A trusted Screen Rant source gave Game Rant the exclusive tip – Matthew Fox is in the latter stages of talks for the role of Commander Shepard in a Mass Effect feature film.

According to the source, the Mass Effect film property is already in pre-production:

“BioWare knew Mass Effect 2 would create a monumental buzz around the franchise and has been covertly shopping a film treatment penned by Mac Walters the lead writer for the games. BioWare hopes to get the Mass Effect feature out in theatres to coincide with the conclusion of the videogame trilogy in the fourth quarter of 2012.”

As to the courting of Matthew Fox, the filmmakers wanted to make sure the actor, whose calendar is opening up a bit (following the conclusion of LOST), would keep a clear schedule:

“They view Mass Effect as a trilogy and they can’t see anyone else in the role. BioWare knew that Fox was their first choice for the Shepard.”

The source would neither confirm nor deny whether the film would follow the same storyline as the games but they stressed that BioWare will be heavily involved in Mass Effect’s transition from game consoles to the big screen:

“The team is already using a lot of BioWare’s resources — concept art and character outlines. They’re also talking a lot with the game’s scriptwriters about unexplored parts of the Mass Effect universe.”

As for who else might be joining Fox, our source was coy:

“No one else is set in stone at this point but the filmmakers are hoping a certain retired Jedi will make the jump into some Turian space armor.”

Ewan McGregor seems like too much of a pretty boy for a Mass Effect Turian so we’re guessing the hint is aimed at the possibility of Liam Neeson joining the Normandy crew – or possibly teaming up with Geth.

A Mass Effect film is no doubt exciting but to hear that BioWare is maintaining such an active role in the production process is a huge relief. Video game films are notorious and the Mass Effect franchise is certainly not one that we’d like to see run through the same mud as Doom, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, and Dead or Alive.

As for Fox, we’re not surprised — having included him as a possibility in a previous feature.

Make sure to check out the complete list of details provided by our source.