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Legendary Pictures to talk “Mass Effect” movie at Comic-Con

Legendary Pictures to talk “Mass Effect” movie at Comic-Con  (photo)

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There’s been some talk about the death of Comic-Con as an epicenter of the buzz economy. Major studios aren’t spending the money and logistical capital to get directors, casts and that all-important shwag to San Diego this year. And, if you’re a lifelong comics fan like me and my colleague Matt Singer, then there’s some ambivalence at seeing the retreat of Hollywood powers-that-be who came to Comic-Con International to mine geek enthusiasm for their marketing efforts. On one hand, studios and stars showing up to court fanboys smells like nerd victory. But, when the flip side is a movie that underperforms or gets everything wrong about, say, Judge Dredd, all that wooing leaves a fanboy feeling cheap and used.

Nevertheless, if you want to capture the hearts of a hardcore nerd fanbase, Comic-Con’s still the beating heart of disproportionately passionate pop culture enthusiasm. If you want to shore up the force of will that says a movie based on Comic Book/Anime/Video Game X needs to exist, the Hall H of the San Diego Convention Center is where you go. Legendary Pictures finds itself in a unique position for this year’s Con. The production house has worked hand-in-hand with Warner Bros to make dozens of hit movies but it’s the first time that they’ll be presenting a slate of their own.

A panel on Friday July 22 will feature “Mass Effect” amongst the films that Legendary’s revealing to Comic-Con attendees. Legendary optioned “Mass Effect” last year but it’s been very quiet as to what exactly’s been going on with the process. To shed some light, Casey Hudson from dev studio BioWare will be on hand to talk about the deal, along with screenwriter Mark Protosevich, fresh off the success of Marvel’s “Thor.” It’ll be interesting to see just how much of the game trilogy’s sprawling story–where player-created hero Commander Shepard’s mission to stop a marauding machine race called the Reapers–will be kept for the film adaptation.

This isn’t Legendary’s first foray into game-related properties, as they also acquired the film rights to global phenomenon “World of Warcraft” and Epic Games’ hit “Gears of War” franchise over the last few years. (Of course, neither film’s shot so much as a reel of film yet. Ahem…) So a “Mass Effect” movie could still be a long ways off, but there’s some cold hard facts that will come with it. Foremost amongst them is the reality that the Commander Shepard in the film will inevitably be male. If fans are lucky, then maybe MaleShep and FemShep voice actors Mark Meer and Jennifer Hale will get cameos. It may be true that everyone loves Hale as the female version of Shepard in the games. However, it’s also true that putting men in charge of saving the universe is how Hollywood’s power studios roll. But, if we have to have a dude hero in charge of the Normandy, I, for one, wouldn’t mind Michael Fassbender as Shepard. He’s got enough menace, charm and gravitas to make audiences believe he’s a Paragon and/or a Renegade.

As the company’s website manifesto says, the films they have in development share a “targeted focus on the powerful fandom demographic.” They’ve got an all-new “Godzilla” in the works, as well as “Gravel,” a film based off comics writer Warren Ellis’ bad-ass combat magician and Guillermo Del Toro’s sci-fi thriller “Pacific Rim.” A giant space epic like “Mass Effect” certainly falls in line with the company ethos but it’s also the kind of thing that seems unfilmable. The joy of the “Mass Effect” games comes from not just action, but the consequences of those actions. That dynamic’s going to be tricky to capture in a cineplex.

Do you have high hopes for a “Mass Effect” movie? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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