikkin to put Eye-Abstergo on hold indefinitely.
He was also credited in the credits of the Liberation video-game made by Abstergo Entertainment as the CEO of the company.
He later made contact with Abstergo Entertainment CCO Olivier Garneau in 2013 during the time that they were using the Animus to learn about pirate-turned Assassin Edward Kenway. They spoke multiple times regarding the Observatory, a First Civilization temple that Edward had been to. In 2014, he sent a message to Melanie Lemay, who'd taken Olivier's place after he'd been killed by the Templars after discovering their sinister plans. He offered Melanie a raise for her performance and looked forward to working with her in the future.
Shortly after Templar agent Violet da Costa retrieved the Shroud of Eden from underneath Buckingham Palace in late 2015, he met with Alvaro Gramatica, who informed him of what he'd learned from it. The Phoenix Project, the Templars' plan to re-create and map perfect First Civilization DNA, is then pushed forward on Rikkin's orders, given that the Shroud's power would make this possible. Unbeknownst to Alan, Violet was planning to use the Shroud to give First Civilization survivor Juno a physical body so that she may take over the world herself.
Assassin's Creed (film)
In 2016, Alan Rikkin, seeking to acquire another Apple of Eden, takes part in an Animus experiment occurring in an Abstergo facility in Madrid, Spain, conducted by Sophia. Learning of the Spanish Assassin Aguilar de Nerha, who lived during the time of the Spanish Inquisition, and how he'd come to possess an Apple of Eden, Alan had his bloodline traced throughout history, using his wealth to arrange the plan. He and Sophia learn of Callum Lynch, the last-known descendant of Aguilar, and learned about how he'd been put on death row for first-degree murder. Knowing that they can't use Callum's dead body for the Animus, they devise a scheme to have his death faked and his real self to be brought to the Madrid lab, where other Animus users live.
Alan is present when Callum first enters the Animus and is satisfied with what he's seeing; however, Sophia orders him pulled from the machine after his vitals begin to spike, disappointing Alan. Alan confronts Sophia about this, telling her that the Elders of the Templar Order are going impatient with their lack of progress in finding a working Apple, but she defends her decision. Alan nonetheless holds confidence in her, jokingly-saying "2016, Sophia Rikkin finds the cure for violence". He meets with the Elders later, with his superior Ellen Kaye threatening to pull the funding on the Animus Project entirely if he didn't give them results. He defends himself and his accomplishments to her, saying that religion and politics have allowed the Order's control to become stronger and that it's about time they give science a try. He is given a 2-day deadline, at which point he'll have to present the Apple to the Templar Order; if he doesn't have it by then, the Elders will cut their losses and remove him from power.
For a second time, Callum is put into the Animus, with Alan watching, having returned from the meeting with the Elders. Callum becomes more in-sync with Aguilar at this point; however, when Aguilar pulls off a Leap of Faith, Callum's vitals spike yet again, forcing Sophia to remove him from the machine to save his life. Again, Alan tries to talk to Sophia about this, and again, she defends herself; as it turns out, for the Animus to work properly without the risk of killing Callum, he must go into it of his own free will. Sophia begins to question Alan's true intentions, but he proceeds to put her mind at ease.
Knowing what's at stake, Alan enters Callum's cell, telling him about the Templars' goals and authority, hoping to convince him to re-enter the Animus without being forced into it. He describes to him the evil of the Assassin Brotherhood, considering them to be nothing more than heartless killers, and tells him about his father Joseph, who is actually in the facility now, having been taken in 1986 after catching him with his wife's corpse; he reveals that his mother was also an Assassin. Alan walks Callum into a room with several other captured Animus subjects and orders the guards to remove them, save for Joseph. With the room empty, Alan gives Callum the Hidden Blade that belonged to Joseph, hoping that he'll be convinced to look at the evils the Assassins have committed and go back into the Animus. Callum confronts his father, who tries to justify his actions, saying that his mother wanted to die rather than be subjected to the Animus' torture; this does nothing to change Callum's mind, as he is convinced now more than ever that the Assassins must be wiped off the face of the planet.
Callum willingly returns to the Animus and manages to find out where Aguilar had put the Apple; in the hands of Christopher Columbus, who discovered North and South America. At that moment, the Animus subjects, led by Moussa, revolt against their captors, killing numerous guards and forcing Alan to order an evacuation. Callum, meanwhile, finds himself surrounded by Animus holograms of his Assassin ancestors; Sophia found herself distracted by one of the holograms, who looks exactly like her, hinting at her Assassin heritage. She is taken away to a helicopter with Alan, and they fly away while the Assassins manage to escape the facility.
In London the next day, Alan arrives at the Templar gathering, while Ellen Kaye congratulates Sophia for his work and promising a bright future for her; out of loyalty to him, Sophia allows him to take credit for finding the Apple. Alan presents the Apple taken from the grave of Christopher Columbus, telling them of his plan to use it to control every human mind on the planet, with the audience applauding him. However,
his speech is cut short as Callum, dressed in Assassin robes, appears behind him and slits his throat with his Hidden Blade; in the ensuing chaos, which saw the Templars running away and screaming, Callum and the other Assassins present disappear. Sophia finds her father's body lying on the floor and sees that the Apple is gone and has been replaced with a literal apple from the Madrid facility cafeteria; she swears to take revenge on the Assassins for the death of her father.
- As shown in e-mails accessible in the original Assassin's Creed game Alan doesn't seem to have a lot of respect for Warren Vidic or Lucy Stillman, showing signs of being impatient towards them both. In other such e-mails that can be found on the Abstergo Industries website (made by Ubisoft, the creators of Assassin's Creed), Rikkin showed that he didn't know certain historical facts, believing Guy Fawkes to have been involved in the French Revolution; when corrected, he claimed "Don't contradict my dates like that again. We are making history here, the past is largely irrelevant."
- Contrary to this, however, Rikkin's behavior in the Assassin's Creed movie is more calm, collected and intelligent, in addition to being cunning and manipulative. This was likely Jeremy Irons' idea of who the character should be.
- The production team behind the Assassin's Creed movie posted a picture of Alan Rikkin's business card on Twitter. If one should call the numbers on the card, a voice message from Jeremy Irons in-character as Rikkin can be heard.
- Coincidentally, Irons portrayed Alfred Pennyworth in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which also came out in 2016. However, Alfred was a neutral character, whereas Rikkin was a villain.
- Interestingly, Jeremy Irons also portrayed another fictionalization of Rodrigo Borgia, who appeared in Assassin's Creed II and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, in The Borgias.
- Rikkin shares some similarities with Ra's al Ghul from Batman Begins.
- They both want to use the stolen artifacts to accomplish their goals.
- Their plans failed and both of them were killed by the protagonists (Cal for Assassin's Creed and Batman for The Dark Knight).
- Their daughters want revenge for their father's death (Sofia for Rikkin and Talia for Ra's).