1:25 pm - 08/31/2013

Producer Avi Arad On Mass Effect, Uncharted, Metal Gear Solid Movies

Avi Arad, the man who helped put many comic book heroes on the big screen, including Spider-Man, Blade, and Iron Man, is at it again. This time, he's set his sights on turning video game adaptations into Hollywood blockbusters, just the way comic book movies have become.

During a recent interview in Beijing, Arad spoke plainly about his accomplishments and goals. He is working on a few projects that are very dear to his heart: he's got his hand in the Metal Gear Solid, Uncharted, and Mass Effect movies. Arad say's he's looking to create a great stand-out video game movie much like what Sam Raimi's Spider-Man and Blade did for comic book movies.

"Converting games to film hasn't been done yet successfully, though Resident Evil did very well—it was actually a great series. I remember when Bernd Eichinger started it," said Arad. "I was working with him, I just couldn't do that at Marvel but I had a good feeling about it, it's a fantastic franchise."

Arad says that the problem with video game movies right now is the apprehension of the studios.

"I think that film studios are bankers and filmmakers are risk takers and somewhere in between we meet on the battlefield," said Arad. "And the moment one video game movie goes through the roof, it's the same thing that I've been through with comic books."

Producer Avi Arad On Mass Effect, Uncharted, Metal Gear Solid Movies

The one video game movie that Arad thinks will push the subject matter forward is the Uncharted movie. According to Arad, there have been some developments on the movie's front.

"I think Uncharted will be very successful. It's a father and son game. There are things about it that are interesting. I think the world of antiquities theft, there are many countries in the world that realised they're being robbed and they're trying to recoup these important pieces," said Arad. "Now, the script has a lot of character [and] I think that has a shot at being the first one [to succeed]."

Of course, making the Uncharted movie isn't exactly going to be a cakewalk. Arad says that because games have a longer time to engage the audience than, say, a 2-hour movie, video game movies need more work.

To Arad, even if a game is selling well, it doesn't mean that it will be a great movie franchise. It needs a great story, and Arad thinks the Metal Gear Solid movie will also deliver due to its story.

"If you go to Metal Gear Solid, it's actually full of storytelling," said Arad. He says that, as a storyteller, he's always looking to operas or The Bible. "And with Metal Gear," he says, "you have Cain and Abel."

During the interview, Arad said he would be having dinner with Kojima soon. He told me the movie is still in its very early stages and he expects it to be about three years or more away, explaining that negotiations between studios and companies take a lot of time.

Speaking of time, while the Metal Gear movie might be three or more years away, the Mass Effect could take even longer. According to Arad, the Mass Effect movie might be about five to six years down the line.

"It's a big idea, that we, humans, are the least developed, the least trusted, it's an interesting mirror image of our world, we are the aliens now," said Arad. "Love the project, it's getting there, it's been a lot of work; some movies take five, six years before they're ready."

On top of video game movies, Arad is also working with the smaller screen. The Arad produced Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures is currently the number 1 show for its target demographic on Disney XD.

In Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures, Pac-Man and his world is given a more fleshed out story. I haven't watched it so I can't make too many judgements, but some of the ideas Arad shared with me were really cool.

"Pac-Man, he's a person now and he has issues and things he likes and the netherworld is where all the ghosts are. There was a reason why there are ghosts, because two brothers were fighting for control of Pac Land," said Arad. "One of them is the tough guy heading the land of the ghouls and all they want to do is take over the world."

As an added bonus, Arad also revealed to me that he's been pitched a Naruto movie.


Why would you do a Naruto movie? Mass Effect would only work as a movie if you use femshep.
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finchburg 31st-Aug-2013 05:39 pm (UTC)
Femshep with the Garrus romance or bust.
wonderwomanhero 31st-Aug-2013 05:40 pm (UTC)
mammary_glands 31st-Aug-2013 05:56 pm (UTC)
femshep/traynor romance or bust

it'll probably be dudeshep and liara though lol
wonderwomanhero 31st-Aug-2013 06:03 pm (UTC)
Who could play Traynor?

Marina Sitris as Samara or bust
daughterjudy 31st-Aug-2013 07:11 pm (UTC)
destructo_ray 31st-Aug-2013 07:00 pm (UTC)
You know they're going to use Kaidan if it's Femshep.
mana_runigha 31st-Aug-2013 09:13 pm (UTC)
truth_and_facts 31st-Aug-2013 05:42 pm (UTC)

A naruto movie? NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO.
Animes don't translate well into live action movies, i mean i lost interest in dragonball z after that messy flop and let's not forget(actually let's try to forget)the the unforgivable mess that M.Night created.

All in all there are usually too much that they won't be able to do in live action and these are some of the things that make the animes special. Metal Gear could work.

Edited at 2013-08-31 05:43 pm (UTC)
nohashtag 31st-Aug-2013 05:42 pm (UTC)
Most video games wouldn't work as films. I want an Uncharted film but I doubt they'd be able to do it justice.
ivegotanlj 31st-Aug-2013 05:43 pm (UTC)
Femshep/Liara would be the only way I could get behind this project.
littlehayzay 31st-Aug-2013 05:44 pm (UTC)
If they really do a Mass Effect film, it's going to crush me when it's dudeshep.

I really want to know the premise for the next game, though. If I had my way:

- Jack and her gang of bloodthirsty biotics
- Garrus on Palaven and how he became a C-Sec officer

Edited at 2013-08-31 05:45 pm (UTC)
wonderwomanhero 31st-Aug-2013 05:46 pm (UTC)
I'd kill for a stealth game starring Kasumi, Thane, and Samara...

A game about Jack would be cool.
littlehayzay 31st-Aug-2013 05:51 pm (UTC)
I didn't know I wanted that until just now, but oh my god me too.
daughterjudy 31st-Aug-2013 07:11 pm (UTC)
blueboatdreams 31st-Aug-2013 05:52 pm (UTC)
i would rather a re-do of the first two games so that the gameplay is more like mass effect 3.
destructo_ray 31st-Aug-2013 07:03 pm (UTC)
I just want to be able to have a Kahje mission, in one of the drell neighborhoods. OMG I love the drells and hanar.
mana_runigha 31st-Aug-2013 09:14 pm (UTC)
The lack of Jack in ME3 was so sad. i love her new look.
adalmin 31st-Aug-2013 05:45 pm (UTC)
Metal Gear Solid actually has really terrible storytelling. Some scenes/characters are really good, and then you realize MGS2 exists.
wonderwomanhero 31st-Aug-2013 05:47 pm (UTC)
naked cartwheels and everything lol
quiveringbeaver 31st-Aug-2013 05:45 pm (UTC)
You can pretty much watch all the Uncharted cut scenes as a movie anyway, I'd imagine? Plus it would mean you don't have to see the guy kill a million people, which makes him hard to like (this is currently an issue I'm having with Bioshock: Infinite. Great story, but wow, I sure am killing an awful lot of people).

Ugh, I don't want a Mass Effect movie. Everyone will be wanking about it it's not their Shepard and I just feel like we all need to move on.

Edited at 2013-08-31 05:49 pm (UTC)
hardcoreninja11 31st-Aug-2013 06:41 pm (UTC)
OMG YASSS I have said this from day one! Charlie has always been my ideal Joker lol.
daughterjudy 31st-Aug-2013 07:31 pm (UTC)
carverhawke 31st-Aug-2013 11:45 pm (UTC)
lmao omg i am so on board with this BUT WHO COULD BE EDI??
wizard_alien 31st-Aug-2013 05:50 pm (UTC)
Eh Uncharted is pretty much just Indiana Jones. Only Nathan Drake kills like a billion people. Good games, just not sure if it'd make a good movie
mana_runigha 31st-Aug-2013 09:16 pm (UTC)
It would be the one that would be easiest to make work on the silver screen. I wouldn't mind it so much if it were an original story that kept up the tone of games.
wizard_alien 31st-Aug-2013 09:25 pm (UTC)
Good point
mammary_glands 31st-Aug-2013 05:55 pm (UTC)
"According to Arad, the Mass Effect movie might be about five to six years down the line."

this is kind of depressing
somnus_angel 31st-Aug-2013 05:57 pm (UTC)
I feel like the only video games I would want to see a movie out of is Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite since I think that they have the most potential other than that I just can't really see it happening with other games.

Especially Assassin's Creed since that's going to be a horrible mess.
mammary_glands 31st-Aug-2013 06:00 pm (UTC)
rockstar has a few titles that could work as movies, though. bully, manhunt, and max payne (let's ignore that mark wahlberg thing that came out some years ago) come to mind.
wonderwomanhero 31st-Aug-2013 06:07 pm (UTC)

That would be a perfect film and I will break shit if it doesn't include "HEY SEXY MAN YOU WANT SOME NEW CLOTHES?"

Plus they could pretty much use Will Yun Lee again. And Lucy Liu. AND Lindsay Pryce.

Edited at 2013-08-31 06:09 pm (UTC)
somnus_angel 31st-Aug-2013 07:46 pm (UTC)
Yeah I can also see L.A. Noire working as well but as a couple movies since the game is so long
mana_runigha 31st-Aug-2013 09:17 pm (UTC)
Red Dead Redemption!!!
gorlplz 31st-Aug-2013 05:58 pm (UTC)
if they fuck up metal gear solid

i will cut multiple bitches
crakton 31st-Aug-2013 06:12 pm (UTC)
Would only watch an ME movie where Mshep is gay and Kaidan lives for Shep's penis
hazel_belle 31st-Aug-2013 06:23 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't mind seeing Uncharted as a film, but the comparisons and parallels to Indiana Jones would never end.
patoplastico 31st-Aug-2013 06:27 pm (UTC)

"It's a big idea, that we, humans, are the least developed, the least trusted, it's an interesting mirror image of our world, we are the aliens now,"

A pre-shep -first contact- ME movie would be cool.
destructo_ray 31st-Aug-2013 07:11 pm (UTC)
Yeah, and it would be a good way to avoid nerd rage. So many fans have so many different expectations (Shep's gender, Shep's LI, Shep's alignment on the paragon/renegade scale, who dies in Virmire, etc), it would be hard for the studio to please everyone if it's a straight-up adaptation of the games.
daughterjudy 31st-Aug-2013 07:25 pm (UTC)
oooo YES
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