Aug 2, 2011

SDCC 2011: Legendary Pictures - Mass Effect

12:35 PM

"Anyone like video games?"

And the crowd roared.

Film adaptions of video games haven't been all that solid (see here), and as a total Mass Effect fan girl I knew I had to be present for the announcement of the Mass Effect film.

Executive Producer of the Mass Effect series Casey Hudson and Screenwriter Mark Protosevich (The Cell, Thor) were present to discuss the film. Protosevich acknowledged that many get seduced by adapting a game to film because of the cinematics and the gameplay. They try to recreate this experience, rather than pausing to consider if it's an interesting story. He went on to say that most games fail that litmus test but Mass Effect does not because it's an incredibly rich world on par with the likes of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.

Casey Hudson supported these statements by pointing out the character and story focused nature of the Mass Effect series. He emphasized that Mass Effect has characters you can get invested in, there is passion in the relationships between the characters and there is a lasting experience with the fiction.

The Mass Effect movie is still in development, so concrete information about casting and such is still in the air. However, both Hudson and Protosevich stressed that they know how important it is to be true to the source material.

Hudson went on to share that several offers have been made in the past, even prior to the first games release, to get a Mass Effect movie made. It was something that was refused each time due to concern about the translation to the screen. Legendary has brought things to the screen like The Dark Knight and other smaller titles that have stayed true to their subject matter. Citing that Legendary has considered principles of the actual story and the fact that they have the ability to make "huge movies," Hudson believes that Legendary Pictures is the best partner they could have for bringing Mass Effect to the screen.

One solid piece of information that came out of the panel: the Mass Effect film will be based on the first game.

I find it important to stress the following both for fans of the game and especially for myself. I have my own personal experience with the game that likely differs from others. You can choose to play as a male or female Commander Shepard and customize their look to your hearts desire. You can choose to play as paragon or renegade. There are an abundant amount of choices you have to make in the game that impact the story. What gender I chose to play, the choices I made in the game and so on will most likely not be what is brought to the big screen adaption of the game. That goes for everyone who has played the game.

So which gender, race and choices will end up in the film? Who knows. But I suggest keeping an open mind and staying positive, especially since there will be direct involvement from Ray Muzyka, Greg Zeschuck and Casey Hudson as Executive Producers.

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