Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Dark and Gritty Mega Man Movie?

Adi Shankar, the man behind the animated Castlevania series appearing on Netflix soon, is setting his sights on future video game adaptations. And expectations are high. Castlevania is not an easy game to tackle, but there is a lot of hope from the producer. He's helped developed short films and one-off's such as Punisher: Dirty Laundry, and Dredd: The Grey to critical and fan acclaim. So what would Shankar want to work on next?

An R-Rated Mega Man. Live action. And a hard R, as in Deadpool. Not "it's R because of two swear words."

Why? The interview doesn't dive into Shankar's reasoning behind this, other then he wants to do it. And then it dives off into other Konami titles that could be movies or animated projects in the future. But why Mega Man, live-action, and a hard R rating? That doesn't make sense. It's one thing to take a game and turn it into a film. It's another to destroy the original intent of the content and turn it into something that it's not.

This is one of my biggest issue with Hollywood movies today. "Remakes" and "Re-imaginings" taking the top spot. But this is a close second. Why do stories have to be "gritty" in order for it to be made into a film? They did this with the 'Fantastic Four' reboot in 2015 and we saw how poorly that went. The 2016 'Ben Hur' remake suffered the same fate. One could argue that even with making some profit on ticket sales, the 'Ninja Turtles' live-action dark motif has soured fans and turned away a loyal base of consumers who eat up all things TMNT. The sequel not only made less money, but did not meet any of the studio's expectations for sales.

Making content edgy doesn't make it better. Mega Man is one of those franchises that has endured for decades for it's fantastical story, unique design, and being accessible to gamers of all ages. It doesn't need to be dark and sinister beyond what is already in the game's story arc. Dr Wylie is already pretty crazy for a villain. And forcing this game to be something it's not will only alienate fans further.

Shankar, while we can appreciate what you're trying to do, don't disrupt the purity and fun of Mega Man. If you want dark and brooding, there are plenty of other game titles you can explore. I'm not saying Mega Man should be a kids movie, but it doesn't need to be a hard R rating.

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