Hot off the release of the Netflix adaptation of the manga Death Note, producer Masi Oka (of Heroes fame) conducted an interview with Collider about the production when the topic of discussion turned to an upcoming project he's been attached to: The Mega Man movie recently confirmed to be in the works at Fox.
Things are still in the early going, he notes, but there does appear to be some movement being made asdirectors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman are working together with writers on hashing out a script. Asked about the challenges inherent in creating a film adaptation of a best-selling video game franchise versus that of a popular manga, Oka states:
With manga, there’s a lot of character development and it’s a serialized story. With a video game, it’s about game mechanics. The story might be a little bit lighter. There are definitely challenges with that, but I’m excited because our directors are big fans of the game. With anything animated, a game property, or anything IP, you want to make sure the filmmakers are huge fans because they’ll show a respect for the property and understand, at the core, what makes that property great. I don’t know where it’s going to go yet, but I am excited about Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman. They’re great filmmakers and they’re really big fans of Mega Man.
This should come as a relief to fans; as I noted in my previous coverage of the movie, Fox is the same company that brought us Dragon Ball Evolution. The writer of that film would go on to issue an apology to the fans of Dragon Ball last year, noting with regret that he was "chasing after a big payday, not as a fan of the franchise but as a businessman taking on an assignment," thus leading to "sub-optimal results" and even "flat out garbage."
Also worth noting is that Fox is also the same studio which brought us X-Men Origins: Wolverine in 2009, which took fan-favorite Marvel Comics character Deadpool and effectively gutted everything people liked about the character. Seven years later, they would rebound by allowing passionate fans (including star Ryan Reynolds) to do right by the character, leading to a smash success in his own self-titled film.
As such, hearing that the filmmakers are huge fans of the Blue Bomber should instill some hope that this may actually turn out to be the kind of major motion picture project we were only dreaming of back in the 90's. But even so, expectations should remain tempered, as the term "executive meddling" does exist for a reason. All we can do at this point is hope that Oka is true to his word about their passion for Mega Man, and that they're willing to fight for a vision that does right by the franchise and its fans.