New Writer Assumes Direct Control of Mass Effect Film

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

New Writer Assumes Direct Control of Mass Effect Film

image

Morgan Davis Foehl made the Black List back in 2009, but none of his screenplays have been produced.

Last we heard, I Am Legend screenwriter, Mark Protosevich, had been tapped to write the big screen adaptation of BioWare's Mass Effect. Fast forward a year and Protosevich is gone, in his place is Morgan Davis Foehl, known for his editing work on laugh-a-decade Adam Sandler vehicles, Click and I Now Pronounce You chuck & Larry.

Foehl has also edited scripts for TV shows Rescue Me and The loop, and in 2009 he made the Black List with Whatever Gets You Through the Night. The Black List lists the best screenplays which didn't get picked up by a studio. Therein lies the problem, despite his noted talent, none of Foehl's screenplays have ever made it to release.

"Producers sparked to Foehl's take on the project, given that he is a Mass Effect fan, but also has penned action pics with a strong espionage bent, something that factors into the overall plot of the Mass Effect games," according to Variety.

CEO and founder of Legendary Pictures, Thomas Tull, and vice president, Joe Jashni, are set to produce the film, alongside Avi and Ari Arad. The Arads are also trying to get Uncharted, InFAMOUS and Metal Gear Solid movies off the ground. Their most recent venture into game movie territory was 2007's Bratz: The Movie .

Bioware co-founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk were supposed to serve as executive producers alongside Casey Hudson. That seems unlikely now they've said their goodbyes to BioWare and, apparently, the entire games industry.

Personally, I can't say I'm holding out too much hope for a good Mass Effect film. That the producers can't even figure out who's going to write the movie casts some serious doubt on their ability to cast the correct actor as bipolar, omnisexual, space hermaphrodite, Commander Tiddlywink Shepard.

Source: Variety

Permalink

Hey! Click was good.

It might not have been that funny, but it was surprisingly emotional for, y'know, what it was.

So I don't consider it a complete write-off just yet.

I liked Click and I am Legend.

Also I like the title pun "New Writer Assumes Direct Control of Mass Effect Film"
Haha, very funny indeed. Got a good laugh.

Also I hope the film is good...really I do.

Well as long as Hudson is still on bord, at least Graham won't be disappointed with the result.

Grey Carter:
Personally, I can't say I'm holding out too much hope for a good Mass Effect film. That the producers can't even figure out who's going to write the movie casts some serious doubt on their ability to cast the correct actor as bipolar, omnisexual, space hermaphrodite, Commander Tiddlywink Shepard.

Garry Busey.
But hey it's not like MY choices matter.

Maybe at the midnight opening for the movie they will serve festive blue, green, and red popcorn!

But...I don't want an infamous or a Mass Effect movie. No movie can create the kind of deep personal story and characters that the games can provide. Also, there's the whole moral choice crux. And that Sheperd is both a man dude and a lady dude, depending on which game I'm playing and how much I wanted to mess with the second game's intro. That can't be resolved in a movie.

Maybe they'll be forced to release 6 movies at once, one per ending per gender. And it turns out they are all the same except for the gender of the protagonist and the color of the ending! Then they'll release an extended cut of each film which actually causes them to deviate a little without retconning the crappy ending

oh...it's that picture of Shephard again... xD

and as far as the movie news goes...well this all seems...horrible
lol...

This just seems like a disaster waiting to happen - a film set in the Mass Effect universe might have worked, but trying to tell Commander Shepard's story in a linear cinematic medium is a fool's errand. Pursuant to the laws of basic characterization, they'd need to establish who Shepard is in a definitive way in order for his choices to make sense (does he save the Rachni and the Council? How does he deal with Wrex on Virmire?). But the moment they do that, they'll alienate every potential viewer who played the game and made different choices.

*groans*

We know how it ends already;

Movie/game tie-ins suck. The ending for the Mass Effect trilogy sucked. Two wrongs don't make a right.

Why not just get Drew Karpyshyn to write the film? Out of all the writers he seems the most knowledgeable about the games/universe they take place in. Hopefully they get Seth Green to play Joker.

Comander shepard..played by Sam Worthington

HAHAHA oh god no

please noooo

They (EA and, by extension, Bioware) might be getting someone so inexperienced so they have a stronger chance of bullying him into agreeing to any script they demand, thus retaining effective creative control despite any they may have signed away, bypassing any creative control issues they may have with the producers. I think I remember Ubisoft having some creative control disagreements over an Assassins Creed film, so this might be their way of learning from the mistakes of others. Possibly.

Well, whoever writes the thing, let me be the first (on this forum at least) to say:

NATHAN FILLION FOR SHEPARD

Making a movie of a game in which player choice is a major element seems pretty dumb.

Who are they making this for? Not the fans, because you're just going to piss off the majority of them. (Except for the specific set whose choices are mirrored in the film)

The Mass Effect IP has taken quite the shellacking lately, I don't see the upside here.

sammysoso:
Making a movie of a game in which player choice is a major element seems pretty dumb.

Who are they making this for? Not the fans, because you're just going to piss off the majority of them. (Except for the specific set whose choices are mirrored in the film)

The Mass Effect IP has taken quite the shellacking lately, I don't see the upside here.

Who ever said they would make the movie about the game?

It could be about the First Contact war with the Turians, the Rachni wars, the Krogan Rebellion,...

Judging by some of the comments about moral choice and depicting choice in the movie, I'm not sure some of you understand what a movie is. Maybe you should watch some first. They are making a movie using the Mass Effect theme and some of the characters. It is not supposed to be a reconstruction of the game or a Let's Play: Timmy Plays Mass Effect the Movie. A movie is a movie and a game is a game.
The problem I see is that everybody will want to identify the movie Sheppard with their own game Shepard and as a result most of ME fans will be probably disappointed. So maybe it would be a better idea to ditch Shepard entirely and create a different character for the movie.

This is a fucking terrible idea.

TheBelgianGuy:

Who ever said they would make the movie about the game?

It could be about the First Contact war with the Turians, the Rachni wars, the Krogan Rebellion,...

It could be, but it won't. It'll be a retread of the games with a generic action dude playing Shepard, because that's how these things work.

Someone on the BSN said it best - the ironic part is that the only people this will appeal to is the average sci-fi moviegoer, because the fanbase is still in tatters.

It sounds like Protosevich was the ace-in-the-hole for the film, and with his departure, Legendary has no one to turn to except an unproven scriptwriter who's never had an actual feature. I give it a year tops before he bails.

This is going to go the same way as all of Legendary's other game tie-in projects (World of Warcraft, anyone?)

WabbitTwacks:
They are making a movie using the Mass Effect theme and some of the characters. It is not supposed to be a reconstruction of the game or a Let's Play: Timmy Plays Mass Effect the Movie. A movie is a movie and a game is a game.

Therein lies the problem - video game movies are generally terrible, especially when you remove all the elements that made it unique in the first place. This won't work, for several reasons:

(a) Shepard is (or was) the face of the franchise, and now s/he's dead. With his/her death, a fair part of the franchise has either left Bioware entirely or won't buy anything else associated with the franchise. That in turn creates a problem - do you go with a main character who fans know will probably die anyway, or create a new character that has a homogenized personality? If they create a new character wholesale, it won't be Mass Effect anymore - the series was Shepard's story, for better or worse.

(b) No player choice. Is Shepard a Spacer, Colonist or Earthborn? Male or female? Does Shepard save Ashley or Kaidan on Virmire? Kill Wrex? Choose Udina or Anderson? If the narrative is standardized, people will stay away because the game offers more choice (at least in the first two installments, anyway).

(c) Shepard is intended to be a blank slate, molded by the actions of the player. Any potential characterization is going to be seen as a letdown by at least some part of the fanbase, if not most audiences.

(d) The budget/scope. Unless Legendary is willing to pony up $100-150 mil for top-tier talent and CGI, this is going to flop. You have various alien races (possibly with complex facial animations), CGI-heavy settings (planets, Normandy flying through space, Reapers/Collectors) and a lot of narrative that would have to either be crammed into one film or spread out over multiple installments (risking the failure of the franchise).

The recent Green Lantern film showed that, even with the best CG and story beats you can pack into a single film, it means nothing if the narrative isn't up to snuff. The ME trilogy is a 60-100 hour experience. Just trying to pack the first film into a two-hour movie isn't going to work.

Bottom line - I don't see this ever getting made, especially not by Legendary Pictures.

If they're going with male Shepard, they should just cast Mark Meer.

He has the voice, and he's got better looks than Vanderloo. Plus, he's already done Shepard cosplay.

Just give it to Uwe Boll already. I know you want to.

Marter:
Hey! Click was good.

It might not have been that funny, but it was surprisingly emotional for, y'know, what it was.

So I don't consider it a complete write-off just yet.

I saw Click once it came out on DVD (and without having read/watched any reviews) and the sad part came out of nowhere for me. That was the first movie in a long time that made me actually cry dammit. Phantom of the Opera didn't and I was invested!

---

As for this newish person being made lead writer of Mass Effect the movie...it makes about as much sense as ME being made EiC of this website. Hopefully the appointment will be to the films benefit but it makes me wonder why Drew Karpyshyn isn't writing the script or, one of the other Mass Effect writers.

TheBelgianGuy:

sammysoso:
Making a movie of a game in which player choice is a major element seems pretty dumb.

Who are they making this for? Not the fans, because you're just going to piss off the majority of them. (Except for the specific set whose choices are mirrored in the film)

The Mass Effect IP has taken quite the shellacking lately, I don't see the upside here.

Who ever said they would make the movie about the game?

They did. When it was originally announced they said it would be about Shepard. At first it was meant to be about Shepard, but his own story, then they decided a game adaptation.

The Mass Effect wiki has references you can check out too, if that isn't a reliable enough source for you.

Ugh.. that damn picture again.

OT: this is a stupid idea I tell you.

Legion:
They did[/link]. When it was originally announced they said it would be about Shepard. At first it was meant to be about Shepard, but his own story, then they decided a game adaptation.

The Mass Effect wiki has references you can check out too, if that isn't a reliable enough source for you.

This is a terrible idea. They should have made it in an alternate universe or with some other character. Basically what you want is a movie about the Mass Effect universe and that's it. The only thing that the movie should have in common with the game is the name and a significant part of the lore. Of course you can never please everyone, but I think it would be far better then somebodies interpretation of the first game.

Instead of trying to make it about Shepard, why don't they make it about someone else? I mean Forward Unto Dawn has the Master Chief but despite him not being the main character people are really liking it.

Personally I would love it to be about First Contact.

crazyrabbits:
Therein lies the problem - video game movies are generally terrible, especially when you remove all the elements that made it unique in the first place. This won't work, for several reasons:

Bottom line - I don't see this ever getting made, especially not by Legendary Pictures.

I oh so very politely disagree with a few of your points (which I condensed into a spoiler tag above for brevity). Allow me to discuss a few of them... now.

If they create a new character wholesale, it won't be Mass Effect anymore - the series was Shepard's story, for better or worse.

They've already succeeded at doing Mass Effect sans Shepard. The books Karpshyn wrote were fantastic - and all of them were Sans Shep. Dark Horse has several Mass Effect comic storylines without Shepard. Marauder Shields has been great without Shepard. So if they cut Shep, I would still see it, and I'm sure others would, too. The beauty of the Mass Effect Universe is that it always felt like Shep was just a small cog in the machine, and that a vast infinity existed beyond him. So I don't think the universe is tied to his/her character at all, and viewers who never played the games wouldn't even blink about it.

If the narrative is standardized, people will stay away because the game offers more choice (at least in the first two installments, anyway).

If they avoid Shep's tale, none of this would be a concern. I can't remember where or when I saw this, and I'm too lazy to search my bookmarks, but when this project was first announced I recall them saying they were not looking to retell the game. Might have been an Avi Arad quote. Either way, if they're smart, they will avoid the game (which would require a BOATLOAD of dialogue up front to explain where things are in the Universe). The First Contact War would make a lot more sense for a starting point, as we can experience the discovery of the races, the citadel, and the relays firsthand without being told about it.

Bullet Point (C) above is effectively the same reply as (B): No Shepard, no problems!

Unless Legendary is willing to pony up $100-150 mil for top-tier talent and CGI, this is going to flop.

I don't know much about movie budgets, so you may be spot on, but I will say this... cg has gotten cheaper over the years, to the point where low budget tv shows can have decent effects. If they're SMART with the money, a little can go a long way. But that's always the rub, then, isn't it? Will they be smart with the money? Dunno.

Bottom line: They will probably avoid retelling Shepard's story, which - based on the expanded galaxy of books and comics - could work out nicely. Most movie goers will not have played the games, so the lack of Shepard and veering away from retelling the games shouldn't be an issue.

... or they'll go through rewrite after rewrite and this will go the way of Gears of War, Bioshock, and Halo films, never seeing the light of day. I hope for the former, but the realist in me says expect the latter. 8/

Vault101:
Comander shepard..played by Sam Worthington

HAHAHA oh god no

please noooo

Actually the lead has already been given to Bruce "Chin of Destiny" Campbell.

I just hope they realise that no matter what they cast Shepard as, an absolute f***load of people will be annoyed at their decision. Not to mention if they make Shepard a straight Paragon character, all the Renegade fans will be disappointed at what a choir boy he would be. Basically, this movie has to be done really well, and CALL ME A PESSIMIST :D I don't think it will be.

And Jesus Christ if they show Tali's face...

Al-Bundy-da-G:

Actually the lead has already been given to Bruce "Chin of Destiny" Campbell.

but is he shepard?....I mean ok, a generic man in the lead would be aso bad as long as it isnt shepard

This looks like a job for Uwe Boll!

Ok, I would start about "why do people think that every game needs movie adaptation?", but what I'm seriously thinking about is:
I have CRAZYYYYY idea. Lets ditch the banal maleshep the soldier character and make movie about biotic femshep? You know, just to make movie about anything else than short-brown haired soldier dude. Or at least focus action on something besides Shepard.
Am I'm only one interested in seeing defense of Dekuuna against Reapers?
So no one else? :(

AAAAND i don't really give a shit, game adaptations tend to suck, you cannot fit a 20+ hour experience into a movie and it will probably be nothing like the game, except for some names. If this thing actually gets made i hope that it will be about the first contact war, it's the only good choice for a story that i can think of.

It feels like they want to make the Bourne series in space.

The thing that helped me becoming immersed into the Mass Effect setting was that it felt alive, with millions of things happening in the background which the player was too busy to look any deeper into. Making the movie follow the exact same path as the games just makes every person familiar with the setting bored and newcomers will likely just see it as another Star Wars re-tread.

But I don't think anyone invloved in the project is interested in making a cohesive, let alone immersive, story.

Hope it's good, we need video game movies that don't suck (and have Uwe Boll keep his mitts of them)

I am kind of optimistic for the Assassins Creed movie though, that one that followed Ezios dad was great, with a bigger budget, I could well work fantastically.

But I am getting ahead of myself.

Yep.

I wont be watching this.
Since if Clueless Hudson is on board it means he is going to rewrite everything so that his insane "ROBOTS R EVUL" shit starts earlier.

We all know that no matter what the Escapist will give it glowing reviews. Just so long as EA sends them ad money.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here