How Mario killed that long-abandoned, early 2000s Metroid movie

Contributed by
Jan 14, 2013, 2:52 PM EST

To be one of Nintendo's biggest in-house franchises, the sci-fi action game Metroid has never joined the legion of other videogames to make the leap to the big screen. Why? The blame apparently falls on Mario.

As you may or may not know, famed action director John Woo (Face/Off, Mission Impossible II) was attached to make a live-action Metroid in the early-to-mid 2000s. But the film eventually fell off the face off the earth. Luckily, IGN caught up with the ill-fated film's producer Brad Foxhoven to figure out how it went off the rails.

Despite the fact that Nintendo was excited about Woo's approach, which would have focused on the untold story of Samus Aran's origin before she became a well-known ass-kicker, they were still feeling burned by the epic box-office failure of 1993's Super Mario Bros.

So, when things were about to ramp up, they pulled the plug:

"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...

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."

The film officially died in 2007, and no studio has taken another shot at the rights since then. But, Foxhoven believes the franchise it too big to remain idle forever and thinks someone will eventually get a film off the ground.

What do you think? Would you like to see Metroid on the big screen?

(Via IGN)