Mass Effect And KOTOR Writer Slams Film Adaptations

Mass Effect And KOTOR Writer Slams Film Adaptations

Written by 

Tom Chapman


15th Jul 2022 12:04

In an era where everyone is asking what the next big live-action adaptation will be, all eyes are on which IPs are next on the docket. When it comes to great video game developers, the likes of Rockstar Games, Activision Blizzard, and Bethesda tend to hog the limelight, but what about underrated legends like Valve, id Software, and BioWare?

BioWare has an acclaimed legacy for the Mass Effect games and charting the world of Star Wars with Knights of the Old Republic. While you might think they're primed for live-action film adaptations, one of the writers isn't impressed. So yeah, don't expect to see Darth Malak in live-action anytime soon.

Will We See Live-Action Mass Effect And KOTOR?

Mass Effect Series
Click to enlarge

Explaining during a Reddit AMA, BioWare writer Drew Karpyshyn said how any live-action film version of Mass Effect or Knights of the Old Republic would simply leave too much on the cutting room floor. Given that the OG Mass Effect takes around 17 hours to complete the main story and KOTOR is a whopping 29 hours, packing that into a movie's runtime would be ridiculous. 

Making his views clear, Karpyshyn explained, "I don't want them to make a KOTOR film. Or a Mass Effect film. Not if those films are just going to tell the same story as the games." He continued, "Branching narrative games tell stories in a different way than a linear medium like film, and we have SO MUCH content that you'd have to cut 80% of the story to fit it into a film." Both games rely heavily on player choice to alter the story, so unless we're going down the Bandersnatch route, it would be a massive departure from what made these titles special. 

It's not that Karpyshyn is completely against seeing them in live-action, but just not as a simple rehash of the games. It might not have been perfect, but Paramount's Halo series was praised for telling a unique story that didn't simply rely on the games. On the other side, HBO's The Last of Us series has largely sold itself on being a faithful adaptation with Game Director Neil Druckmann on board.


What's Going On With Mass Effect And KOTOR?

Ironically, at least one of these projects is moving forward in live-action. A Mass Effect series is reportedly coming to Amazon, which has already caused a stir when BioWare writer David Gaider called the idea "cringe." Still, there are a lot of people calling for Henry Cavill to be cast as Shep - with the star himself teasing as much. Seeing what the Man of Steel star did for The Witcher, it's definitely a tempting prospect.

As for KOTOR, there's a lot of buzz about a third game, as well as frequent whispers Disney's ever-expanding slate of Star Wars shows and movies could give us a blast from the past to bring Malak and Revan to live-action. Earlier this year, we heard about a possible Old Republic trilogy, but at a time the galaxy is in a period of flux, we'll take it with a pinch of salt. If neither of these come to pass, we doubt Karpyshyn will be bothered. 

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