Legendary Pictures wants to play ‘Mass Effect’ on the bigscreen

05.25.10 9 years ago 11 Comments

Avi and Ari Arad will join forces with Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni of Legendary Pictures to bring the popular “Mass Effect” series of videogames to life as a bigscreen franchise, according to an exclusive report from Borys Kit at the Heat Vision blog.

So far, the video game movie has proven to be nearly impossible to crack for some reason.  It seems like any number of games have provided rich and interesting source material so far, but none of the films adapted from these games have worked.

Is it inherently impossible to adapt a game into a successful film?  And I don’t mean monetarily… I mean creatively.  I don’t think anything is impossible creatively, but it’s amazing how much it’s vexed producers, writers, and directors so far.

Right now, Avi and Ari Arad are betting big on the video-game-to-movie model, and they’re attaching themselves to a number of different properties like “Uncharted” and this one, big marquee titles in the video game world.  Legendary is building their brand by betting big and betting geek, and they’re a major part of what looks like this summer’s film to beat, “Inception.”  I have a PS3, not an XBOX 360, so I haven’t played the “Mass Effect” games.  I’ve seen friends lose weeks to them, though, and they’ve preached the gospel of “Mass Effect” to me afterwards.  Here’s the description of the game from the official website for the first one:

The galaxy is trapped in an endless cycle of extinction. Every 50,000 years, an ancient machine race invades the galaxy. With ruthless efficiency, the machines wipe out all advanced organic civilization. They leave behind only the scattered ruins of technology, destroying all evidence of their own existence.

Few believe this ancient legend. You, however, know it to be true. The fight to stop this extinction event has become the most important mission in the galaxy.

“You must act without remorse, without hesitation, and outside the limits of the law.”

It is your mission. As Commander Shepard of the SS Normandy, you will take your elite recon squad across a galaxy in turmoil, in a desperate race to stop the return of an enemy without mercy. To stop this enemy, you must act without remorse, without hesitation, and outside the limits of the law. Your only imperative is to preserve the safety of civilized life in the galaxy – at any cost. You must become the tip of the spear of humanity, for you alone know the full extent of what is at stake if you should fail.

It’s part role-playing game, part action game, and it’s a huge world they’re creating.  As a result, there are a number of stories the film could adapt.  Mark Protosevich is the one who’s been picked, and that’s a solid move.  He’s good at breaking these movies, at setting up the big canvass, and even if other writers end up involved later, he’s going to be the one they’re betting on to figure out how to create a compelling movie experience.

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