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Legendary arms ‘Mass Effect’ with new scribe

Morgan Davis Foehl to pen sci-fi pic based on popular videogame

With “Mass Effect 3” one of the year’s bestselling games, Legendary Entertainment is moving forward with the bigscreen version of Electronic Arts and BioWare’s franchise, tapping scribe Morgan Davis Foehl to adapt the sci-fi series.

Mark Protosevich (“Thor,” “I Am Legend”) tackled the first version of the script shortly after Legendary picked up the rights to the project in 2008.

While Foehl has yet to have one of his scripts produced, the former assistant editor on the FX show “Rescue Me” and Adam Sandler comedy “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry” landed on 2009’s Black List for writing “Whatever Gets You Through the Night” and penned “Crosshair,” an adaptation of the Top Cow comicbook that Mandeville is developing for Summit. His credits also include “Alien Sleeper Cell” for producers Bill Block and Adrian Askarieh.

Producers sparked to Foehl’s take on the project given that he is a “Mass Effect” fan and has also penned action pics with a strong espionage bent, material similar to the overall plot of the “Mass Effect” games.

“Mass Effect” easily marks Foehl’s most high-profile project to date. First game takes place in 2183 and revolves around a human space commander who leads a team on a mission to defeat an ancient race of mechanized aliens that invade the galaxy every 50,000 years, wiping out all forms of organic life.

First “Mass Effect” game was released in 2007 and sold over 1.6 million units in its first four months of release. Its sequel shipped 2 million units in its first week, while 3.5 million units were shipped for the launch of the third installment. Latter bowed in March and sold 890,000 copies in its first day out in North America and 1.5 million copies in its first week. “Mass Effect 3” has earned more than $200 million since then, according to EA.

Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni will produce the “Mass Effect” pic with Avi and Ari Arad through their Arad Prods shingle. BioWare co-founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk will serve as exec producers, as will “Mass Effect” executive producer Casey Hudson.

Arad is also behind the film adaptations of game franchises “Uncharted,” “Twisted Metal,” “Infamous” and “Metal Gear Solid.”

Legendary is currently co-producing Superman reboot “Man of Steel” with Warner Bros. and is readying Guilllermo del Toro’s “Pacific Rim,” baseball pic “42” and sequels “300: Rise of an Empire” and “Hangover Part III.”

Foehl is repped by WME and Wirehouse Entertainment.

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