During the Austin Game Developers Conference earlier this week, BioWare spoke at length on the various cinematic techniques it employed to enhance the interactive storytelling in Mass Effect. It now appears as if BioWare may be able to see how it works the other way around. Variety is reporting this week that ex-Marvel CEO Avi Arad has optioned the rights to produce a film based on the EA-owned property.

Variety reports that the film is still in a planning stage, with Arad likely looking to attach a writer, director, and studio to the project. It's worth noting that a myriad of gaming properties have been optioned by Hollywood players to no result in the past, including NCsoft's City of Heroes, Midway's The Suffering, and Arad's own EverQuest. EA and BioWare had not responded to GameSpot's requests for comment as of press time.

Arad is no stranger to making movies based on games. In addition to the aforementioned EverQuest movie, the producer stands on more solid ground with Capcom's David Hayter-penned Lost Planet film, which was the subject of the publisher's press conference at this year's E3. Arad has also been credited with sparking Marvel's recent spate of well-received comic-book based films, including Spider-Man and X-Men.

For its part, EA has made substantial moves into broadening the reach of its various brands to other media. In July, the publisher announced that it had signed with United Talent Agency for representation in the film and television space. EA has also professed its intention to extend Will Wright and EA Maxis' evolution simulator Spore to a breadth of media, including TV and movies.