EA vidgame franchise to get feature treatment

Legendary Pictures has acquired feature rights to Electronic Arts’ vidgame franchise “Mass Effect” and will develop the project under its co-production and co-financing agreement with Warner Bros.

Story, created by EA’s BioWare subsidiary, takes place in the year 2183 and follows a team on a mission to defeat an ancient alien race that invades the galaxy every 50,000 years and wipes out all organic life.

Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni will produce the film with Avi and Ari Arad. BioWare co-founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk will exec produce along with “Mass Effect” executive producer Casey Hudson.

Warner Bros. will distribute the film worldwide. Mark Protosevich (“I Am Legend”) is in talks to pen the screenplay.

EA, which acquired BioWare in 2008, released “Mass Effect 2″ in January.

“At BioWare, we’ve always thought of ‘Mass Effect’ as having the depth, emotion and plot twists perfectly suited for an adaptation to a motion picture,” Hudson said.

EA has also set up a bigscreen version of “Spore” at Fox with Chris Wedge (“Ice Age”) to helm and “The Sims,” also at the studio, with John Davis producing. At Universal, it has “Army of Two,” with director Peter Berg, and “Dante’s Inferno,” with Strike Entertainment producing. DJ Caruso will helm “Dead Space,” with Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey producing, and “Mass Effect” is set up with Avi Arad.

UTA reps EA

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