A Mega Man movie

The first question the whole thing raises up is Why? Mega Man as a franchise is not currently relevant to the game consuming crowd and has fallen into a niche. Yet, Twentieth Century Fox worked two years to acquire the rights. Exclusive news be damned, there’s something rotten in the land of Denmark.

Let’s step aside the fact that Hollywood reported used the wrong sub-series picture and managed to fuck up telling the premise of the games, as Rock is Mega Man’s non-hero name and he volunteered to be turned unto a super fighting robot. They are also using the Capcom method of counting the games, with ports counted as separate entities from each other.

The question we have here isn’t if the movie will be good. It’s almost guaranteed not to follow the little plot the original games had and will deviate from it like no other. All Mega Man adaptations have done this, for better or worse. What is relevant about this keg of horseshit is what will the approach be. Whether or not Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman will direct the movie is slightly less relevant on what the studio wants. I can see Twentieth Century Fox wanting to move forwards with video game adaptations in order to fight Marvel’s comic book movies, and adapting Mega Man is all about nostalgia, currently.

The original Mega Man is a children’s TV-show, essentially speaking. The same goes for the Legends series, which can be even played episodically like that with certain pacing. The X-series can be a cartoon for slightly older audience, but much like Zero-series, it could be adapted to a full war story, though both of them do offer interesting philosophical points about humanity and robotics. However, despite that, Mega Man as a whole isn’t about that, and a Hollywood adaptation most likely will miss the little point the games have going on for them.

Let’s not beat around the bushes, the movie’s probably not going to be very faithful to the games and will probably make the fans disappointed while the rest of the audience couldn’t give two shits. Saying this before any solid info on anything has surfaced is presuming a lot of things, yet that’s how it usually goes. Even decent game-movie adaptations tend to suck and have no impact whatsoever.

There is also a possibility for franchise confusion here. With the Man of Action cartoon coming out 2018, Capcom probably has been revving up to emphasize that as the main vehicle to resurrect the franchise. That’s all good and dandy, there is validity in resurrecting the franchise for children from a clean slate, even though it will piss off the older fanbase. However, all the current fans should recognize that they were catered when they were kids, and a kid’s IP should stay that way for future generations rather than change to be something it’s not.

These points worry me. It is possible that the movie will be aimed that older fans and the content of the movie will reflect this in content. This would mean the Man of Action’s take on the franchise could stay as the kid friendly entry, with all the toys and possible games aimed to cater them solely. An adult oriented Mega Man would not be a good idea, unless it specifically concentrated on the more mature aspects of the larger franchise, as mentioned.

That’s where I can’t trust Hollywood Reporter on this. They’re speaking of Mega Man all the while using image resource from X-series. Let’s suppose for a moment that Twentieth Century Fox didn’t just get rights to the Classic series, but for Mega Man movies in general. Then it would be possible for them to use any material from the franchise. I wouldn’t put past them to just use elements across the franchise rather than sticking to one, which Man of Action is kinda doing with their entry.

Chernin Entertainment, the company making the movie under Fox, has multiple action films under its belt,  like the reboot series for the Planet of the Apes movies alongside few dramas and comedies. Outside Parental Guidance from 2012, none of their production is something that would reflect positively on Mega Man. This bodes just as well towards a Mega Man movie as Fox as a movie studio. Their track record with game adaptations like Legend of Chun-Li is absolutely terrible, and while Tom Rothman is not working for them anymore, they’re not getting out from the low-quality swamp anytime soon.

Granted, Deadpool was a damn good movie, but Chernin Entertainment had jack shit to do with it. Telling me that fans that love Mega Man doesn’t carry any weight around here, and while Masayori Oka probably grew up playing the games, Fox is ultimately the ones to put the boot down.

Oka’s some sort of gleam of hope in all this, to be frank. In an issue of SFX Collection, he mentioned collecting Pluto, a retelling of sorts of  Tetsuwan Atom‘s arc The Greatest robot on Earth. It’s not terribly far-fetched to say that Naoki Urawasa’s works have affected Oka, and this influence could be seen in the Mega Man movie. That is, if Joost and Schulman won’t ignore their producer completely. More than a handful of movies have been completely and utterly destroyed by executive hands, like the recent Ghostbusters reboot or anything Rothman touched.

Knowing Capcom, they’re not going to care one bit either way. They have a long-time partnership with Hollywood ever since the film version of Street Fighter II came out, and movie adaptations of their games haven’t really gotten any better. Resident Evil is still going on, supposedly, and there were even Dead Rising films. A Mega Man to the mix is just a droplet in the river for them.

If this post reads like I’m losing all hope and faith in the product as I write this, that’s not too far from the truth. While the movie industry is pumping out products that sell millions at the worldwide market, they’re lacking in imagination. A movie about a boy robot fighting an evil scientist’s ambition to take over the world sounds like something that doesn’t carry itself. What works as a game doesn’t work as a movie, and that’s the crux that will nail the Mega Man movie’s faith to either direction.

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A Mega Man movie is put into motion at 20th Century FOX

I tend to be  hopeful bastard when it comes to things like this. Before I see anything, the now upcoming Mega Man movie could be good. The recent Planet of the Apes films have been a mixed bag, so we have some idea how the Mega Man movie will pan out. However, I would rather have these people work on a Mega Man X movie and just call it Maverick Hunter, it would be far more up their alley.

The news bit has inaccuracies, namely how Rockman is misspelled with a space, unless CAPCOM of Japan has revised that spelling, and mentioning how Dr. Wily stole Dr. Light’s life work and build his robots with specials weapons, when in actuality he worked together with Light to produce those six initial work robots. They both share the same lifework, they just branched off with their rivalry. Another is to call Mega Man a battle droid, a term never used in the series. A super fighting robot is still the best description for the Blue Bomber.

There has been good silver screen adaptations of video games in the past. Mortal Kombat affected the game series itself, and was just as schlocky as the games it was based on. Dead or Alive, laughable as it may be, is well in-tone with the games overall as well. Ryu Ga Gotoku/Like a Dragon may have a bit more comedic movie that cuts most of the story out, but it still keeps the core in there. Phoenix Wright/ Gyakuten Saiban movie is a perfect translation of the software into a movie. This is strictly live-action movies, there are more animations that you can throw a grenade at with varying quality, Street Fighter II The Movie being a good example how to take a game with minimal story and adapt it.

And that’s where the crux lies. Mega Man in itself has the most basic of plots. I would hope that they would go Rise of the Planet of the Apes route and concentrate on Dr.Light and Dr. Wily as main characters and their friendship and rivalry towards robotics. Reserve all the action towards the end, when Wily goes all out, steals the first six Robot Masters. Then have Dr. Light question whether or not he should fulfil Rock’s wish to be transformed into a war machine when he knows that it is not true free will Rock’s acting upon, but the ethical coding he himself put in there.

The issues of man and the machine, and the thin line between the two should be reserved for Mega Man X, the one where these issues become relevant. The Classic Mega Man has always been a children’s piece and follows in the same steps as Tetsuwan Atom and Shinzou Ningen Casshern. It can have good stories, but ultimately should be relatively light. X is where the edge and rougher stuff should come in.

One thing is sure; at least CAPCOM’s doing something bigger with the IP.