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Grab the Popcorn: Mass Effect Movie En Route

For once, a game-to-movie deal based on a franchise with enough narrative substance to maybe, just maybe work.

Your casting choice?
Your casting choice?
Here's your big-game-franchise-being-turned-into-a-movie story of the day--but for once, it's a deal I actually want to be optimistic about. Variety's Cut Scene blog says EA has optioned Mass Effect film rights to Avi Arad, the prolific producer and former Marvel Comics movie guy who once embarked on a quest to put at least one film in theaters based on every single Marvel property ever conceived. (Seriously, look at the guy's credits on IMDB.) Arad was a key player on the X-Mens, Spider-Mans, and Iron Mans of the world, so on the Hollywood side I want to believe this project has at least a dim hope of not sucking.

More importantly, the Mass Effect fiction has the sort of breadth and depth to support lots of good stories, regardless of their medium. Most games take place inside a fictional space just big enough to contain their core narratives--but Mass Effect, the universe, is way bigger than Mass Effect, the game, as anyone who read the Revelation prequel novel can attest. It might have been easy to pass the game off as the-KOTOR-that-wasn't, with its numerous elements that cribbed straight from Star Wars. (Dark energy? Oh, you mean the Force!) But there was so much more going on in there, all the different alien species and cultures, the politics, the galactic strife. (Man, I could go for some galactic strife. Then again, I spent a lot of my time with Mass Effect thinking longingly about a Star Trek: The Next Generation-style weekly TV drama, so maybe you shouldn't pay any attention to what I say.)

Variety's Ben Fritz points out the malleability of Mass Effect's Commander Shepard, who you could make a man or woman with as many different possible appearances as the numerous face sliders allowed. But I was perfectly happy playing through with the stock male Cmdr. Shepard when I ran through Mass Effect; the producers could probably get by casting a square-jawed B-lister with a shaved head and call it a day on that front.

I wanted to make a tasteless joke about blue-alien sex scenes here, but I'll let you have fun with that in the comments.

Does the idea of a Mass Effect movie do anything for you? Would you want to see a theatrical adaptation of the game's plot, or a different storyline altogether? And do you think Seth Green should be in it?
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81 CommentsRefresh
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Avatar image for tehmaxxorz

Uh oh...

Avatar image for orangechikenstd
Posted By OrangeChikenSTD

again games should not be made into movies, because fans who enjoyed the immense story and action of the game, will not be satisfied with having a game of such lenght and proportion squeezed into a 2 hour movie

Avatar image for nomhaaaerwtq
Posted By nomhaaaerwtq
@SpikeDelight: no christian bale should play commander shepherd if he is in the movie
Avatar image for harrysound
Posted By HarrySound

I would love a condensed 2-3 hours epic movie of the games plot.
IT's good enough.

Avatar image for shark82
Edited By Shark82

I just finished the game this morning, which prompted me to search for any film news, because you know if a game gets rave reviews, a movie's on the way. If a movie does get made, I think they should stick to the basic story of the game. A great marketing tool would be to have fans vote online to what they want Shepard to be: Earthborn, Colonist, or spacer; sole survivor, war hero, or ruthless; and of course the classes. From there the team behind the movie can lay the groundwork for what will and won't be in the movie seeing as how there's many different routes the player can go in the game

Director-Zack Snyder
Snyder hasn't done sci-fi, but I believe the guy can do anything he sets his mind to. As we've seen from his films, he stays close to the source material and his style would fit the Mass Effect universe greatly. He's also the master of slo-mo, meaning awesome use of biotics like "throw," and remember the sex scene in 300? know where I'm going with this

Commander Shepard- Chris Evans
Evans has proven himself a great actor and he's gotten familiar with action roles as of late. He embodies the default appearance but also brings his own look to the role, which isn't bad considering Shepard can look like whatever the player wants him to look like.

Ashley Williams-Olivia Wilde
I know she wouldn't be everybody's first pick...hell, she doesn't even "look" the part...but she resembles Williams enough to play her. Google images of her: some will make you say to yourself "what is this guy thinking," but others will make you say "maybe he's got something." She's shown she can play a feisty female who doesn't put up with crap in House and this could be a major turning point in her career if the project is handeled well

Joker-Seth Green
He voices him in the game...and he's an brainer

Captain Anderson-Keith David
Same reason as Seth Green for Joker

Liara T'Soni-Kristen Bell
Bell has lent her features to games before(Assassin's Creed), so why not a game adaptation? Add in the fact that she dressed up as Princess Leia in Fanboys, and she's pretty much every nerds fantasy at the moment...complete their wishes, Kristen

Avatar image for fatmikekingofpunk
Posted By FatMikeKingOfPunk

Video Game Movies are dumb...period. Somebody needs to tell movie companies to just stop making them...seriously!!!

Avatar image for lightwarrior179
Posted By lightwarrior179

Mass Effect might have a better chance to do a better job as a movie compared to the other movies-based-on games since it has got a broader scope and a universe which will certainly interest the masses. So probably an interesting prospect,I must say.

Avatar image for gunde
Posted By Gunde

If a Mass Effect movie is going to work it will be necessary for it to not take place in the same time-period as the games.

Just look at the two novels, both take place as prequels to the games, as they otherwise would interfere far too much with the games stories. As player choice has such an impact on the story it's just not possible to make any strictly linear narrative during or after the events of the game.

A Mass Effect movie based on the prequels or during the same time-period would possibly work very well, or perhaps one dealing with the first contact war. As long as they get Drew involved somehow with the script it'll hopefully turn out ok.

Avatar image for thenexus
Posted By thenexus

Seth green as the pilot would suit as that character in game did look like him anyway.

Bale is a very busy guy but he would be a very good shepard, Some of the suggestions here though are daft, I mean sarah M Gellar? She was great as buffy but instant movie failure if you cast her in anything

Avatar image for sargemat
Posted By sargemat


I am not looking foward to this, Mass Effect is an interactive experence and there for better than a movie.

Avatar image for southgrove
Posted By Southgrove


Avatar image for shadowjak
Posted By shadowjak

Witwer, the guy who played Starkiller and now Doomsday.

Avatar image for jakob187
Posted By jakob187

Seth Green should totally play the part of the blue-alien sex scenes!!!

I'd be down for Paul Walker or Karl Urban as Shep, but to be completely honest with you, I think they should get Neal McDonough for him.  Like you said, he doesn't have to look like the stock male dood.  Neal McDonough is a ridiculously good actor that doesn't end up getting many great roles, unless you look at Buck from Band of Brothers.

So that's my choice.

And yeah, I guess if worse comes to worse, Matthew Fox could easily play him.  =  /
Avatar image for carpei
Posted By carpei

We'll get to see Mickey Rourke as Wrex, right? Man I sure hope so.

Avatar image for aas
Posted By Aas

In the words of the "volksgrenadier" unit from "Company of Heroes";

"Better not fuck it up!"

Avatar image for tremayne
Posted By tremayne
'I wanted to make a tasteless joke about blue-alien sex scenes here...'

Well there is the classic Total Recall quote (to the three-breasted hooker);

"Baby, you make me wish I had three hands."

The game was pretty good, if slow starting. Keep Uwe Boll away.
Avatar image for aaronbelfast
Posted By AaronBelfast

I object!

Avatar image for bulldog19892
Posted By Bulldog19892

I agree with Matthew Fox playing Shepard, and I think it would be criminal not to include Seth Green as Joker.

Avatar image for neurogamer
Posted By Neurogamer

I second the Matthew Fox vote... and not just because both characters are named Shepard.

Avatar image for biggerbomb
Posted By BiggerBomb
Avatar image for duketogo
Posted By DukeTogo

Michael Ironside.  Nuff said.

Avatar image for hef
Posted By Hef

I've actually thought about this before when i was playing it. I think this game actually has a good potential for game-to-movie translation.

Avatar image for shadow71
Posted By Shadow71

I'd watch it, I love the books, hopefully they can base the story on one of those rather then try to fit the 18 hour pacing of a video game into a movie.

Avatar image for electrichaggis
Posted By ElectricHaggis

I think its a bad idea.  Don't let Hollywood crap all over something good!

Avatar image for john
Posted By John

Hey, it could end up great. Just don't go and cast the Rock or Vin Diesel as Shepard. Please. For the love of god, there are better people out there.

Avatar image for qwert
Posted By Qwert

I do agree that the story, for once, has enough meat to be turned into full length motion picture. Having said that, I'll wait for reviews before spending my money on this.

Avatar image for cgrady
Posted By cgrady

ill put money down on it right now: its gonna blow

Avatar image for rohanspear345
Posted By rohanspear345

who will play williams? she was my fav character! plus need keith david ftw

Avatar image for pibo47
Posted By Pibo47

A) I hope they dont make this movie.

B) If they do make this movie, seth green MUST be in it.
Avatar image for the_a_drain
Posted By The_A_Drain



I think a Darth Vader voice over job is called for here. If you could lip synch well enough to cast Vin Deisal as Sheppard, but get someone else with a lighter voice to voice him it would be awesome. Or he would just have to stop talking in grunted whispers for once, either way he would fit the role.

Avatar image for vibratingdonkey
Posted By VibratingDonkey

We should remember that this Avi guy also produced movies like Elektra, Ghost Rider, Fantastic Four and Daredevil. My money is on this being similarly terrible.

Matthew Fox for Shepard is such an obvious choice. The guy even has experience playing Shephards, lolol.

I see Lance Henriksen played a part, he should definitely be in there because he's awesome.
And Keith David. And Seth Green. Everyone who can act on screen should reprise their roles.

Avatar image for superchris129
Posted By Superchris129

Looks a lot like vin diesel, too bad he trashed his reputation with those kids movies

Avatar image for crimsonkingx
Posted By CrimsonKingX

The Rock gets my vote for Shepard! Laugh and make fun all you want, I think he would do the role perfect.

Avatar image for selbie
Posted By selbie

You know The Rock would be the perfect meat-head for the role. He can either play the Paragon or the Renegade, it won't matter.

Avatar image for cjmhockey
Posted By cjmhockey

The game: awesome
The book: great
Movie I can only hope would be good enough to do credit to the great storytelling of both the game and the books and Seth Green should definitely be in the movie.

Avatar image for lucas_kelly
Posted By lucas_kelly

Keith David and Seth Green should do the roles they had in the game and Christian Bale should play Shepard.

Avatar image for irishjohn
Posted By Irishjohn

It makes a lot more sense to me than the Bioshock movie.  Unless they make the same boneheaded choice with Director.

Avatar image for sandvich
Posted By Sandvich

There has never been a good game-to-movie. But that little fact won't stop 'em.

Also, it's clear that BioWare built the default Shephard to look like Matthew Fox (Jack Shephard on 'LOST'...coincidence?)...but if he's smart he wouldn't touch this with a 10' pole.

Name one good video-game-movie. Go.
Avatar image for demonbear
Posted By demonbear

Wentworth Miller for Shephard is actually a really good idea. Good call.

Avatar image for seraphim
Posted By Seraphim

Either Dominic Purcell or Wentworth Miller for Commander Shepard.

Avatar image for deadpoool
Posted By deadpoool

'narrative substance'....i think bioshock has enough to work

Avatar image for wii60bigscreengamer
Posted By Wii60BigScreenGamer

Since he already knows the ins and outs of GOOD GAME based on a BAD MOVIE, lets take this GOOD GAME and let VIN DIESEL make it a BAD MOVIE!! har har 

seriously, this is actually good source material. if hollywood F's this one up.......that will just be sad, i guess.
Avatar image for darthzew
Posted By darthzew

Mass Effect was already basically a huge interactive movie, so this shouldn't be bad. The only problem is that one of the best parts of Mass Effect was the choices that YOU got to make... 

Avatar image for kingoficeland
Posted By KingOfIceland

I'm with Oncomouse.

I think a prequel about the contact wars would be good, or even show how the other species found the Citadel. Let the games (i.e us) tell Shepard's story

Avatar image for mexalen
Posted By Mexalen

I think that you can tell numerous stories in the Mass Effect-Universe. I'd like to see the story of ME told from another perspective. Maybe Sarens?
The mainstory itself has every aspect a hollywood flick needs, action, drama, some erotic-tension ...

For the cast, I'd prefer some new faces. I always start seeing an actor in his previous roles and match lines from his other movies into the new ones, which makes me crack up, but destroys lots of movies....
Like "Troy" where I imagined how the siege would have turned out with Eric Bana as Hulk, Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden and Orlando Bloom as Legolas....

Avatar image for apocalypse_blue
Posted By apocalypse_blue

I'm sure if they let Drew Karpyshyn write up the plot outline and then stick to it, it could be pretty good. I read Revelations and I'm half way through Ascension and they're both pretty good.

I don't think it should be anything to do with Commander Shepard or the crew of the Normandy though. They should do the same as they're doing with the rest of the franchise and focus on different areas of the universe, with maybe a few links here or there with the books/games.

Should it be set before or after the first game though?

Avatar image for dtran1212
Posted By dtran1212

Avi Arad is just a mere producer, it all comes down to the director and who is writing the scripts. Honestly, it doesn't matter who is producing it, the quality of the movies always depends on a good director and a solid script.

Avatar image for alucardalacarte
Posted By AlucardaLaCarte


Now that that's out of my system, I agree with Karl Urban as a choice. He was great in Rings and I think he got a raw deal in Chronicles of Riddick (which I actually liked) and Doom (which...well I didn't).

Avatar image for raven10
Posted By Raven10

I would like to put forth James Cameron as director, Akiva Goldsman as writer, Stephen Spielberg as producer, Mathew Fox as Shepard and music by James Horner. 

Avatar image for jedted
Posted By Jedted
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