This is courtesy of Deadline, which included the scoop in a report on the success of The Wheel of Time. “One of the company’s newest hopefuls in the arena is Mass Effect,” Deadline writes. “Amazon Studios is nearing a deal to develop a series based on the best-selling sci-fi videogame franchise from Electronic Arts.” Nothing else is said, but it was enough to perk our ears.
It makes a lot of sense. Mass Effect is very similar to Star Trek, with lots of different planets and races, and plenty of political intrigue. Videogame properties have become one of the hottest trends in Hollywood, with The Witcher, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Pokémon: Detective Pikachu among the success stories. That’s not including the likes of the Uncharted film, new Super Mario Bros movie, Borderlands, The Last of Us, Metal Gear Solid, Netflix’s live-action Pokémon series, and more that are in various stages of production and development. If Amazon’s looking for a well to draw from genre-wise, videogames is a deep one.
This is all to bolster what’s becoming a strong lineup of TV series on the platform. Superhero satire The Boys has gone from strength to strength, The Wheel of Time is “one of the top five series launches of all time” for Amazon, and The Lord of the Rings series next year reportedly cost around $465 million to make.
Speaking of The Lord of the Rings, Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, says we can expect next year to be all about Middle-earth. “All systems are go on that show, it looks absolutely incredible and we can’t wait to launch it to the world,” she says. “We know our global audience is hungry for elevated fantasy and shows based on beloved IP – we see that with Wheel of Time, and Lord of the Rings will be the centerpiece of our year.”
Amazon is certainly confident, already renewing The Lord of Rings series for season 2. Meanwhile, Warner Animation has greenlit an anime movie based on The War of the Rohirrim, but there’s no release window on that as yet. You can check out The Wheel of Time on Amazon Prime now – sign up through our affiliate link for a free trial here.