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Mass Effect movie in the works

Since the beginning, Mass Effect has been compared to Star Wars for its richly detailed universe and compelling characters and story. The comparison is about to become even more apt, as Legendary Pictures (300, The Dark Knight) have optioned the film rights to Mass Effect. BioWare co-founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk are on board as executive producers, so fans of the games should be reasonably assured that the film will be true to the franchise. Mass Effect and its sequel have been described as cinematic by just about everyone who’s ever written about them, so we have high hopes that here, finally, is the Holy Grail of game-to-movie adaptation. If Mass Effect can’t be made into a good movie, no game can.


Above: Space Man versus Uncaring Cosmos: The Film

May 25, 2010

23 comments

  • RandomRaptor - July 28, 2010 9:50 a.m.

    I think that it would be interesting to see some kind of ambiguity in the story, like the end of Inception. That way they can try and stay true o the whole moral greyness of Shepard's character (or more appropriately, his/her various different characters). It would be interesting to see that implemented. Also, it would be funny to see a conversation consisting solely of "Shepard...", "Wrex..."
  • RebornKusabi - May 26, 2010 7:31 p.m.

    The key thing to remember is that PLENTY of video game movies have had someone from the games involved in the making of them... and it almost never works. Two examples that immediately come to mind is the Wing Commander people were involved in the "Freddie Prinze Jr. and Matthew Lillard meets the Wing Commander Universe" movie and Jordan Mechner wrote the script for the Prince of Persia movie that releases Friday. Also, Ed Boon was involved in the first Mortal Kombat movie and Tomonobu Itagaki was involved, to an extent, with the Dead or Alive movie. The key thing to remember here is the one simple fact: Just because it works as a Video Game does not equal being able to work as a movie. I just got all achievements for Mass Effect 2 and the last playthrough (Insanity Mode), where I did just the main quests and loyalty quest, still took me about 20 hours to finish. So basically, the second Mass Effect movie only has at the most 3 hours to work all 20 hours of gameplay into one movie? There lies the inherent problem- In order for video game movies to work, there must be sacrifices to the game's canon itself. Why did The Dark Knight work so well? Because it wasn't chained by comic book canon and it branched out and told it's own story WHILE remaining true to the tone and theme of the source material that it was based off of. What do I personally think the movie should be based off of? It should be based on the discovery of the Mass Relay on Mars, the First Contact War and the human Alliance's actions during the First Contact War... but we all know it's going to be a truncated retelling of the first game with little exposition, character derailment and lastly, a no-name (and cheap) director who has never played the games or even read the wiki and as such, will most likely completely destroy the movie where it will go on to be added the catalog of bad "Movies based on Games". Cynicism is fun!
  • Geminiman82 - May 26, 2010 6:37 p.m.

    This WILL be the next Star Wars...if it's done correctly
  • Spybreak8 - May 26, 2010 9:25 a.m.

    Hmm I think Mass Effect has to be experienced interactively so I wonder how a passive showing of the Mass Effect universe would work. Here's hoping it works out (they do have the right people for the job) to be the next Star Wars!
  • redmight - May 26, 2010 2:19 a.m.

    NotBraze you have spoken with wise words, so I see that the only alternative for something like that would be to do something like the backstory everyone is saying, the first contact war is perfect in my opinion, or maybe the story of some important npcs like captain Anderson in his young days going on missions with saren
  • NotBraze - May 26, 2010 1:22 a.m.

    I think movies based on Video Games have every potential to work, but I do fear for Mass Effect, just not for that reason. Mass Effect is special because, unlike many other games, you're not just going from point A to point B to progress the pre-scripted story, everything you do actually has major impact on how things play out. I love BioShock, I love Portal, I love a lot of other games, but the reason that I love Mass Effect is because it's the closest I've ever felt while playing a video game to actual real-life decision making. When I play Mass Effect, Commander Shepherd isn't just a character that a writer has written and I'm observing, he's me, and I am him. His decisions, made by me, have real effects on other people and situations. And the decisions have weight, my triumphs and my mistakes all had a huge impact on Mass Effect 2. The draw, for me, of Mass Effect is not the story, the characters, or even the action. All those things are great, but the number one reason I play Mass Effect is because it's the only game I've ever played that has made me feel that the characters on the screen are 100% real and that the decisions I make are not only important, but their my decisions, not simply scripted events. BioShock 2 comes in second in that category, but nothing tops Mass Effect in creating that feeling. That there is the problem. If you transpose Mass Effect onto film you're just watching a series of events play out without being able to give input or impact the situation. Commander Shepherd is no longer an extension of you, he's just a character whose decisions have already been planned out. Not only that, but a movie creates a hard cannon for the story. With Mass Effect now, there is no cannon, there is no "right" way to play the game. You just play, and the decisions you make shape an experience that is different from anyone else's. Putting Mass Effect on film, to me, defeats the purpose of the franchise. Mass Effect isn't an epic space adventure, with a daring hero boldly facing evil, it can be, but the choice is yours. Mass Effect is all about the player's choice in creating an adventure, take away that choice and you take away the heart of the series.
  • initialreactionshow - May 26, 2010 12:04 a.m.

    This will be the first great film based on a video game franchise. It doesn't have to have anything to do with the story in the games, the Mass Effect universe is so interesting that they could do a whole new story with new characters of the races we know and love in Mass Effect. This could be the next Star Wars.
  • FranicFrazz - May 26, 2010 12:01 a.m.

    Get Neill Blomkamp as the director...District 9 shows he is more than capable at handling Human Alien relations (and the Prawns look a bit like Turians) If they get Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro on board too, this would by far be one of the best movies ever
  • Psylockerules - May 25, 2010 11:11 p.m.

    MY GOD THIS HAD BETTER HAVE A MASSIVE BUDGET, I WANT TO SEE A KROGAN AND TURIAN DAMMIT! also be great if they shot alternate scenes like choices some good some bad that way it would relate to the game more, needs some1 like peter jackson to do it
  • shyfonzie - May 25, 2010 10:54 p.m.

    The Dark Knight guys, wow. They give "geek stuff" really good treatment. I'm excited!
  • JADENkOTOR - May 25, 2010 10:48 p.m.

    Don't f*** it up and tarnish the name or I will rain down in a Godly f***ing firestorm upon you! You're gonna have to call the f***ing United Nations and get a f***ing binding resolution to keep me from f***ing destroying you. I'm talking about a scorched earth, motherf***er! I will massacre you. I will f*** you up! - Les Grossman
  • MikieDaShizznit - May 25, 2010 10:28 p.m.

    this will be awesome. lookin forward to this movie.
  • lovinmyps3 - May 25, 2010 9:54 p.m.

    I don't want this to be a movie. Can't we just leave video games alone. We don't need video game movies!!!
  • Tomkins - May 25, 2010 9:39 p.m.

    If this is done badly I'll lose so much respect for Bioware.
  • FETALJUICE - May 25, 2010 9:17 p.m.

    This could ACTUALLY turn out to be a great movie if done right.
  • TenBear - May 25, 2010 9:15 p.m.

    db1331 http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0881631/ good call man. my sudgestion for ashley williams would be mosdef michelle rodriguez. not sure who for the others i hope the actor that plays garrus stays, he has a cool voice and one of my fave characters.
  • Samael - May 25, 2010 7:56 p.m.

    Ughhh. The ME forums are going crazy over this. Everybody seems to agree that it would be best if they didn't adapt the games and instead did a back-story, like the First Contact War. That would honestly fit better with mainstreamers, as it's humans fighting aliens, plain and simple. But at the same time, everybody knows the chances of that happening are slim to none. I I'm 90% sure that Ray & Greg being producers means nothing. If Legendary wants to cast Vin Diesel as Shepard or some other BS, they will go right ahead and do it, Bioware and the fanbase be damned. I guess I can only hope that this gets stuck in development hell forvever.
  • aergistal - May 25, 2010 7:49 p.m.

    Obama would make a good Shepard :D
  • Elit3m0nkey - May 25, 2010 7:42 p.m.

    I don't understand how this can translate into a movie. The whole series is about choices so what are they going to about that? That being said I will probably go see it.
  • db1331 - May 25, 2010 7:38 p.m.

    @gatornation http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0881631/

Showing 1-20 of 23 comments

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