"Mass Effect: The Movie Is Really Happening"
by, 05-25-2010 at 02:07 PM (12068 Views)
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.