Mass Effect Movie Cast
Video Games - Movie Casting
Video Games have come a long way from their genesis. Now one can expect fully fleshed out characters, emotionally charged story lines and kick ass action set pieces. So it comes as no surprise that Hollywood is looking to adapt certain games into silver screen blockbusters. The question remains however: who to cast? Lets start with a game franchise that has recently been green lit for a movie: Mass Effect.
Now before going into this we need to assume a few things. It's clear that a Mass Effect movie would be a massive undertaking and would be highly FX heavy. Taking that into account I believe the best way to go about bringing certain alien characters to life would be through Avatar style performance capture. What better way to replicate the designs of these extra-terrestrials and still keep their presence as characters intact? If an audience is to care it needs to see emotions.
Here we go:
Kaiden Alenko - Carlos Bernard
For a start Bernard has the same gruff tone to his voice as Alenko and fits the part in terms of looks as well. But it's his performance as Tony Almeida in 24 is what matches closest. Kaiden Alenko has always given off the impression that h is a good soldier and supports the alliance, but seems to be a little annoyed at how he became a biotic and and slightly resents that fact. Carlos Bernard can easily pull off the same thing. As Tony Almeida he demonstrates prowess as a fighter and shooter, but also appears highly sympathetic which would be key in an audience feeling sorry for what Alenko has been through and when he may or may not (spoilers) die.
Ashley Williams - Lena Heady
Heady to me has always been an unsung tough girl in TV and film. In my mind she is perfect for Ashley's soldier forefront, but is also fully capable of portraying her more sensitive side. In 300 she played someone who wasn't a soldier, but had to be just as strong and formidable. As well as that just look at her performance in Joss Whedon's Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and my case is made for me.
Joker - Seth Green
No contest with this one. Seth Green owns this role and with a beard looks the part perfectly. Mass Effect fans will agree that he is the only choice for this part.
Captain Anderson - Keith David
Once again, no contest. Keith David isn't the most versatile actor out there and he isn't always in the best films, but somehow he always manages to bring an undeniable gravitas to his roles. Maybe it's his cool voice that makes him so magnetic to watch. Like Seth Green, he owns the role.
Garrus Vakarian - Brandon Keener
Okay I'm starting to sound like a broken record here, but once again, no contest. Keener's performance in the games has earned Garrus the reputation as the best "war-buddy" in all of gaming, perhaps even fiction. Also considering that this hypothetical Mass Effect movie uses performance capture for its alien characters it would be great to see Keener bring some subtle facial acting to Garrus as well as his vocal performance.
Liara T'Soni - Gemma Arterton/ Ali Hills
Arterton, much like Lena Heady, has proven she can easily play tough female characters as well has sensitive and sympathetic ones. Arterton also has the trademark of her ethereal speaking voice which makes her many performances magnetic to watch. Audiences would easier invest in her character (which lets face it, fans would prefer Liara to Williams any day).
This time I'd say that Ali Hills doesn't own the role of Liara, but comes very close. It also helps that Hills is, quite frankly stunning for someone who limits herself to voice acting for the most part. I'm confident she could do a good job as an actress on screen, but my 1st choice is Arterton.
Tali'Zora nar Rayya - Summer Glau
It seems that the record is broken again, but Tali is a character who is tough, but highly sympathetic and relatable. So the obvious on screen choice has to be river from Firefly, because well...she is very tough and yet extremely sympathetic. Summer Glau would be no stranger to sci - fi and the make-up FX of the Terminator series has given her all the experience she needs to handle the costume of a Quarian.
Urdnot Wrex - Ron Perlman
This one is pretty obvious: he has the voice; he has the size; he has the intimidation factor; you wouldn't want to face him in a fight. I rest my case
Saren - Michael Shannon
If Shannon as Zod in the recent Man of Steel isn't proof enough then his role in Boardwalk Empire certainly is. Shannon has an effortless ability to intimidate and more importantly unsettle an audience with his presence. Even though the alien characters in this movie are all performance capture, knowing Michael Shannon is behind Saren would also give added physical intimidation, something which would be integral in those close quarters fights.
Admiril Hackett - Lance Henriksen
This one is simple enough: a minor role in the first game, but one that needs to convey command and respect. Who else, but Henriksen could do that? He has already proven it in the games so let him continue to do so in a movie.
Matriarch Benezia - Alice Krige
It seems we're exchanging one Star Trek actress for another. Not that Marina Sirtis hasn't proven to be a good actress - lets be honest - her performance as Benezia needed some work. Alice Krige however has showcased her ability to be both vileness and motherly. Her role as the Borg queen showcased her evil side, but her performance in Children of Dune showed her motherly side. A combination of both would deliver a fantastic Matriarch Benezia.
P.S - Watch Children of Dune because it's really underrated in my opinion.
This choice for me is both perfect, but unfortunately impossible. My choice for galactic hero, Commander Shepard would have been Andy Whitfield. In Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Whitfield was a promising star who would've soared to great heights if he had the chance. He had the look, showed incredible acting talent, the ability to be paragon and renegade and displayed great physical prowess as an action star. Unfortunately this is no longer a possibility, because Andy Whitfield tragically died in 2011 at age 39 from cancer.
I honestly have not come up with anyone better. Many actors have fit the look, but none have matched the performance in my mind.
Haka for Andy Whitfield
For now, I'll leave it at that. After all most game to movie adaptations have been a misfire. Lets make sure they get the first one right before casting the rest.
Leave a comment with your own casting ideas or a casting article you'd like to see.