The Mass Effect Movie Gets a New Screenwriter

 Find out which rookie screenwriter has just been given the video game movie that could save the genre.

William Bibbianiby William Bibbiani

There are those who say that we don't need a good video game movie, that the original medium can stand for itself. That's a perfectly reasonable, but the glut of disappointing (heck, mostly terrible) video game adaptations have contributed a lot to the public perception that video games can't tell involving stories, so if you ask us, Hollywood owes us at least one truly great video game movie to make up for all the Dooms, Wing Commanders, Super Marios Bros. and Street Fighters (all of them) that have made the interactive medium look bad by association.

Our greatest hope is probably Mass Effect, an upcoming adaptation of the nuanced sci-fi role-playing game from BioWare. The film has been in development since 2008 but updates on the project have been few and far between. But that has just changed, sort of. Variety reports that the film's original screenwriter, Mark Protosevich (I Am Legend, The Cell), has left the production, and Morgan Davis Foehl has taken his place.

Who is Morgan Davis Foehl? He's a newcomer to the Hollywood screenwriting scene. Although none of his projects have been produced (yet), his script for Whatever Gets You Through the Night made Hollywood's illustrious "Black List" of great unproduced screenplays. That film's storyline, according to the Black List's official website, is described thusly: "After ten years on the run from the mob, the son of a mob lawyer must choose between prison and helping the man who murdered his mother." We haven't read that screenplay, so we can't say how good he is, but to put that honor in context, that year Foehl's script ranked alongside such eventually-produced films as the indie comedy Cedar Rapids, the upcoming Arnold Schwarzenegger thriller The Last Stand and the Oscar-winning scripts for both The King's Speech and The Social Network

Foehl, who got his start as the assistant editor on projects like the Adam Sandler comedy Click and the television series "Rescue Me," has also been given the job of adapting the Top Cow comic book series Crosshair, about a former CIA assassin who has been brainwashed into killing the President of the United States and is the only person who capable of stopping himself. But Mass Effect is easily the biggest project Foehl has ever been given, and we both envy and fear for him, since the games have avid fans whose displeasure with the ending of Mass Effect 3, for example, ultimately coerced BioWare into making changes to placate them after the fact. So if he screws up, he's going to have millions of people on his ass.

For those who have never played the Mass Effect games, the story follows Commander Shepard, who must find a way to protect the universe from a seemingly unstoppable alien force. There's so much plot to these games, however, that the preceding sentence just scratches the surface.

CraveOnline will be back with more Mass Effect news as soon as the Stargazer finishes his story.