As more video game franchises continue receiving film adaptations, we present our ideal cast for a live-action Metroid movie.
Since the early 90s, video games have seen adaptations into several mediums, usually with varying degrees of success. However, colossal failures like the 1993 live-action Super Mario Bros. and the 1994 Double Dragon films usually deterred film studios from pursuing other video game properties.
Some video game films saw a bit of success, like the 1995 Mortal Kombat movie, but it was the Resident Evil and Tomb Raider films in the early 2000s that finally brought some box-office legitimacy to video game adaptations. For films like Lara Craft: Tomb Raider, ideal casting certainly played a role in that film’s success, as Angelina Jolie’s portrayal of Lara Craft turned the actress into a household name across the world. Fast forward to today, where several films based on video games have managed to top over $300 million globally, including recent hits like Pokemon: Detective Pikachu and Sonic the Hedgehog.
As the video game industry continues to grow as an entertainment medium, more and more adaptations are getting greenlit by several studios in Hollywood. A film adaptation on Capcom’s popular Monster Hunter franchise was scheduled to release in theaters this upcoming September, but has now been delayed to 2021. A rebooted Mortal Kombat film is currently slated for January 2021. Sony’s Uncharted is due out in the summer of 2021. Other video game properties confirmed to be in development for film adaptations include Mega Man, Metal Gear Solid, and even SimCity!
Aside from Pokemon: Detective Pikachu, Nintendo has largely avoided cinematic adaptations of its own properties, likely due to the negative reception that video game films have generally received over the years. This hesitation goes all the way back to Nintendo’s first Hollywood venture with Super Mario Bros., a film that is widely despised by fans and critics alike. However, thanks to a deal with Universal Studios, Nintendo does currently have an animated Super Mario Bros. movie under development with Illumination (the studio responsible for the Despicable Me films).
Nintendo has understandably been very protective of licensing out its various intellectual properties. This act, despite the company’s popularity, is likely due to the potential that another poorly received film adaptation could damage the reputation of both Nintendo and the property itself.
Nintendo has several intellectual properties that are prime candidates for film adaptations, but I think that the Metroid franchise is perhaps the most ideal choice for Nintendo’s next Hollywood venture. This is all speculation of course, as there is currently no official project to bring Metroid to the big screen. However, the success of Pokemon: Detective Pikachu, along with Nintendo’s blossoming relationship with Universal Studios (mainly due to the Universal Theme Parks) raises the likelihood that fans may one day get to see their favorite Nintendo characters starring in their own feature films.
The inspiration for this article goes back to the 90s, where the comic-book centered fan magazine Wizard included a feature known as “Casting Call,” a cool feature where the magazine’s staff would “cast” actors in the most ideal parts for any unmade (at the time) comic book film adaptations. I actually remember when X-Men received this fantasy treatment, so it was no surprise when Sir Patrick Stewart was officially confirmed as Professor Charles Xavier after Fox greenlit the first X-Men film, as he had been the overwhelming favorite choice amongst fans for years.
Since no official Metroid film is currently in the works, some liberties regarding characters and storylines were made. For example, while this casting is based primarily on the plot of Metroid: Zero Mission (which itself is a remake of the original NES Metroid game), I included characters that I felt were integral to Samus’ backstory. It also doesn’t hurt that the first few Metroid games included incentives for completing the game as fast as possible, so a standard two-hour film should be easily completed by any potential scriptwriters. I also researched as much official Metroid-related canon as possible, including two manga comics that do a great job of fleshing out Samus’ character.
Because this casting is pure fantasy, all assigned parts went to big names, although an official film likely wouldn’t have a big enough budget to afford so many well-known actresses and actors. Beginning with Metroid’s main protagonist and hero Samus Aran, here is my ideal casting for a live-action Metroid film.