Live-Action Mega Man Movie Being Developed by 20th Century Fox

aboleth_lich

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20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment are currently developing a live action Mega Man movie! Thoughts?

I would rather have a live action The Legend of Zelda or Metroid film—preferably in the style of Ridley Scott's Legend and James Cameron's Aliens, respectively. But that being said, I can totally see Mega Man working as a live action film—particularly as something akin to Wachowskis' Speed Racer crossed with elements from I, Robot, the Iron Man films, and/or perhaps even Ridley Scott's Blade Runner.

I would love to see plenty of elements from- and nods to- the classic NES series in terms of appearance, style, characters, etc in the film—but, like any video game adaptation, I first-and-foremost actually want it to be a good movie period!
 

Damien Lee

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Thanks for sharing this piece of information, I was unaware that a Mega Man movie was under production. I don't exactly share your level of enthusiasm for live action video game adaptations. However, it's too early to tell if this will be a successful endeavor or not. Personally, I'd prefer a CG animated or even anime adaptation of the blue bomber, although there have been anime releases in the past. But who really knows, it may actually work as a live action film if it's directed properly.
 

Hyrule Chicken

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I think Mega Man's costume design will play a big part into if this movie will be successful or not. They will need to make it look pretty cool for me to take it seriously. I'm also not sure how much the general public really knows or cares about Mega Man, but I suppose we will see. Speed Racer was considered a flop, after all, so they'd have to go a different direction than that.
 

sleepypuff

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This could go wrong on so many levels. How are they going to modernize the outfit? I guess Mega Man somewhat looks like Judge Dredd-ish (helmet and such) that maaaaaaaaybe they could make it look good. I wonder if they'll go campy with this, or serious, or aimed at kids. It'll be interesting to see how this develops.
 

Hyrule Chicken

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That's a good point: will it be aimed at kids? How many kids these days even know how Mega Man is? It's also a pretty simple premise (that works really well for a video game) but wouldn't really translate to film too well I would think (a constant parade of villains who have one power theme that Mega Man battles?) so I'd expect some big fundamental changes to the character. Anyway, it's at the developing stages so I think we have a few years until we see something come out of this.
 

aboleth_lich

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I wouldn't say that I'm overly enthusiastic about live-action video game adaptations, and I actually do have a fair amount of trepidation about them given their track record.

However, I do think that Mega Man is a video game franchise with the potential for being a decent live-action film. (Not as much potential as The Legend of Zelda, but potential nonetheless.) I cited the Wachowskis' Speed Racer as an example of a vibrant, kinetic live-action anime--but I'll cite an even better example: think Astro Boy meets I, Robot.

Plot wise, I'm very roughly and vaguely picturing a film that begins by showing how Drs. Light and Wiley worked together to produce a revolution in robotics and artificial intelligence for the general betterment of mankind. Together, they have created a massive corporate robotics monopoly with products as ubiquitous as Microsoft's Windows OS. Rock would be presented as a unique model, the epitome of artificial intelligence as Dr. Light's Astro Boy. We would see Wiley have some sort of a downfall in which he degenerates from a figure not unlike Dr. Light into the mad scientist villain, perhaps with some inciting incident in which he is ostracized. Wiley would seek revenge using a backdoor he programmed into all of their robots from a certain point onward to usurp their control. Rock is free of this backdoor, and as an act of heroic nobility offers to be upgraded into Mega Man to quench this robotic uprising. This last act of the film would be a fairly kinetic action film in which Mega Man fights his way through Wiley's robots to reach him and somehow convince him to end the robotic rebellion. There's enough material there that a halfway-decent script writer should be able to craft an at least passable three act popcorn summer flick.

I would imagine that such a film would aim for the coveted PG-13 rating, and would be marketed to a broad audience spanning young children unfamiliar with the franchise to nostalgic adults who grew up with the property. Speaking strictly in the financial terms of box office returns (and not cinematic quality as art): this approach has worked exceedingly well for the recent Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and G.I. Joe films--although it failed in the case of the RoboCop reboot. I would imagine that this movie would seek a Marvel-esque tone that very carefully balances action, drama, and comedy.

As for appearance and style: using superhero films as a barometer, it seems that over the past fifteen or so years Hollywood is gradually getting better at presenting aesthetics that match the source material without being too unrealistic and cartoony. (Although sometimes they go too far and go too grim-dark, which works well for something like Batman or Judge Dredd but would not work at all for something like Mega Man!)

I'm not expecting great art from a live-action Mega Man movie, but I would cross my fingers in the hope for a decent popcorn summer flick (one hopefully better than some of the other films I mentioned above, especially those involving Michael Bay). I have my trepidation going into a live-action video game adaptation, but Mega Man is a franchise that I'm willing to give a chance.
 

Hyrule Chicken

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@aboleth_lich wow, great post. You bring up some valid points and your outline for the plot would definitely work. I'm just worried about live action because it's so easy to fall into kiddie, cheesy category. We also don't know what the budget will be. If they aren't going to make him look right, then they should just make it an animated feature.

It's not obvious to make it look right either. I watch Arrow, and the costumes on that show are very well done. Well, they just released a picture of one of the characters (Diggle) in a new outfit and it looks ridiculous. That's the worry I have with Mega Man. Do a search for Mega Man cosplay and a lot of them, although well put together, just have a goofy look to them.
 

aboleth_lich

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Hollywood used to be so concerned about the appearance of video game and comic book characters being too cartoony in live-action that they overcompensated and gave us a Super Mario Bros. movie that looks like an episode of Max Headroom, an X-Men movie with the various colourful costumes replaced by uniform black speed suits, Fantastic Four and Green Lantern movies where Galactus and Parallax are both weird interstellar cloud creatures, and so on.

However, it seems like the Marvel Cinematic Universe really changed that paradigm and showed us that we can have live-action superhero movies in which the actors look (almost) exactly like they do in their comic books and audiences will absolutely buy it--although striking the right tone helps as well, i.e. not being too grim-dark or too comedic etc. The success of Marvel Studio's films have emboldened some of the other studios to adopt more colourful aesthetics closer to the comics, just consider the costumes for the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse movie. (Criticisms of Apocalypse looking more like Ivan Ooze aside. And on that score I'm willing to wait to see the actual film before judging.) (Granted, Warner Bros. is being accused of making superhero movies that are too muted and uncolourful--but that works quite well for characters like Batman. Ditto for the truly awesome Karl Urban Dredd movie.)

Speaking of Dredd, that was cited above as a possibility for what a live-action Mega Man could look like. I don't think that Fox and Chernin need to go quite that far in making Mega Man realistic. In terms of the blue bomber's head and body, I'm thinking of something much closer to the original Tron--which the original cover art to the first game somewhat evokes. Granted Tron is fairly dated, but the aesthetic could be modernized in the same way that J.J. Abrams updated the look of the original Star Trek movie for his movies. As for Mega Man's arm buster and when he changes weapons, I'm picturing the CGI analog to The Iron Giant's transformations.

I also agree that Mega Man would make for a good anime, just like Astro Boy, and indeed there have already been animated Mega Man series. Anime and live-action aren't mutual exclusive though, and we could have both types of films like we've had for Street Fighter and Resident Evil. I'm willing to give a live-action Mega Man film that closely adheres to the games a chance.
 

YoshiBoy

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If they don't work on a very good story line, this movie will be trash like many movies that have came out which were based on video games. I think the new Assassins Creed movie is going to be boring, thy put famous actors in them who are making a killing in the industry.

They do that to for surely sell tickets, and I really hate that method. I have never heard any news of this, but I will do some research. I just expect better from these movie studios when they come out with these movies because I've been disappointed so many times like with the Mario Bros movie.
 

rz3300

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Well I have to be honest here, I am really not looking forward to this. Don't get me wrong, I love the Megaman games, but I have seen other games get turned into movies and it rarely ends up going well. I cannot really even think of a single example, but I sure can think of examples of bad ones. I guess I am a little interested to see what it will look like, but that is about it, and in terms of spending ten dollars to see it, you can cross me off.
 

Cynicallia

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Mega Man has always been my favorite game series, and I'm terrified that Hollywood will destroy it. I am looking forward to Light Up The Night. I wouldn't mind whether or not a live action adaptation was toadally PG, but I feel an official movie would probably start grabbing at cliché scenes, like, that they will make it feel like we're watching recycled scenes from Spider Man, or any other modern, cookie cutter, super hero movie. Those bore me to no end, no matter how much money gets put into them. PG isn't a bad thing; I have mixed feelings on how Archie did the comics, but overall, I liked those, because they didn't stray the way that movies and television shows tend to -- straying into Sonic's world is forgiveable, as far as I'm concerned, and I don't mind Quake.. I'm currently dreading/anticipating the new Ghost in the Shell film, which was one of my favorite anime/manga series, because it looks less like Shirow's vision and more like.. well, like Hollywood trying to be edgy or make a static political point, while ignoring the entire depth (and quirkiness) of the plots of the actual, original stories. That happens all too often.. a failure of a film is to be expected as the rule, not the exception.

Honestly, I would love (and prefer) to see a well made animated film, something that sparks a new craze of bringing hand-rendered art back into popularity, without relying entirely on CGI or a static Disney style. I'm just dreaming, though. That will never happen. And, that's a shame, because there are some amazing artists and animators out there. Sessk0 immediately comes to mind. Heck, I still wish that Super Adventure Rockman could be extended into a feature length film.

So.. I don't know. If they make it, I will have to watch it, even if I think it's going to be awful. I would just hope that The Megas, The Protomen, and Mega Ran get to lend their talents to the project. I want to hear some sexy remixes, especially at Vurez's quality. I wonder who would play my beloved Snake Man, or at that, which generation of robots would be used at all. I hope beyond hope that Roll doesn't look like a sex doll.
 
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