For decades, Hollywood producers have scoured the IP mines for this groundbreaking video game to fit, disregarding the right herd of canaries. The 2000s in particular were a graveyard of once-promising franchises, including some of the most recognizable titles like Loss and silent Hilland who could forget the terrible reign of a Uwe Boll? At one time or another, the infamous director was tied to almost every game, from Solid metal gear to Warcraft. At one point there were rumors (which Boll denied) that his idea for Nintendo’s flagship metroid included Jessica Simpson. With this perspective in mind, a wild alternative suddenly makes sense: John Wooit is metroid. It was almost a reality in the mid-2000s, but it died down before the cameras started rolling (in slow motion, with doves). Would John Woo’s take on the intergalactic bounty hunter have been better than the Boll pantheon? Yes, but it’s far from “better” than “good”.
What is ‘Metroid’?
Theoretically, metroid should tie into cinematic form like, well, a Metroid. The original NES game debuted the same year as the movie Aliens, and the game franchise has long drawn inspiration from the venerable sci-fi horror series. The title “metroiddoes not refer to the protagonist, the robot Samus Aran, but to a parasitic alien who clings to unsuspecting victims, like a facehugger. One of the villains is Ridley, named after the director of Alien, Ridley Scott. Last but not least, this robot Samus – or so players thought back in 1986 – takes off her helmet to reveal a woman! Inspired by Ellen Ripley, Samus was one of the first playable women in games and remains an icon to this day. However, when the ingredients of metroid Moving beyond those Western roots, themselves steeped in science fiction lore, the franchise takes on a bizarre pallor that’s increasingly resistant to adaptation. Metroids may be floating alien parasites, but in-universe the term “Metroid” means “ultimate warrior”, as referred to by a species of intelligent alien bird called Chozo, who raised Samus after his world natal was devastated by a space dragon. A space dragon named Ridley.
Sounds like something a screenwriter omitted from a rejection star trek specification script. Worse, it may not even be true. Any description of the metroid The story is cobbled together from a variety of conflicting sources over a span of nearly four decades. Where canonicity doesn’t unite games, manga, and instruction manuals, each piece was created by men who necessarily prioritized gameplay. And “men” is specific in this case, because if men knew how to write women, why is Samus a silent protagonist? Why, when she did start talking in game Metroid: Other M, were the fans horrified? Was Samus really raised by birds? Is she a 6ft 3in silent warrior like in the original games or a submissive and plaintive girl like in Other M? How was John Woo supposed to take all of this and turn it into something cohesive, let alone good?
The Story of John Woo’s “Metroid”
In 2004, he opted for the rights to metroid movie, and diplomatically assessed his situation, saying, “We’re very lucky there’s such an amount of material to draw on for the movie, as there have been so many iterations of the game over the years. .” That’s an understatement, and Woo is a director responsible for some of the most over-the-top films in history. The legendary Hong Kong filmmaker behind The killer and hard boiled gifted the gun fu world long before The matrix and John Wick. His journey with video games ironically begins with Sega, which helped found his production company Tiger Hill in 2003. While their 2007 game Strangulation bore the name of John Woo and the handsome face of Chow Yun-fat, the director had retired from games two years earlier, sending nearly a dozen titles to cancellation, including a John Charpentier game and a kind of ninja MMO.
With no one at the helm, producer Brad Foxhoven took over Tiger Hill as president, but Strangulation took over the metroid movie. The rights expired in 2007 and three years of development went into the vault. Foxhoven told this story in an interview with IGN, and the understandable disappointment coloring his callback is mismatched by the unfortunate movie he seemed to make. It was certainly the right time to capitalize on the success of metroidhaving made a comeback in the early 2000s with Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion, with more on the way, apparently. To write the screenplay, Tiger Hill hired David Greenwalta Whedonverse alum with credits on buffy and Angel. The idea was that a character like Samus needed a writer experienced in writing strong women, seemingly stopping short of an experienced writer. to be a strong woman.
The challenges of adapting ‘Metroid’
The problems did not begin with an individual vision, but rather with the complications that arise from struggling with the ill-defined metroid universe. What will the dialogue be like for a character who spends most of their time alone? What’s motivating this so-called bounty hunter (mistranslated job title but still stuck)? Is this silver ? With Tiger Hill asking these questions, Nintendo was hearing them for the first time. What works in games doesn’t necessarily work in movies, and vice versa. It’s also Hollywood, where blockbusters are built on a unique, well-worn model whose internalization by writers and audiences commands certain creative avenues that may not be appropriate, welcome, or entirely legal. Describing Samus’ approach, Foxhoven said IGN, “We wanted to see her struggle, be humiliated and be forced to stand against crazy odds.” It’s like looking into his orb of divination and seeing Metroid: Other M.
The idea was to dig metroid come out of its shell, or membrane, and replace it with more palatable ideas and images. It’s the same insecurity about geek stuff that plagued comic book adaptations of the era. Granted, all action movie heroes are meant to wrestle, but what if metroid was not just an action film ? What if the drama of Samus’ xenocidal journeys could be conveyed in ways other than backstory and humility, all those things that never had a place in the games themselves? John Wick is excellent at drawing audiences into the heat of an action scene despite its indestructible protagonist, and John Woo practically invented that! (By drawing on ancient Chinese cinematographic traditions).
What would John Woo’s Metroid have looked like?
If John Woo directed the metroid script that Foxhoven describes, it could have looked something like Apple seed: Ex Machina, an animated movie that sees a soldier with blond hair slipping and shooting a gun in the future. This cyberpunk Samus, Deunan Knute, is often subject to the cliches of Hollywood screenwriting when adapted for film, but the action produced by Woo in Ex-Machina is sleek and over-the-top. It’s actually close to the stunts performed by Samus in a later title like Metroid Dread, which elevates the already athletic alien killer to the status of a battlefield goddess. She runs along Kraid’s belly, dodging his spikes, parrying giant bugs, and landing in anime-like action poses.
Released in 2021, Metroid Dread did a lot to unify the scattered universe, turning the birds into warlike, Hubrist clans and even imbuing the title itself with depth. Not all metroid the games even feature Metroids, just one example of many how a story game designed in the 80s will limit anything that comes later. The events of Fear see Samus, still diffused with her alien surroundings via constant contact and even infection, take on the properties of the parasite – indeed, she bECOMES a Metroid itself. This is not another story of a space warrior who seeks revenge against the blight of her homeworld. It’s about a woman who hunts aliens through commerce and must reconcile that she is an alien. She has always been an alien, closer in heritage to birds than to human beings, and therefore oddly silent. His only friend in the galaxy? The Metroid baby. It may have taken 40 years, but there is finally an access point to the metroid saga, and it’s phenomenal.
It’s also no longer foolish to believe that an adaptation could take the scintillating developments of Fear and combine them with the visuals of Prime and the classic soundscapes of Great. After all, miners hit paydirt with Castlevania – the other half of Metroid – and Nintendo is returning to filmmaking after a long, mushroom-fueled absence. Unfortunately, as Hollywood becomes more comfortable with the deep vein of geek favorites, it has also alienated the directors of yore, who have retreated to prestige television. Already a long plan at the cinema, metroid would never be HBO’s next flagship, after The last of us, of all things. In fact, Nintendo imitates the Marvel/star wars method for The movie Super Mario Bros. with two directors making their feature debut. The popular interpretation, true as it is, is that it’s easier for producers to replace filmmakers early in their careers in favor of a meta-franchise direction. John Woo would have made a John Woo movie and, frankly, Uwe Boll would have made an Uwe Boll movie. It is more likely today than the proverbial metroid film is produced and even succeeds, but there is no guarantee that it will be human.
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What happened to John Woo’s Metroid movie? – CNET
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