How a Live-Action Movie Can Be a Success


Mega Manknown as Rockman in Japan, got its start in 1987 with the release of Mega Man on the NES from Capcom. The basic story involves a humanoid robot named Mega Man and his fight with the villainous Dr. Wily and his various Robot Masters that Mega Man needs to beat. While the game was not an immediate commercial success, the release of the sequel Mega Man 2 the following year helped launch the Mega Man game franchise that has become one of the crown jewels of Capcom’s library.

The character of Mega Man has become a video game icon and has been the star of multiple games, with his story and continuity reworked a number of times. Mega Man has had a few animated series and with his highly successful track record in other mediums and the name recognition of the character, it is no surprise there have been attempts to turn the video game into a film.

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In 2014, 20th Century Fox had begun developing a Mega Man movie. Filmmakers Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, who directed Paranormal Activity 3 and Paranormal Activity 4, were hired to direct. After the acquisition of 20th Century Fox by Disney, the studio dropped the project, and in 2021 Mega Man landed at Netflixwhere Joost and Schulman had made Project Power. The film is still in early development, but it should be expected to pick up momentum soon as video game movies have become more popular, and Netflix certainly will want a recognizable IP like Mega Mana film which has a lot of great potentials.

Use the Mega Man Story as an Outline

One of the major issues with adapting video game movies, particularly modern franchises like Assassin’s Creed and Halo, is the fact that the games are already so cinematic to begin with, and making a movie of them can come across as adapting a cut scene with all the gameplay missing, namely the stuff people remember. Because Mega Manand many of the classic video games, has a loose outline of a story and more focus on developing different bosses and a variety of levels, filmmakers actually have more room for creative exploration.

Related: Highest-Grossing Video Game Movie Adaptations of All Time

Mega Man‘s story is of a battle between robots, which is a concept that has been the backbone for a number of different films from many genres, such as Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Transformersand Real Steel, just to name a few. A Mega Man movie could use that simple setup and fill it in with the vast array of colorful different robot characters into the film. They can take that story outline and flesh it out with characterization, mixing and matching the best elements from all incarnations of the Mega Man franchise to make its own unique thing.

Dig Into the Mega Man Characters

As previously mentioned, Mega Man has a vast array of colorful and unique characters that make up the supporting character and villain roster. The various Robot Masters have their own unique personalities, power sets, and looks which could all be fleshed out in a Mega Man movie and even a larger franchise to explore.

Similar to the Mega Man video games, the creativity behind the various characters not only lends to exciting action scenes but roles to sign on various talented voice actors and celebrities to fill out the franchise, adding both a layer of legitimacy while also adding depth to many of the characters.

Live-Action Video Game Movies Are Getting Better

The term ‘video game movie’ had bad connotations to it for years. This was a long-lasting phenomenon (and to some, still is), with the only successful video game film franchise being the Resident Evil films, and those strayed pretty far from the games. However, more recent films like the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, Rampageand Werewolves Within have shown greater success with audiences and critics, finding the right balance of paying respects to what audiences loved about the games while also finding ways to craft stories that fit the narrative of a film.


Related: Explained: What Sonic the Hedgehog is Getting Right About Video Game Movies

Part of this could be the fact that many filmmakers who are working on these projects have grown up with the video games, have an affection for the material, and do not see it as something to look down upon but as something worth investing their time in. While there still have been plenty of bad live-action video game movies, it appears that the genre is starting to finally come into its own, mostly lacking the same negative stigma it’s had for decades.

Treat Mega Man Like A Big Deal

One issue that plagued video game movies is that they were often done as an afterthought, not given the same sort of pedigree and treatment of importance as other adaptations. Like the comic book movie genre before it, the video game movie can truly succeed by actually treating the source material seriously. That does not mean making it grim and gritty, but a character as recognizable and long-lasting as Mega Man deserves a large-scale production that lets the audience know, that this is an evolution of the format the character is being adapted into. Like Superman making the leap from the comic book page to the silver screen, the Mega Man character needs a similar treatment.


With Netflix now backing the release, that means the studio will likely invest a lot of money into the film but maybe not as much as they would have in the past given their recent cuts. However, the issue with Netflix films (and the nature of streaming in general) means they have one week to succeed and are then lost in a sea of ​​other Netflix original movies and television series.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 showed the importance of a theatrical release by becoming the highest-grossing video game movieprojecting the image of success more than a streaming release like Halo could, which may have broken Paramount + viewership figures, but has no actual number to show for it. Netflix has the potential for a successful film that could spawn a long-running franchise, but how they treat the film will see it either become a fan favorite or have it just be another piece of content.



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