Considering that more than 30 million copies of the various Mega Man games have been sold, it’s safe to say that there are quite a few fans out there. While it’s been reported before, even fairly recently as an animated series, it’s starting to look like we’re getting a Mega Man movie.
According to The Tracking Board, 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment have joined forces to bring the fan-favorite video game to life, and they have kicked off the development process in earnest. Chernin has a strong track record with action-heavy science fiction, like the Tom Cruise-starring Oblivion, and both Rise and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, among others.
That’s one reason for fans to be optimistic about this adaptation. Peter Chernin, the namesake of the company, will produce Mega Man, while David Ready (RED) and Michael Finfer will oversee the operations. On the Fox side, Mike Ireland and Ryan Horrigan will keep an eye on things.
The robotic hero known as Mega Man, who is also called Rockman depending on where in the world you find yourself, first appeared in 1987 as the star of his very own video game on the original Nintendo Entertainment System. In the subsequent 28 years, the character has gone on to be the bestseller for game purveyors Capcom.
In addition to his pixelated antics, Mega Man has also carved out a rather sizeable franchise for himself, complete with an expansive mythology. Not only are there many, many games for you to choose from—the original ten-game series gave way to Mega Man X, Mega Man Legends, a handheld family of games, and more—but he has also appeared in numerous books, novels, and even comics over the years.
In the character’s mythology, Dr. Light created the android, which was intended to assist the good doctor in his lab. However, the evil Dr. Wily betrayed Light, using his research to create his own robots with designs on taking over the world. It’s enough to make you want to shake your fist and shout, "Damn you, evil geniuses!" On the plus side, Dr. Light was able to give his android armor and weapons and send him out to battle Wily and his automaton cronies.
Mega Man has shown up on TV screens before. In the 1990s, a cartoon, a joint U.S.-Japan production, ran from 1994 to 1995, but was cancelled due to budget constraints. A number of anime adaptations have also appeared over the years.
Though video game movies have a spotty track record at best, Mega Man has potential. There’s a built in narrative that has already proven it can work outside of the realm of games, and with the right budget and creative team, the studios could come up with something that turns out to be a great deal of fun. Or not, who knows.
There’s no timeline on Mega Man at the moment, but don’t be surprised if it arrives in 2017 to mark the 30th anniversary of the character and franchise.