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New Screenwriter For Mass Effect
Shepard gets an overhaul

25 October 2012  |  Written by Owen Williams  |  Source: Variety

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It's a couple of years since Warners announced they were developing a Mass Effect movie with the help of their frequent collaborators at Legendary. This year's recent blockbuster success of Mass Effect 3 seems to have kicked the videogame adaptation back into gear, and with that revival of studio interest comes a new screenwriter: the latest Mass Effect draft is being penned by Morgan Davis Foehl.

The Mass Effect series comprises three action RPGs involving Commander Shepard of the Systems Alliance. His adventures take place against a dense and complex space-opera backdrop, but his basic thrust is humanity's opposition to a machine race called The Reapers.

The Reapers turn up every fifty millennia to eradicate all sentient life from the galaxy (seriously: can't we all just get along?). The first two games in the trilogy took place in the shadow of their imminent arrival, while the third sees them finally show up. This was a big deal, to the tune of 3.5 million units shifted, and $200m revenue for developer Electronic Arts 

The first writer to take a crack at the movie version was Mark Protosevich (I Am Legend, Thor), but it's unclear whether Foehl will be building on his work or starting over with a blank page.

Foehl actually cut his teeth in Hollywood as an editor, and has yet to have a screenplay produced. But his script Whatever Gets You Through The Night landed him on the prestigious Blacklist in 2009, and he's got comic adaptation Crosshair developing at Summit. He reportedly landed the Mass Effect gig both because he's a gamer who loves the property, and because there's an action/espionage angle to a lot of his work that producers felt was a good fit for the material.

Those producers include Thomas Tull, John Jashni, and Avi and Ari Arad, all of whom will be hoping that Mass Effect will escape the Curse Of The Giant Videogame Movie that has so far scuppered Halo and Bioshock.

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