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"Mass Effect: The Movie Is Really Happening"

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Actually really. You heard it (t)here first. It's on Kotaku so it must be true. (Edit: Ok, it's true. A post on the Bioware forums says "there will be a Mass Effect movie made by the fine folks at Legenday Pictures!")
This is good news and bad news.

Good: It allows me to make a new blog post about Mass Effect (a game which you all should play) in which I can mention that you should play Mass Effect (it's really good!), like this: You should all play Mass Effect.

Bad: The movie has potential to really suck.
If this is Really Happening ("Mass Effect: The Movie Is Really Happening"), in all probability it will be a screen retelling of the original Mass Effect game. As in, the same story you already know (because you've played Mass Effect, right?), but with all the choice and customisation removed. The first draft of this post was mostly me whining about how terrible it would be if they stuck to the story of the original Mass Effect, but you probably can see that for yourselves.
Instead, here are some ideas for what to do instead - feel free to suggest others in the comments, or just tell me that I'm right and that I'm extremely clever (also handsome) and that you went out and bought two copies of Mass Effect because I'm so amazing.

1. Don't make the film of the game. Kinda obvious, but don't. Loads of people (myself included) played as a custom Shepard, lots of those (again, including me) as a female Shepard. Chances are a film would be about plain old default John Shepard, which wouldn't sit well with anyone who didn't have that Shepard and didn't make those decisions.

2. The Mass Effect universe has tonnes of other stuff that a movie could be about. The novel Mass Effect: Revelation (written by the same chap who wrote Mass Effect, Drew Karpyshyn) is all about Captain Anderson, Saren and an event that is mentioned in the game but not really explained. It was quite a good book. Mass Effect: Ascension (again, Drew Karpyshyn) was about the Ascension Project, Cerberus and the quarian Migrant Fleet, and also depicted an event mentioned briefly in Mass Effect 2 (you can probably guess what it is, because you've played Mass Effect 2.
Point being, why bother retelling a story when there are so many others to tell that won't annoy a large chunk of your fanbase? Humanity's discovery of the Mars beacon, the First Contact War - why not go further and don't bother with humanity altogether? The in-game codex tells us that the asari and salarians formed the council in 500BCE, the turians joined in 900CE after the rachni wars/krogan rebellions, and the geth wars took place in 1900CE - humanity didn't even show up until 2157CE (don't worry, I had to look these dates up).
A film entirely about these alien species could be really great, rather than confusing ('why is Shepard suddenly a man?', 'Wrex didn't die when I played the game, what's going on?' etc.).

3. Most game movies are pretty bad, I can't think of any exceptions right now, but if you know of any please say so in the comments.

If the movie is the same story as the original Mass Effect and is good, I will record a video of myself printing this post out and then eating it. That's how confident I am that that movie would be bad, or possible how reckless I'm feeling.

Anyway, this post has already gone on too long, and I've got history revision to be doing (16th century Spain for the win! Early-morning exams for the lose!)

1. I hope this film is good, but it might well not be.
2. Why not make it about something else in the ME universe?
3. You should play Mass Effect.
4. Where's my Ender's Game movie? Seriously, that would be awesome. Mass Effect is essentially a movie anyway, right?

Above: What will happen if the movie is terrible.

Also: This will probably be my last post about Mass Effect (play it!), you're glad to hear I'm sure. Savour the moment, but don't look back.

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Updated 05-25-2010 at 04:34 PM by westyfield (tempting edit button is tempting)



  1. Flarfignuggen's Avatar
    The problem with a Mass Effect movie is that it can't be based on Shepard. It can reference a Commander Shepard, but it can't focus on "them". It would wreck the mystique and majesty of the big point of Bioware's games focusing on choice. That said, I think the books would be a good choice for a movie, as I personally was quite satisfied with Ascension and its story. Haven't been able to find a copy of Revelations in a store, so I can't comment on that one--yeah, I could order it in but where's the fun in that, since you then don't get to go to the book store! Based on the wikipedia plot description of Revelations, though, I think Ascension would be a better starting point for a movie.

    That all said, even if Hollywood brutally rapes, maims, murders, and cannibalizes the Mass Effect universe and characters (not necessarily in that order), we can all be thankful for one thing:

  2. big-eye101's Avatar
    I hear your concerns and I'm totally wtih you. I basically like the idea of a movie. However I would have gone for a TV-Series ... simply because you could have much more stuff going on in this massive universe. One mission = one episode. Anyways ... thats me lol.

    I really hope they do a good job and dont ruin a brilliant idea. *fingers crossed*

    ps.: nice catch westy!
  3. Celestial1's Avatar
    I don't see the point of making a movie out of a game. They're two different forms of entertainment. Taking the interactivity out of a game... it's just taking away the "game" aspect entirely. Why do we need a movie when we could just play the game?
    There's also still a negative stereotype of being a gamer in much of the world. Everyone who is going to see the movie is considered a "nerd" by everyone else. Now the social aspect is dwindled.

    So, basically, you're taking a game and making it a 2 hour non-social event where there is no interactivity.
    What's the point?
  4. PennyFlame's Avatar
    The roughly 100 million people that play Farmville would like a word with you
  5. westyfield's Avatar
    @ Flarfignuggen:
    Yeah, at least it's a proper studio making the film - those guys made The Dark Knight and 300, so there is hope.
    @ big-eye101:
    Oh, me too - I hope it's good, but I'm worried it won't be. Just thought I should clarify as the post was overwhelmingly negative.
    @ Celestial1:
    Although being a gamer isn't considered as such a bad thing as it was say, 5 years ago before the xbox three-hundred-and-sixty came out - despite all the bad things I and many others say about consoles, they have made gaming much more socially-acceptable. At least half of the people I know (my age, that is) would probably say they play games, though I don't know how many would say that they were gamers. But yeah, I expect this will still be a 'lol nerds watching a game movie lol' moment.
    @ PennyFlame:
    I'm not sure that you could accurately call them 'people'.
  6. Riffraffselbow's Avatar
    On the topic of game movies, I liked the Final Fantasy movie, and I don't even like Final Fantasy.

  7. black_Mirror's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Flarfignuggen
    ...we can all be thankful for one thing:

    I loled hard.
    Uwe Boll is a shame for our Country and his movies made my cry... But not because the where touching or emotional... cause they sucked so hard and his incredible skill to rape, destroy, humiliate, annihilate and devastate ( if something is left , rape it again ) good stories is unbelievable.

    Uwe Boll made me a sad panda and he is the Anit-Christ

    Edit: and again a German is terrorizing the world
    Updated 05-28-2010 at 11:45 AM by black_Mirror (forgot to add a joke)
  8. Greasy Mullet's Avatar
    I want it based on the game because it is THE defining epic story of the entire Universe. Everything else pales in comparison. Yea I know we each have our own Shepard and our own choices but so what, I would imagine the character would lean para but have many moments of renegade type actions too.

    Any other story line and the movie will suck just like all the other video game movies out there.
  9. FLIPmode's Avatar
    My problem, is that since the Mass Effect universe is so deep and varied, how will they fit all that in a 2.5 hour movie?
  10. Vinman13's Avatar
    I personally think that they shouldnt pick Sheppard as the main character in the movie but a side character. Like Miranda or someone. And dont make the movie a perfect replica of the game, make it have some aspects of the game but not the entire game replayed in a movie. But anyways thats my opinion.

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