Mass Effect Goes To The Movies

By John Walker on September 21st, 2008 at 12:02 am.

The One True Commander Shepherd.

According to Variety, BioWare’s most recent RPG, Mass Effect, is to definitely be a movie. There have been rumours floating around for a while, but Variety seem assured that the rights have been optioned by producer Avi Arad (responsible for every Marvel movie you can think of).

Of course, stuff gets optioned all the time, so this isn’t exactly the beginning of production. This is Mr Arad expressing an interest in getting a film off the ground. Although he must be a bit busy, with his own recently launched company, as well as producer/exec producer credits on thirteen forthcoming Marvel movies in the next five years. So there’s likely a bit of a wait before we find out which version of Commander Shephard will make it to the big screen. But if it’s not a she, with red hair and a pointed face, who survived a terrible attack, then I shall protest outside cinemas. (Thanks to Andrew for the tip).

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49 Comments »

  1. mister slim says:

    I assume someone thinks Mass Effect could be the next Star Wars. I don’t really see the point of adapting a franchise whose only real selling point is the quality of the interactive dialogue.

  2. CrashT says:

    Can we just accept that not every game needs to be a movie…

  3. TheDeadlyShoe says:

    It really depends on how good the scriptwriters are. You’d have to really brutally cut some of the story to fit it in a movie…and to fit it within a budget in terms of sets and characters.

  4. Nick says:

    I’ll enjoy the bit where the commander of the ship has to buy stuff from his own quatermaster.

  5. Leeks! says:

    A friend of mine works for a company that was trying to weasel their way into third party PR for Bioware (head office is about two hours north of here), and a big part of their talk had to do with Bioware’s grand, non-game ambitions for the ME franchise. As in novels, games, toys, films, etc. Apparently he jokingly pitched the idea of doing a theatre production, and the exec he was speaking to gave him a very sincere “we’re open to every idea” response.

  6. Monkfish says:

    I’ll enjoy the bit where everyone spends lots of time travelling in elevators.

  7. kenoxite says:

    Where’s Uwe Boll when you need him?

  8. nabeel says:

    I love Mass Effect and the world Bioware has created around it, and am looking forward to all the games and novels they will release. But I don’t think we need a movie, especially not if it’s going to rehash the story of the game.

    nabeel

  9. TheLordHimself says:

    I really enjoyed Mass Effect and its story but I don’t really see it adapting all that well to the big screen.

  10. Pidesco says:

    “I assume someone thinks Mass Effect could be the next Star Wars. I don’t really see the point of adapting a franchise whose only real selling point is the quality of the interactive dialogue.”

    What quality? Like all of Bioware’s games ME’s dialogue has very limited interactivity.

    Also, I wonder if half the movie’s dialogue will consist of Shepard saying “tell me about…”, quickly followed by a badly written, lenghty reply.

    Because of this isn’t included it will be Mass Effect in name only!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Max says:

    Ugh, enough of this “game” already.

  12. McCool says:

    Why is my Commander Shepard on the main page? How did you do this? Why did you this? Answers on a postcard..

  13. sigma83 says:

    Aww, lots of peeps appear to have a great many gripes with this game. But why? Twas great!

  14. Metronome says:

    Wah! I am shocked that they even decide to make this game into movie. I always think that game should stay as game. Anyway, I like the game a lot, but I don’t think that it will do well on big screen.

  15. drizzle says:

    That looks exactly like the Shepherd I made >_>

  16. Hoernchen says:

    Wait a second… did you steal MY Shepard ?

  17. Alex says:

    I liked it as a game, but the story was basically cribbed from every piece of science fiction the writers could remember.

    “Use the Force to help stop the Cylons from unleashing the Replicators, who wish to wipe out all organic life in the galaxy!”

    edit: it’s also pretty close to my shephard, too. http://i35.tinypic.com/34y75gg.jpg

  18. drizzle says:

    Even the scar by the eyebrow is the same aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  19. Real Horrorshow says:

    I’m wondering when there will be the first truly great videogame movie, something respected as an excellent film, not tolerated for its campy acting and story and looked upon as something of a joke.

    This guy who does Marvel movies won’t be the one to make that first movie.

    I have heard that Stephen Spielberg likes Crysis. That with Senor Spielbergo would have a great run at being a truly great movie.

  20. MrDeVil_909 says:

    “Why is my Commander Shepard on the main page? How did you do this? Why did you this? Answers on a postcard..”
    “That looks exactly like the Shepherd I made >_>”
    “Wait a second… did you steal MY Shepard ?”
    “Even the scar by the eyebrow is the same aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa”

    That is exactly the same as my Shepard too, weird.

    I loved the game and I’d love to see a great movie made from it. But I have my doubts.

  21. mister slim says:

    @Pidesco

    Two random points: What game makes the dialogue more interactive? And if the dialogue is easily substitutable, what is Mass Effect’s selling point?

    @Real Horrorshow

    “Er, Spielberg es bueno, Senor Boll es el diablo.”

  22. Caiman says:

    Well at least we’d get some hot blue alien sex.

  23. Urael says:

    …That was my Cmdr Sheppard, too???

    Did we all pick the pointy-faced redhead? I presume it was either because we found out she was voiced by the woman voicing Samus Arran, or because we took one look at generic muscle-bound male number one and snorted our collective disgust at yet another bronzed, grizzled, plays-by-his-own-rules cliche…

    …or maybe we all simply have a thing about redheads? I know I do, but I would never have believed it was so prevalent. Whateva – thanks, John, for bringing us all together on this thread. That’s a real service to gaming kind. I’m just away to make up some badges and get the club membership lists drawn up (You can be a Founder Member, naturally).

    (Back on Topic) Mass Effect movie? Meh.

  24. wahwah says:

    it’s my shepard too!
    well, I had two, one was the ugliest woman I could create with the editor and the other one was the redhead (I finished the game with the redhead, but I used the ugly one to show the game to a friend – hilarious amounts of fun)

  25. Pidesco says:

    Two random points: What game makes the dialogue more interactive? And if the dialogue is easily substitutable, what is Mass Effect’s selling point?

    Well there’s always Torment, Bloodlines and Fallout, and Obsidian’s games tend to veer a bit more from the “giving four options with the same outcome” schtick.

    I’d say Mass Effect’s selling points are brand recognition, fairly good graphics, conversations where the characters don’t always stand around looking dumb, and action combat that isn’t complete crap.

  26. John Walker says:

    I want screenshot proof that all these Shepherds were the same. Then we’ll know that we’re all meant to work together to fight crime or something. I’m not convinced Alex’s is much like mine though.

  27. qrter says:

    How many choices did you actually have? I remember there being almost none, but I didn’t bother much with all the creation malarkey.

  28. Larington says:

    I’ve uninstalled and probably deleted all saves unfortunately, but I went for a red-head woman as well.

    Could it be a sub-concious prompting by PR material using a red head woman? (It did, didn’t it?)

  29. Aankhen says:

    Avi Arad, eh? Here’s hoping it’s more X-Men than Fantastic Four… more Iron Man than Spider-Man… more anything than Hulk (both the 2003 one and the 2008 one).

  30. Carra says:

    My Shephard was a female redhead too, the only way to go!

  31. MetalCircus says:

    It’s shit if it does’t have a sex scene

  32. Real Horrorshow says:

    I guess I was the only one with an Asian Shepherd.

    Mmmm, Asians…

  33. Crane says:

    Hah! My Shepard was a black-haired, green-eyed bicth, who went around killing everyone she could.

  34. James G says:

    Well my Shepard looked nothing like that so there.

    I enjoyed Mass Effect a lot, and thought the plot was reasonable, albeit slightly similar to KotOR. That said, I see little point in trying to turn it into a movie. I think one of the problems of turning games into films is that the plot structure required of a game, rarely fits in with that of a film. Games by their very nature tend to evolve arround the repition of a few simple mechanics, and the way the plot is structured reflects this. I once read a dire Arthur C Clarke book that ended up feeling like the plot was originally written for a computer game, with characters being required to perform a number of similar tasks.

    Of course, a good writer/director would know when to throw the established canon to the winds and adapt everything sufficiently for the screen. But this just leaves one wondering, why bother? While the world of Mass Effect was interesting enough, it didn’t involve any truely original ideas or concepts.

  35. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    The problem with making a film of Mass Effect is that it’s already highly derivative of the big name sci-fi properties, as Alex already pointed out, it’d be like making a film of Max Payne. Oh, wait…

  36. R. says:

    Chiming in with yet another ‘hey, that’s *my* Shepard!’. Clearly, very few people could stand that dire, personality free meathead that was the male version.

    Female redhaired space-nazis for life, yo.

  37. McCool says:

    It’s not just the red haired ness, it’s the angular features, heavy eye-make up, thin lips and aaargh…..

  38. DSX says:

    Female with Red hair, green eyes, very diff face though. Think.. Russian weight lifter. She wasn’t pretty. Death rarely is.™

    It’s about time though for the next generation to get their Sigourney Weaver-esque space marine ass-kicker that the gen x kids had. My gen had Princess Lea who sort of fell short in the butt kicking dept but made up in the looks.

  39. Angel Dust says:

    That’s not my Sheppard! I attempted to make him look like me complete with big nose and ears, however he still came out good looking! Uniquely good looking though which I thought was pretty cool.

    Anyway in regards to a Mass Effect film, it could work. In fact most games could easily be made into good or great films the reason they aren’t is not the reasons people usually trumpet around ie games are too different blah blah blah. Any decent filmmaker, note the word decent since not one game to film adaptation has had anyone remotely talented directing or writing it, knows how to adapt from one medium to film. I mean they’ve been doing it with books and comics for years now with some fantastic results. Sure it doesn’t always work but you usually that’s because the director or more likely scriptwriter where not up to the task and not because the material being too hard to adapt. ‘LA Confidential’ is an extremely dense book and many thought was impossible to film but Curtis Hanson and co managed to condense it into a brilliant film. Most games would be much much easier than that to adapt, more like comic books infact. You take the characters, the universe, maybe some major plot points and let the director put their spin on it. As soon as you get your Nolan’s and del Toro’s making game to film adaptations you’re going to get some good stuff.

  40. Anesthesia says:

    So that seems to be a boatload of votes for Alyson Hannigan to play Sheppard.

  41. pauleyc says:

    “So that seems to be a boatload of votes for Alyson Hannigan to play Sheppard.”

    As long as Jennifer Hale provides the dubbing for all her lines…it might work.

  42. Mr. President says:

    Chiming in with yet another ‘hey, that’s *my* Shepard!’. Clearly, very few people could stand that dire, personality free meathead that was the male version.

    Male Shepard was, basically, The Rock in disguise. I couldn’t get over the fact that I would have to be facing The Rock’s behind for 30+ hours. So yeah, pointy-faced female all the way, that model was really well-designed.

  43. Bananaphone says:

    Prediction: if it ever makes it into cinemas Shepard will be played by either Karl Urban, Vin Diesel or The Rock.

  44. Yhancik says:

    We (well, you, I haven’t played ME yet) should make a Flickr group with all RPS’s Shepards ;)

    (that could work for Oblivion too)

  45. Iain says:

    @Anesthesia:

    Actually, I’d rather have Tricia Helfer play Shepard. But with red hair, obviously.

  46. Scandalon says:

    I’m waiting for the Fox Outrage(TM) or over “The Sexxxinima”, alerting us all to the dangers of places that people actually go to with their friends/families and pay money to see someone make out with a blue-skinned alien chick…

  47. Funky Badger says:

    Umm, my Shepard also. Somehow this makes me feel closer to all of you guys. And not necessarily in a good way…

  48. Eric says:

    Yep, you guessed it. My Shepard too.