Sep. 21, 2011 at 3:12 PM ET
Legendary Entertainment — the production company behind films such as "Inception," "The Dark Knight" and "The Hangover" — hasn't revealed many details about the "Mass Effect" movie they've been working on since optioning the hit video game property last year.
But in recent days, a few details about the forthcoming film have been uncovered on the company's website where producers have posted answers to some questions that were tweeted to them (but went unanswered) when they chatted about the film during a Comic-Con panel this summer.
And some of what they've had to say about the video-game adaptation has been a bit ... surprising.
For starters, according to the Q & A on Legendary's website, they don't plan to base the film's story on the stories told in the two (soon-to-be three) games in the franchise.
Instead, "It will be a completely new story," they say.
Likewise, someone submitted a question asking if actor Seth Green will play Joker in the movie. (Green — who starred in the "Austin Powers" movies and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" TV series — is a fan favorite and the voice actor behind the mouthy "Mass Effect" pilot Joker.) Legendary had only a one-word answer for that casting question: "No."
Legendary goes on to say that the film will star the male Commander Shepard rather than the beloved FemShep (hardly a surprise) and that they can't say whether the movie — like the games — might become a trilogy.
"We are really focused on making this a great movie, so we'll see where it takes us. We have to get the first one right to know whether there will be more."
What do you think? Excited? Confused? I'm a little bit of both, to tell the truth. On the one hand, I'm an enormous fan of the work done on Legendary projects such as "Inception," "The Dark Knight" and "Watchmen," and can't help but hope Legendary might be able to translate this film to the big screen with similar intelligence and aplomb.
Still, it seems something of a startling choice to say that the "Mass Effect" movie story won't be based on the stories from the games. No, the sprawling space opera — which spans three epic games — could never be fully captured in a single film, but players have fallen in love with the well-told story of Commander Shepard and his mission to stop the alien machine race called the Reapers. So how does "a completely new story" makes sense?
And no Seth Green ... but ... why?
On the upside, Legendary reps say "we are working closely with BioWare on the development of this project." And surely BioWare intends to make sure its beloved property gets proper treatment.
At Comic-Con, Casey Hudson — "Mass Effect's" lead producer at BioWare — and screenwriter Mark Protosevich talked about the forthcoming movie, due to arrive in 2012. (You can watch the entire discussion via this shaky-cam YouTube video to catch up on everything they had to say.)
And it does sound like they're paying close attention to the source material.
"It's very exciting to look at all that great ("Mass Effect") material and then approach it from 'how can we make this into a great film?'" said Protosevich, who wrote the screenplays for "I Am Legend" and "The Cell."
And Hudson goes on to praise Legendary for making fantastic movies that are true to their subject material.
"Between Legendary and with Mark as our writer, I think we have the best people we can possibly have," he said.
Legendary has also acquired the film rights to the "World of Warcraft" and "Gears of War" franchises so it seems they are very interested in taking video games to the silver screen. Here's hoping they can do a better job of it than has been done in the past.
(Thanks to Kotaku for the heads up.)
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Winda Benedetti writes about games for msnbc.com. You can follow her tweets about games and other things here on Twitter or join her in the stream here on Google+. And be sure to check out the In-Game Facebook page here.