A couple weeks back Lev and I interviewed Dr. Gary Zeschuk and Casey Hudson from BioWare. The interview was pegged around Mass Effect 2, but Lev took it in a different direction and the following is what resulted from such disobedience.
*Big ups to Allie for having transcribed more than you see below.
Lev Grossman: What’s the future of the ME franchise? When is the ME movie?
Casey Hudson: Where is the ME movie? Well, we have a lot of interest. Typically if you have a property that’s interesting, people want to make a movie out of it. We don’t want to just make a movie, we want to make sure that if we’re going to do it, that it’s going to be special. We have to know that it’s going to be special because of the people involved and the treatment that’s going to be done with it. We’ve been talking with people in Hollywood, but we’re really trying to line things up so that if it happens it’s going to be something special.
LG: Yeah, it seems like a big prize. It’s a really flushed out, fictional universe with a huge audience that comes with it. You’d think somebody would want to take a bite out of that.
CH: Yeah, they’re doing movies about lots of things where you’d think, wow it doesn’t seem like it has a lot of fiction behind it but definitely ME is really rich with things you’d want to make a movie with. You can slice it many different ways, too. A lot of movies get made about video games that don’t work out and that’s no use to us. Especially Bio Ware – we always take a really long time to view the quality of our product. That’s why our games don’t come out until they’re great.
(More on Techland: Our Casting Picks For Mass Effect: The Movie)
LG: Well there’s research put into it. If you were to have a flop, there would be a lot of years and money behind it.
CH: Yeah, for a lot of people, it will be the first introduction into the ME universe and you don’t want it to be that bad movie, whatever it ends up being.
Peter Ha: What about the comic books?
CH: Well, we’ve got the Dark Horse series. The first episode is out and the second is coming up soon, I think. All of these things, like the movie, we want to make sure that they’re good before we do them and think of a reason that they should exist in this universe. To sort of try finding a nice piece of real estate to live in. The cool thing about the way that story works for ME2 is both a prequel and yet a story that’s inside the time frame of ME2. The neat thing about that is that obviously the first issue is out, and the game isn’t. So it kind of alludes to what happens in the beginning and that’s kind of cool, but pretty soon people will have played the game, but the comic series won’t be done, and yet they’ll still know where the comic series fits. So, there’s a really neat interplay in terms of the time line. It’s not before it, but it also makes sense when it’s afterwards. So when you die, your body somehow ends up at Cerberus and they rebuild you. How you go from falling to your death and then your body ending up at Cerberus – that’s the story that the Dark Horse comics. So if you play the game, then you kind of play retroactively.
Dr. Greg Zeschuk: It’s not really a prelude, but there are a couple of bits that fill the gap.
PH: Is this series a limited run, or will it be on going?
CH: I think it’s six issues and then there will be a graphic novel compilation. There will probably be other series, but this one, it tells a certain story arch.
(More on Techland: Read the review of Mass Effect Redemption here)