The Mass Effect movie first became a possibility back in 2008, when producer Avi Arad — who has been instrumental in the movie adaptations of numerous comic books (e.g., X‑Men, Iron Man, Spider-Man) — optioned the movie rights to BioWare’s acclaimed sci-fi video game series. And now, Legendary Pictures (Clash of the Titans, Where the Wild Things Are, The Dark Knight) and writer Mark Protosevich (I Am Legend, The Cell) are on board as well.
Legendary Pictures has picked up rights to “Mass Effect,” the Electronic Arts-BioWare video game. Mark Protosevich, the scribe who wrote “I Am Legend” and worked on “Thor,” is in talks to pen the movie, which will be produced by Avi and Ari Arad as well as Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni.
“Mass,” which debuted in 2008, is an epic sci-fi action game set in the year 2183, focusing on a human soldier and his starship, the SSV Normandy. The galaxy-spanning story involves a long-extinct race of aliens, dormant beacons and more alien species than you can shake a lightsaber at.
Tull called “Effect” “ripe for translation,” saying it had “depth, compelling characters and an engaging back story.” Arad described the game as “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.”
I’m cautiously optimistic about these recent developments. I’ve never hidden the fact that I’m a huge fan of the games (which I’ve written about here and here, among other places). I think it has more than enough depth and world-building to be the source material for a really solid movie franchise; the games themselves certainly aim for an epic and cinematic sci-fi look and feel á la Star Wars.
Furthermore, the Arads and Legendary Pictures have both shown some considerable acumen in their productions. Sure, they’ve put out some lackluster and substandard fare, but if you’re responsible for material like X‑Men 2 and The Dark Knight, then you must be doing something right. As for Protosevich, I had some issues with I Am Legend but also thought there were some really solid moments as well. And finally, I’m fairly certain that BioWare’s founders, who are serving as executive producers, will do their best to ensure that their pride and joy isn’t mistreated.