‘Mass Effect’ Lands Writer Morgan Davis Foehl

Mark Protosevich wrote the first draft of the script for this video game adaptation produced by Legendary Pictures.

Mass Effect lands writer Morgan Davis Foehl
Mass Effect lands writer Morgan Davis Foehl
Legendary Pictures has hired screenwriter Morgan Davis Foehl to write the video game adaptation Mass Effect. Mark Protosevich (Thor, I Am Legend) wrote the first screenplay draft.

The video game is set in the year 2183, centering on a space commander leading an elite team on a mission to destroy a deadly alien race. These mechanized aliens wipe out everything in the galaxy once every 50,000 years. We reported last September that the movie will not follow the video game's exact story. The latest installment of the video game series, Mass Effect 3, sold over 1.5 million copies in its first week of release back in March, earning more than $200 million since its debut.

Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni will produce for Legendary, alongside brothers Avi Arad and Ari Arad. No production schedule was given.

Morgan Davis Foehl previously served as an assistant editor on the FX series Rescue Me and on the Adam Sandler comedy I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. His screenplay Whatever Gets You Through The Night landed on the Black List in 2009.

Mass Effect comes to theaters in 2016.

Sources: Variety

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Comments (20)

  1. Jeff Dranetz

    Since a 2 hour movie is not a 40 hour game, he's going to have to take short cuts.
    My suggestion:
    Replace XO Pressley with a female XO in the image of "Femshep"
    She goes on half the squad missions. Maybe 1 or 2 in the entire movie.
    Have her ALREADY engaged to Kaiden.
    Real male shep romances Ashley.
    Male shep chooses to save Ashley at Virmire.
    After Kaiden's death, XO "femshep" argues and fights actual male shep.
    Liara comforts grieving female XO, romance ensues.
    Mean while Tali and Garrus bond, earlier in story than in game 3.
    There you have it, a way to please most people, and compress romances into 2 hour movie.

    2 years agoby @Jeff-DranetzFlag

  2. Nicholaus XX

    I really, really hope this project gets canned. We don't never another video-game adaption.

    2 years agoby @XxNickTheFilmCriticXxFlag

  3. John M

    @bryanyentz: Well that's one thing we can agree on. We are both disappointed in Bioware just for different reasons.

    2 years agoby @john-mFlag

  4. Bryan Yentz


    I agree with you, actually, on the note that they should have left the endings alone and not bothered to redo them. For me, the ending was appalling on its own (including the slight variations of each), but for them to try and redo the ending with another was like adding insult to injury. The first was bad enough and they should have simply backed off, but the "revised" ending was almost worse. I didn't want a clear-cut happy ending, I didn't want a depressing ending, I wanted an ending that occurred because of the choices I made. ME: 2 is one of the greatest sequels ever made and for me, the series ended with that one as it perfectly ended on a conclusive--yet open note. It was fantastic. 3, however, broke all of the logic, mythology, choices I had made, continuity, and instead tossed everything into a Hollywood-esque blender. Beyond that, ME: 3 was just an incomplete game. Story-integral characters you had to pay for? Story-integral gameplay you had to pay extra for? Glitchy gameplay (falling through the levels, for one), consistent graphical pop-in and out... The ending was just the final punch to the gut Bioware delivered. The reason ME can even be considered movie-material is because the fans loved and supported it from the get-go only to be slapped in the face by Bioware and EA with a conclusion that pandered to everyone else, but them (a Jersey Shore/Mass Effect: 3 ad?). Bioware lost sight of what they were doing and I feel were also pushed by EA into doing sh*t work. I've lost respect for Bioware as well, for the product they made and how they handled it. I honestly don't know how Bioware can redeem themselves at this point.

    2 years agoby @bryanyentzFlag

  5. Bryan Yentz


    Aside from the ending, the gameplay felt clunkier, the graphics had FAR more pop-in and out material and everything was FAR glitchier than the previous two (falling through the landscapes for one). While, yes, the ending is only ten minutes of content; it COMPLETELY undermines everything one learned and played through before it. For me, if the conclusion to the story is so poorly implemented, executed and simply thought out, it utterly tarnishes my entire experience. What was all of that work for? What was my reward? The payoff? Sure, I had fun playing, but knowing it was all for naught, with a slapdash climax and denouement that compromises continuity, logic, mythology and--most of all--my choices ruins the experience. I just finished SILENT HILL: DOWNPOUR and I felt the same way. Glitchy gameplay, graphics which were constantly loading, constant lag... And while I could see beyond all of that, I kept hoping it would all be redeemed by the conclusion... Which ultimately made me furious at the game as--like ME: 3, broke logic, left plot threads hanging and left nearly all questions unanswered. For me, the Mass Effect series closed out after the exceptional ME: 2.

    2 years agoby @bryanyentzFlag

  6. John M

    @bryanyentz@enborn: No pandering to whining fans is worse. I lost a lot of respect for Bioware when they bowed to a few annoying haters can altered the endings. So much for artistic integrity. The Mass Effect games are perhaps the best trilogy of games ever. As for the end of Mass Effect 3 I like the endings. Were they flawed yes and would have liked it they had added two or three different ones, but I liked them. Bioware should have left them as they were standing by their product/labor of love/art, but sadly they didn't and by doing that I've lost some respect for the company that I had come to be one of my favorites.

    2 years agoby @john-mFlag

  7. enborn

    @bryanyentz What was bad about ME3 besides the ending? You can't say that 10 minutes of the game destroyed the franchise? But i agree with you that the ending was terrible compared to what it could have been.

    I do not think this (these) movie(s) will work. It will not live up to the games. Not even close. Remember i said that to prove me right or wrong! :)

    2 years agoby @enbornFlag

  8. Bryan Yentz

    Geez... After what Bioware did to ME:3, I don't even want to know what they'll do to a movie adaption. Though, ME:3's ending was such a pandering, mainstream piece of gratuitous sh*t that it would fit in with Hollywood summer, big-budget fodder. And choosing a writer that wrote a terrible movie and lacks a resume of solid writing... Geez, it's ME:3 all over.

    2 years agoby @bryanyentzFlag

  9. SherlockHolmes2009

    Never played the games, but it sounds like itll make a good movie if they stick to the overall story of the game

    2 years agoby @SherlockHolmes2009Flag

  10. WongFu

    @Number1Wolverine Halo, Gears of War and Mass Effect should be 8 films in total. All of them have a lot of fans but the studios don't give a damn of what we think.
    Upon saying that I'm in the process of writing a Gears of War screen play, that explains the traitor aspect of one of the main characters. I pitched the concept to a local studio and they loved it.
    All I can say is it's going to be short.
    To get it right I'm playing the games and taking notes.

    2 years agoby @instead8909Flag


    Maybe... I am worried they will do a bad job with this though... not sure how a film can create the same kind of epic scale that the games do...

    2 years agoby @mcleve02Flag


    @john-m - I agree with you on that, most of them won't, but see this is were the right studio executive comes into play. Because budget wise it shouldn't cost that much to make compared to other similar franchises, for example G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is a film based on a toy line, yet that movie had a budget of $175mil. Now a Mass Effect movie done right shouldn't cost over $150mil, but like you said studios don't take video games seriously which you think that would have learned their lesson seeing as how well comic book movies are doing.

    I see what your talking about, with TV you have a little bit more time to better develop characters, but with Mass Effect you would run into the same problem with money which is that it's too big in scale. If that wasn't the case we would have a Star Wars TV series by now.

    2 years agoby @Number1WolverineFlag

  13. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    @john-m Or Machinima on YouTube like Halo

    2 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  14. John M

    @Number1Wolverine: I like that but that won't happen. Again a major studio isn't going to shell out over nine figures for a video game film and that's what it's going to take for just one Mass Effect film let alone six to eight. Major movie studios don't take video game films seriously. Just take a look at the Resident Evil films and other video game adaptations. That is why if it has to be done it should be done for Television.

    2 years agoby @john-mFlag


    @instead8909@john-m@pjwolsker@bawnian-dexeus@Roberto-Mata - I think this will work depending the talent behind it, and if it's done the right way. The problem I have is that studios are still stick on old fashioned franchises, those days are done, over with, dead. Mass Effect is like many of you have said, its to massive in scope to tell in three movies, and that's something that happens with comic book movies alot as well, that's why I think franchises like this need to break out of traditional trilogies and start using the Harry Potter treatment as the new format to how you make a successful franchise with 6-8 movies.

    2 years agoby @Number1WolverineFlag

  16. WongFu

    too many story lines to be a film.

    2 years agoby @instead8909Flag

  17. John M

    As I said this won't work as a film. The plot is to massive in scope and the budget would be way to expensive and no movie studio is going to commit to a three figure budget for a video game film.

    I think if the game should be adapted it should be for television. I think it would work so much better on one of the cable outlets like HBO, FX, TNT, Showtime, but definitely not a network channel. They'd just f*ck it up.

    2 years agoby @john-mFlag

  18. Pjwolsker

    i love the games. the world is so massive in the games.. it kinda feels like you there. they better not f*ck this up. id think itd have to have a huge budget to make it true to the games

    2 years agoby @pjwolskerFlag

  19. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    Never played the games

    2 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  20. Roberto Mata

    Since it will not follow the Game Story, what it would be?

    2 years agoby @Roberto-MataFlag

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