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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"2010, I think. We don't know how long we've been off the air."
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August 09 2010

Five Video Games That Must Become Movies. Courtesy of Screencrave. See #1 - just because.

I thought it was gonna be the BBuffy game for Xbox.
The downside to that casting idea is.. Samus is blonde. Summer Glau is a brunette. If you were to cast someone as Samus, it'd be Sarah Michelle Gellar, Dichen Lachman or Jewel Staite. That's just in the context of Whedonverse actresses.

Not to mention, Samus is also not tanned. Although Summer is amazing and all, it doesn't work for the character.

Ahem.. Exhibit A;

That's what Samus' face looks like, for realsies.

[ edited by MattAn24 on 2010-08-09 21:54 ]
Bah.. Forgot the edit..

[ edited by MattAn24 on 2010-08-09 21:53 ]
Hey, where's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds" ?!?

Oh, that's right. No Joss-made Buffy movie for us. Because, you know, because... well... umm... The money is just too green!

[ edited by quantumac on 2010-08-09 21:58 ]
What about a wig/dye and make up? It's a film about a robo-lady. A little Hollywooding shouldn't be so hard to buy with that concept. SMG (and I think Dichen also) dye their hair blonde. And Alyson Hannigan dyes red.

[ edited by marvelknight616 on 2010-08-09 22:02 ]
@quantumac; These are originated games that -should- become movies, not TV shows that became one game that wasn't as super-popular as the show was/is.. So yeah.. :3

@marvelknight616; I'd still say it'd be a tad off. If I know Samus/Metroid fanboys (and trust me, I do know a few), they are a picky bunch. Jewel Staite could -totally- suit the role.

[ edited by MattAn24 on 2010-08-09 22:03 ]
The downside to that casting idea is.. Samus is blonde. Summer Glau is a brunette. If you were to cast someone as Samus, it'd be Sarah Michelle Gellar, Dichen Lachman or Jewel Staite. That's just in the context of Whedonverse actresses.

Samus is also supposed to be 6'3" hence the 'just because'.
...why would they still be picky if she did have blonde hair?

And Hugh Jackman is a full foot taller than Wolverine. What are we gonna do?
And Hugh Jackman is a full foot taller than Wolverine. What are we gonna do?

Ever heard of leg length reduction/enlargement surgery?

Good - neither have I.

ETA: In fact, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the trick to a good film adaptation is to first capture the spirit of the source and then find a way to transliterate it into the new medium using the best tools at your disposal. This might help explain why the most unflinchingly visually accurate video game/comic based films tend to be so bad - it's not the distinctive look of the original but the emotional response the original elicited from its audience that you want to aim for - the specific metrics of which are going to be different for every medium.

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2010-08-09 22:56 ]
Honestly? There are technically arguments against any one of the female actresses that had major roles in Buffy, Angel, Firefly or Dollhouse who could at least somewhat fit the role of intergalactic bounty hunter/troubleshooter Samus Aran:

1) Gina Torres -- the best fit height-wise (she's not 6'3", but she's on the tall side for a woman and probably tallest of Joss' cadre of leading ladies), but Metroid geeks would bitch because she's Latino and Samus is Nordic/Aryan in appearance

2) Sarah Michelle Gellar -- height's the issue here, but works well for a decent visual match. And she does have some background in martial arts, but not a shedload

3) Summer Glau -- she's got the talent and the ability to get all kinds of bendy, but height and hair colour are technical strikes against her...otherwise, I'm all for the idea

4) Dichen Lachman -- gonna get massacred here, but I can just imagine fanboys dismissing her as too obviously Asian in features to sync up with their dreams of Samus

5) Jewel Staite -- interesting choice and not one I would have jumped to with any kind of speed when doing hypothetical casting, but I think I could see it work with a little effort...height once again a contributing issue toward the idea working full-stop

Really? I think one major issue with doing a Metroid movie is the fact that Samus Aran is associated with her armoured suit, which has a full helmet and semi-transparent facemask. Not much face time for ANY actress tapped for the role...becomes more like an example of voice acting, unless the writers do a storyline before Samus get her armour and has her in the Zero Suit ;)

[ edited by BlueEyedBrigadier on 2010-08-10 04:51 ]
I misread this and thought it was "what movie should be a video game" and assumed "Serenity" would be #1.

Although I don't know what kind of game. I guess an RTS, maybe? Warcraft III style? For a while I thought it would be a great MMO setting, but I'm not convinced anymore. Or maybe it could be made as GTA: The 'Verse.
I think Halo3 would be good, since Adam, Alan and Nathan are already voices for the game.
They are supposed to be making an Uncharted movie and Nathan would be perfect for the lead in that. The game developers based the character on him.
@KingofCretins, I remember back in 2006 at the second Flanvention (aka Flan B) someone was there talking about developing an MMORPG game set in the Firefly universe. Haven't heard anything about it since and it wasn't a big company so it's probably vanished, but I think that would have been a cool concept.
Yeah, they've been talking about the Firefly MMORPG for years. At this point, I highly doubt anything is going to happen with that.
I feel like a douche admitting this, but I never realized Gina Torres was Latino. I thought she was black.
The real problem with translating Metroid to movie format?

1) The games have almost zero plot, except for a set-up at the beginning (Metroid Fusion excepted, maybe?)

2) Like Resident Evil games, Metroid is ONLY captivating because of the sense of exploration, puzzle solving, and developing a set of better and better weapons.

3) Samus has no personality! She's a suit of armor with the inexplicable ability to "double jump."

In order to not ruin my favorite (2nd favorite?) video game franchise ever, I say thee nay!
My all time favorite video game (which I think could be turned into a kick-ass movie) is The Longest Journey. It is oldish (2000), but it has multiple worlds (both futuristic and fantasy in nature), a neato heroine, a fantastical and always surprising storyline, plus the fate of worlds hanging in the balance. In the right hands it could either be a really, really great action/adventure movie or... just another cheesy, low-budget, soul-crushing, Hollywood waste of resources.

So... maybe for my piece of mind, it would be better if it just stayed untouched and as my all time favorite video game. ; )
I'm a huge Summer fan, so part of me is thinking her having the leading role in a mainstream Hollywood movie would be awesome, buuuuuut I'm an even bigger Metroid fan and that part of me is screaming "NO! NO! NO!" She's just not right for the part, in my opinion.

If I could have my pick, I'd probably choose Tricia Helfer for a Metroid movie. She got the height. She's got the good looks. She's got the blonde hair. And she's got the acting chops. If you look at Samus' appearance at the end of Metroid Prime, which is her most photo-realistic rendition yet, and a photo of Tricia, I don't think it's a stretch at all.

As for the "she's just gonna be in the suit the whole time"-argument, it just doesn't make sense. I must ask, does did Iron Man stay in his suit constantly throughout Iron Man one and two? Nope. Did Batman stay in his suit all throughout The Dark Knight? Nope. I know Samus isn't exactly a super heroes, so the genres are different, but I think the principles are the same. They could even emulate the origin story motif from super hero movies.
This is Eric:

I agree about the Tricia Helfer part, though I fear she's not as young as Samus appears in the games. I'm not being all age-ist, but Samus always looks to be 23 year old, because, of course, guys love 23 year old blondes. (Side bar...Funny how two of the best Japanese Nintendo franchises feature blonde haired/blue eyed protagonists? I'm looking at you, Samus, Link, and Zelda. To be fair, Samus was originally cast with green hair in her first appearance...I digress).

Anyways, I stick by my point that creating a story for Samus would completely strip the game of what made it great, and would rely on a screenwriter to make a whole new entity. Yes, there are story points in Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion which tell us about Samus (gist of it? She was raised by technologically advanced bird people that gave her awesome armor, and whose civilization collapsed, and now she's a bounty hunter) but that story has NOTHING to do with what makes the games epically awesome.

No one cares about Samus being raised by Bird People. They care because there is a vast world they can EXPLORE, secrets they can DISCOVER, and weapons that can UPGRADE. This is the formula that propels Metroid to greatness. Please, movie-people, don't Hollywood-ize my favorite games!
@ 5X5B:

I disagree about people not caring. I actually care a lot. Metroid doesn't have a lot of story, but it does have a lot of interesting back story and mythology. This is what could translate for a good movie. It should also be of note that the upcoming Metroid: Other M will feature an expanded story that will focus on the character of Samus and her past.

Tricia is a bit old for the part, but I'm willing to over look that. To reiterate what I said earlier, she's beautiful and a great actress. In the press, I've found Uma Thurman to be one of the most popular suggestions for Samus in a potential Metroid movie, so I don't think Tricia Helfer looks too bad in comparison, lol.

As for the green hair... It was actually brown. If you beat the game quickly enough, Samus would finally be revealed to be a woman. In this scene, she's shown with brown hair. You could also play as an armor-less Samus in the game, where her hair was brown, but it would change to green to show when the player had the Varia suit. So, she was shown with green hair sometimes, but it was completely non-canon.
@ This is Eric

Really? Her hair was brown is the NES Metroid during gameplay? I haven't beaten that game quickly in many many years, but I have used the JUSTIN BAILEY cheat code recent;y, and there she has green hair (I guess because she also has Varia). I don't remember the brown hair at all.

And yes, based on the preview videos for Other M, it looks like it will have a lot more story. It is being co-produced by the Team Ninja people, too. It looks to be a very different game.

Yeah, a movie could be made from the Metroid series, but I just don't believe it will be able to contain those elements from the games that make me continue to play them years later. Maybe it would be a good movie, but I can't imagine it being good for the same reasons at all.

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