Mega Man movie writer wants to tell a ‘primal,’ ‘emotional’ story

Capcom and 20th Century Fox announced a live-action movie based on Mega Man back in 2018, promising an adaptation that “aims to appeal to a diverse audience, including not only game players but action movie fans as well.”

At the time, the writer-director duo of Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (Catfish, Nerve) were set to pen the screenplay. They’ve since been joined by writer Mattson Tomlin, who wrote Joost and Schulman’s new Netflix movie, Project Power. According to Tomlin, his take on the Capcom character will get to the root of Mega Man as a character, presumably to explore what it means to be a sentient robot conscripted to battle his former mechanical allies gone rogue.

Polygon entertainment editor Matt Patches recently spoke with Tomlin to talk about Project Power and, of course, Mega Man: The Movie.

Polygon: How did you approach making Mega Man functional as a movie character?

Tomlin: I think the same way with with any other character, you treat him like he’s a real person. I was brought into that later in the process because Henry [Joost] and Ariel [Schulman], who directed Project Power, are also directing the Mega Man movie, and they had been working on it for a while and we just had such a good time working on Project Power together that they decided to be kind enough to continue to party in this other universe. My way into it was always, what is a compelling story? And what is the real soul of that character? We all kind of know him as this cartoonish Blue Bomber who jumps and shoots, and to kind of go beyond that and knowing that, OK, visually it’s going to be a certain thing that is going to please the video game fan, but you know what is the story at the center? They’re like, what is it that this character can really go through? It’ll be universal and primal and emotional and everybody can kind of relate to. So I’m really excited about that script. I’m really excited about what the guys are going to do with that movie and and hopefully there’ll be some news about it soon.

Is it a kids’ movie like Sonic?

I think it’s something that the kids will like. I don’t want to say what our comps are because it might betray a little bit too much, but it is not squarely in the kid territory. But I don’t think that that’s an R-rated movie either.

Mega Man has already been explored in animated media in TV series such as Captain N: The Game Master, the 1994 animated Mega Man series, and the more recent Mega Man: Fully Charged. The Mega Man movie does not have an announced release date.

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