The making of the Mass Effect movie was first announced in 2010. Reportedly, BioWare was in charge of the main development, and Avi Arad (known for co-founding Marvel Studios) was set to be a producer. The successful franchise also cooperated with Legendary Pictures to conduct the overall production and Warner Bros. to release the final film. It was a bright team brimming with potential.
This lovely announcement surprised fans in many possible ways; indeed, seeing your favorite game with nuanced narratives or enhanced visuals does sound like joy. However, after years of waiting, that excitement turned to prolonged torture. Although there were several announcements about the production that light up our hearts, the movie is still wrapped in uncertainty.
Sadly, years of ordeal didn’t transform into happiness in the end. Confirmed by Mack Walters, the project director for Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, the movie is officially shelved.
In a recent interview with Business Insider, Walter explained the struggle of transplanting Mass Effect’s content into a movie frame. “It felt like we were always fighting the IP,” Walters said. “What story are we going to tell in 90 to 120 minutes? Are we going to do it justice?”
As a Mass Effect fan, it’s not hard to relate to Walters’ comment. The game is like a gigantic tree that has been nourished by nature for centuries. It has a thick trunk as the main progression with infinite branches stretching out as side missions performed by hundreds of characters. It is undoubtedly a challenge to trim the content down to a movie.
That being said, Walters pointed out a possible direction for a TV series adaptation. “When we build out a ‘Mass Effect’ game, we have a backbone, or an overall story that we want to tell, but each level or mission is like its own TV episode,” Walters said. “It doesn’t get written ahead of time. It gets written at the time that we get to it. So it gets added to the main story and sometimes the main story gets adjusted because we did something really cool in that ‘episode.’ So long-from storytelling is a great place for game franchises.”
Considering the features of the game, a TV series does sound more applicable. But since it took over 10 years for BioWare to finalize their decision about the movie, we probably need to wait a bit longer for the series, should it happen.