Mass Effect to invade the big screen

This could be a good thing or a bad thing… EA have just confirmed that they’re making Mass Effect into a movie. The franchise has been acquired by Legendary Pictures, who are best known for their co-productions of The Dark Knight, Clash of the Titans, 300, Watchmen and, um, The Hangover, as part of their co-financing agreement with Warner Bros.

Casey Hudson, Executive Producer of Mass Effect will again be donning the EP hat for this movie adaptation, and he explains that it’s not a surprising move:

“At BioWare, we’ve always thought of Mass Effect as having the depth, emotion and plot twists perfectly suited for an adaptation to a motion picture. With Legendary and Avi and Ari Arad attached, we believe that the Mass Effect movie will be an extraordinary entertainment event that realizes our vision for the franchise and thrills fans.”

Mass Effect

Who will play Commander Shepard?

I Am Legend script writer Mark Protosevich is currently chatting to the producers about bringing his talents to the project, creating a screenplay based on the epic sci-fi series. Joining Casey Hudson as Executive Producers will be the Doctors, BioWare‘s co-founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk. Taking on producer duties will be Legendary‘s own Thomas Tull and John Jashni, as well as Avi Arad, who originally owned the film rights to the story.

Arad is a bit pleased with the move:

“We are thrilled to be working with Legendary. EA and BioWare are terrific partners who have created a brilliant piece of fiction with a universe filled with amazing aliens and technology. More importantly, though, they created a parable whose conflicts mirror the ones we currently face in our own world. This story emphasizes the need for all cultures to learn to work together. All this magic is presented in a fast paced action-adventure that makes for the best kind of movie experience.”

In case you weren’t aware, Mass Effect follows the story of Commander Shepard and the SS Normandy in the year 2183, as a team heads out on a mission to defeat an ancient alien race. The justification for the destruction is pretty simple – left unchecked, the aliens will continue to invade the galaxy every 50,000 years and wipe out all traces of organic life. Not really a fun outcome, but one which should translate quite well to the big screen.

Thomas Tull, Chairman and CEO of Legendary Pictures explains:

“Mass Effect is a tremendous property ripe for translation to the big screen. Mass Effect is a prime example of the kind of source material we at Legendary like to develop; it has depth, compelling characters and an engaging back story. This coupled with Avi and Ari producing and the skills of a great team adapting the screenplay, are the start of turning this smash videogame based property into a successful feature film.”

If you’ve been following video game movie news, Legendary Pictures should be ringing some bells – they’re also bringing Warcraft to the big screen, with Sam Raimi at the helm. They’re obviously keen on the concept, let’s just hope they can pull it off. Looking at the spotted history of game-to-film adaptations, they’re going to be fighting an uphill battle. Fingers crossed!

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