Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Legendary Inks Mass Effect Movie Deal

Every few months, movie studio X announces that they’ve purchased the rights to blockbuster videogame Y.  A mixture of nerd-rage and skeptical excitement quickly follows.

The rage/worry is not without merit.  Film adaptations of games rarely go well.  Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, Uwe Boll’s abysmal resume, that stupid Doom movie, and many others serve as potent examples of game movies gone wrong.  And we’ll soon see if the Prince of Persia belongs on this list, as well.

But the big news is Legendary’s recent purchase of the rights to sci-fi mega-franchise Mass Effect.

A few details have surfaced.  I Am Legend scribe Mark Protosevich has been tapped to draft the script.  Avi and Ari Arad are slated to produce along with Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni from Legendary.  And it sounds like the film will deal primarily with the plot of the first game.

Can you tell I’m a little worried about this?  Mass Effect, like all of BioWare’s catalogue, deals primarily with choice.  The franchise has been built to allow players to carry their characters (more specifically their choices) from game to game, resulting in many players sentimentalizing about “their Shepard” (I’m guilty of this).  Few of the game’s most thrilling plot points occur in combat; they hinge on tense conversations and critical decision-making.  While I love the Mass Effect universe – I would gladly spend entire games exploring the Krogan and their clans or the Quarian flotilla – I don’t think want to experience it through the eyes of a studio-produced Shepard.

On the other hand, this is the studio that brought us Christopher Nolan’s Batman films.

On yet another hand, they made Clash of the Titans.