Movies based on games are rarely any good. We're two weeks out from the release of Hitman Agent 47 in theatres. The film, the second based on Square Enix and IO Interactive's Hitman franchise is sitting at 7 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Agent 47 made back its budget of $35 million last weekend, so the film is in the black, but it's not really a success creatively if the critical reception is any indication. Pixels, featuring characters from classic arcade games, flew through the box office with only a 17 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
There are glimmers of hope and failure out there. Dead Rising: Watchtower, produced by Legendary Pictures' digital division and available for free on Crackle, looks to be at least as cheesy as the game series that spawned it. Assassin's Creed from Sony Pictures and Ubisoft Motion Pictures has a better chance of being a quality film. The latter company is the point of interest, with Ubisoft having a strong hand in the film's production, while still relying on the expertise of proven filmmakers. (The film's star, Michael Fassbender, also helps a bit.)
Legendary Pictures also has Warcraft from Moon director Duncan Jones coming June 10, 2016. The sequel to the Need for Speed film will be a partnership with a Chinese production company and will be shot largely on location in China. Capcom's Resident Evil is the highest-grossing film series based on a game, with $915 million in box office across five films. The last film, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, is coming in 2017.
That series is probably the impetus for a Mega Man film, which just entered development at 20th Century Fox, according to the Tracking Board. The film will be produced by Chernin Entertainment, with producer Peter Chernin taking the lead. Chernin has produced Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Oblivion, The Heat, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Spy, and Exodus: God and Kings. That's a decent track record, with the exception of Exodus.
Of course, the question is... how do you do a Mega Man film? What form does that take? My assumption is such a film will be bad, but that's because I have no clue how you put the Blue Bomber onscreen in a way I think Hollywood would operate. Best bet is something in the vein of 2009's Astro Boy animated film, that property's upcoming animated reboot, or Big Hero 6. I'm open to the concept that anything can be done with the right execution, but I'm afraid of Hollywood producers trying to make something like this.
Regardless, entering development doesn't mean we'll actually see a film. Hollywood is a rough town and plans change. Iron Man producer Avi Arad has had films for Metal Gear Solid and Uncharted rolling around tinseltown for a long time with nothing to show for it. Mega Man could end up there, just like he is in the gaming world.
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