Legendary Pictures has secured the rights to turn the incredible science fiction video game Mass Effect into a feature-length movie. The banner has previously delivered us great titles like 300, The Dark Knight, Watchmen, The Hangover, and Where the Wild Things Are…among many others.
Avi Arad and Ari Arad will produce the film, and Mark Protosevich is currently in talks to pen the screenplay. Protosevich has previously written The Cell, Poseidon, I Am Legend, and helped to write Marvel Studios’ Thor.
Back in January, Casey Hudson, a project director on Mass Effect 2 clearly stated that “Obviously we have a tremendous amount of interest from people in Hollywood to make a major motion picture about Mass Effect. The most important thing for us is, we don’t just want to see a movie get made. We want to see a great movie get made, if it’s going to get done at all.” This was a great sign because of all the terrible movies that have been made based on games, this one could very well be the easiest to mess up, and mess up quickly.
Mass Effect has always been developed as a trilogy of games, often compared to the Star Wars trilogy in game-to-film comparisons. We haven’t seen the trilogy-capping third game yet, but judging by the first two, it’s not an unfair comparison to make. In fact, if you made Mass Effect a few decades ago as a movie instead of a game, and Star Wars was never made (calm down people, it’s just a hypothetical), the two would probably not differ much in terms of popularity.
The big problem with making a movie from Mass Effect, is that just like with all action RPG video games, it deals heavily in the power of choice. A lot of things go differently for certain players, and film makers would have to find a way to make everyone happy while securing the integrity of the game’s main story. It would not be smart to alter much, if anything at all. The story is so good, and so cinematic in structure already, it’s more about progressing it to film as opposed to adapting it from the game.
I don’t personally like to judge based on prior work, but I’d be lying if the hiring of Protosevich didn’t make me nervous. I don’t know how much work he did on Thor, and that could be a game-changer for his resume, but I Am Legend was almost unwatchable, and many would make the same claim for Poseidon and The Cell. I’d much prefer someone with a great mind for science fiction and a true passion for Mass Effect (which he may have) was hired for this job.
As I said, this is about as thin as the ice can get. ONE wrong move — the wrong writer, the wrong director, a flaw in the story, the wrong stars — and it will go down in an spectacular ball of flames. We can only hope that BioWare has the final OK to all scripts and castings because they’ve made it clear that they don’t want a movie unless it’s done right.
Oh, and let us not forget the Halo movie and the Bioshock movie. We’ve heard so much about them, but not an inch of forward-movement has come of it. So will a Mass Effect movie, with how unbelievably big it will definitely be, even ever happen, or will we be talking about new writers and how it might get moving soon for years to come?
[Source: Heat Vision]