[Movies] Metroid Producer Explains Why Film Never Happened
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 12.28.2012
Tiger Hill co-founder discusses the development and more...
Brad Foxhoven, the former president and co-founder of Tiger Hill who was a producer of the Metroid film that John Woo was going to direct in 2004, recently spoke with IGN about why the movie never happened and more. Check out the highlights:
On the studo being gung-ho to make the film happen: "We believed there was a great opportunity for John Woo to bring his style of action into a Metroid film. Nintendo was quite supportive of the idea, as they were all fans of John's previous films...We knew that a lot of the Metroid mythology had many similarities to other well-known science fiction franchises, so we had to try and propose some fresh ideas that Nintendo would approve. We also knew that the characters were originally developed many years ago, when game systems were limited in their graphics and animation. These same designs needed to be updated, particularly when seen as a live-action representation."
On Nintendo being skittish even ten years after the failure of Super Mario Bros.: "Nintendo was definitely discouraged by it, but felt that with John [Woo] they would be in better hands. The challenge for us was that it felt that the biggest lesson Nintendo learned from Mario was to hold onto their rights even tighter, limiting collaboration when it came to translating Metroid to the big screen. Our entire development time was spent exploring the Metroid world, and what we could – and couldn't – do within it."
On bringing in David Greenwalt (Buffy, Angel, Grimm) to try his hand at the script: "We liked David because he brought along a strong sensibility for a female protagonists. Obviously this was a must, with Samus being the key figure in all of this. We made it as far as a treatment for a live action film that John would possibly direct."
On their vision for movie version of Samus and the struggles to develop her: "We wanted to see her struggle, to be humbled, and to be forced to rise up against crazy odds. And of course we wanted to see the cool weapons in all of their glory...Things started to go south when we tried to dig into the character a bit more. As you know, any film needs a deeper story arc than what is told in the game, where we learn about the characters and their world. What are they doing when they are NOT fighting? What is their daily existence and relationships? What are Samus's aspirations, history, and fears? Nintendo appreciated the questions, but had never thought about them before, and ultimately didn't have a lot of answers. In the end, they felt uncomfortable with our team being the ones to propose those answers."
On being hopeful that a Metroid film will be made eventually: "I know for Nintendo, they walked away appreciating the process and how much further they needed to explore the franchise so that it has a chance for a feature film at some point. I still believe there is a chance. There are quite a few Hollywood executives in town who grew up playing Metroid, and who would be willing to take the time needed to bring Nintendo along in the process."