The Bittersweetest Thing

Lead Writer of BioWare's Dragon Age game series, lover of fan tears. This is where I blog about game development, fandom, and narrative design. Anything I say here is my opinion alone.


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On Adaptations and Dreamcasting

So, Richard Armitage for Loghain and Chris Hemsworth for Maric in a live action adaptation of The Stolen Throne? Yes, hell yes, or ‘I am so sorry I did no think of this myself’ are all acceptable answers. Hahaha, but in all seriousness, if you did have a live cast for a Dragon Age movie, do you have any actors or actresses you would really want for particular roles? — fan question

A live action Dragon Age movie? Gosh.

Before I say anything, I’ll just state up front that I’ve no idea if such a project could ever conceivably happen. If it did, I’d have no knowledge of it and I’d be unlikely to ever be consulted regarding it (outside of lore matters, maybe?), so take any of my opinions on it as the same kind of hypothetical speculation that y’all get up to.

So, with that in mind, I’ll say that I find the idea of a live action Dragon Age movie difficult to picture…at least insofar as most Dragon Age fans probably picture it, which is as a direct adaptation of either Origins or DA2.

I mean, let’s picture Dragon Age: Origins as a movie. First you’d need to deal with the PC…who is really a non-character (and intentionally so) outside of being the protagonist, but a very real character to individual fans who played the game. Do they pick one version of the PC, upsetting everyone who somehow felt this invalidated their own version of the character? Do they mesh Alistair and the PC into a single character (a very reasonable option, I think, insofar as an adaptation goes), upsetting those who’d cry foul over the inaccuracy?

Oh, and speaking of inaccuracy, I can’t help but get caught up on what a movie (or even a series) would do with that cast. We’re talking, what? Nine followers, most of whom—after the plot in which they’re featured—either traipse around with the protagonist or spend all their time in camp twiddling their thumbs? Yes, that would make for fascinating viewing, I’m sure. You’d have to change the very structure of the story. Even if we’re talking something longer than a two-hour movie, I’d be willing to bet you’d still need to pare down the cast to a manageable size, and the plot down to probably just the critical path (Ostagar—Redcliffe—Landsmeet—Denerim).

I would not want to be anywhere near the Internet when any of THAT was announced. Can you imagine? Or maybe I’m wrong and someone could fit the plot of an 80-odd-hour game with a variable (and voiceless) protagonist and twelve or so major characters into a short movie or series that the hardcore fans would embrace rather than revolt against. It could happen. I really have no idea.

But I suppose the original question was about dreamcasting, and not about my opinions on film adaptations, wasn’t it? I know, I know…I just find it difficult to separate one from the other. Every time I see a fancast list, a part of me is always thinking, “would that really happen?” Like a list where every single character is played by a major movie star, even the minor roles. I know it’s a fantasy, but my mind rebels against the sheer impossibility. So I have to state up front exactly where I’m coming from.

All that said, I probably should also admit that my choices regarding actors probably won’t align with most fans’ ideas. From the lists I’ve seen from time to time, I notice most people focus on actors who are close to the characters in appearance. To me, that’s not very important. You’d think it would be, but nope. If I’m casting Alistair, I’d want someone who could portray Alistair’s amiable goofiness before worrying about his appearance. He could be played by Michael B. Jordan and I’d be cool with it…even if I know there’s a segment of fans who would freak if Alistair had so much as the wrong hair color.

So take my thoughts on roles with a heavy grain of salt. It’s just my opinion, and one that I haven’t given all that much thought to…even if it was kinda fun to consider, regardless of the impossibility. I can definitely see the appeal.

Alistair - Eddie Redmayne


Morrigan – Emily Blunt


Flemeth – Helen Mirren


Loghain – Liam Neeson


Varric – Nathan Fillion


Isabela – Rosario Dawson


Knight Commander Meredith – Glenn Close


Cassandra – Rinko Kikuchi


Okay, I need to stop. This already involved way too much thought, and I even got the rest of the writing pit caught up in the discussion. We spent actual time debating whether Idris Elba should play Duncan, Anders, or every single role in the movie. Because Idris Elba.

If I went on to try to do more characters, I’d end up destroying the room’s productivity for the entire day. I’m also certain that, if you asked me again tomorrow, my answers would be totally different.

So there you go: speculation achievement achieved! In part.


  1. justabrowncoatedwench reblogged this from dgaider and added:
    That dreamcast by Gaider made me giddy with it’s perfection.
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