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How will the Mass Effect movie change under its new writer?

Another year, more forward motion on the film adaptation of BioWare’s Mass Effect. While series creator Casey Hudson and Thor writer Mark Protosevich were attached as the writing creative team in 2011, the production has been silent since. Sam Raimi’s production company Legendary Entertainment shed more light on the project on Wednesday, announcing that it’s brought in a new writer to tackle Shepard’s silver screen adventures.

Variety reported that Morgan Davis Foehl has taken over script duties from Protosevich on Mass Effect. Foehl’s background in film and television is predominantly as an assistant editor, working on series like Rescue Me and Queer Eye as well as movies Click and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. Not exactly the sort of space opera pyrotechnical projects the Mass Effect series is known for. His work in comic books with projects like City of Refuge and Crosshair, the film adaptation of which Foehl scripted, are a bit more in line with BioWare’s source material.

Mass Effect’s producers—including Avi Arad, the Marvel Studios founder producing film adaptations of Metal Gear Solid, Uncharted, and Infamous—chose Foehl for his adeptness at scripting action with an espionage bent.

In 2011, a San Diego Comic-Con panel including the producers of the film said it would only cover the events of the first game, not its two sequels. The original Mass Effect was more focused than its successors. Commander Shepard is the first human to become a Specter, the intergalactic equivalent of a US Marshal, and he/she is tasked with combating the Geth, a robotic race bent on wiping out and dominating organic life. By the end of the game, though, it’s revealed that the true threat is a larger, more ancient artificial species called the Reapers.

Mass Effect borrows much from film already, in its character dialogues as well as its story pacing, but what makes the games so memorable is how personal they are. Its fans are passionate about that aspect of the series as well, to the point that mass petitions and fund raising efforts were started after the release of Mass Effect 3 because fans felt its ending wasn’t reflective enough of their personal choices throughout the games.

With a new writer on board, though, it’s possible that the story plans for the Mass Effect movie have changed since last year. A story separate from Shepard might be the best choice for the screen.

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