Mass Effect Video Game Headed to the Big Screen
05.25.10 by BJSprecher
The wildly popular, award-winning video game franchise Mass Effect is being prepped for the big screen. In a statement released by Electronic Arts, Inc. (EA) yesterday, it was announced that Legendary Pictures had acquired the theatrical rights to the franchise. Legendary's Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni will produce the movie adaptation along with Ari and Avi Arad. Mark Protosevich (I Am Legend) is in discussions to pen the screenplay.
Mass Effect is a sci-fi action role-playing game franchise that takes place in the year 2183, when humans have ventured out into the galaxy and encountered various alien races. The storyline follows Commander Shepard of the SS Normandy on a quest to defeat an ancient race of synthetic life forms that invade the galaxy and attempt to wipe out all organic life every 50,000 years. Developed by BioWare for the XBox360 and later ported to Microsoft Windows, there are currently two games in the franchise. The second, released in January of this year, sold 1.6 million copies in six weeks and received several industry awards, as well as nearly universally rave reviews.
With Mass Effect, Legendary is hoping to replicate the success it has had in translating popular comic books into movies like The Dark Knight, 300, and Watchmen. Chairman and CEO Tull said Mass Effect is "ripe for translation."
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.
Producer Avi Arad is also no stranger to adaptations. As the founder of Marvel Studios, he's had a hand in producing all of Marvel's movies to date. Arad said that he is "thrilled to be working with Legendary" and praised EA and BioWare for being "terrific partners" and for the "brilliant piece of fiction" they created.
...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.