One of the executive producers for 2012’s Dredd is branching out into video game adaptations, and wants Mega Man to be one of them. Dredd producer Adi Shankar has stayed busy in recent years, producing a number of unique shorts like The Punisher: Dirty Laundry, Venom: Truth In Journalism, and a dark reimagining of Power Rangers called Power/Rangers. Now, Shankar is now helming Netflix’s upcoming series based on the storied Castlevania video game franchise.
Shankar is clearly in an adventurous mood with his current wave of projects, and appears unafraid of the “video game curse” as he readies Castlevania for a 2017 release. But he doesn’t want to stop there with video game adaptations, and he revealed in a new interview that the classic Mega Man franchise could be next on his radar.
Speaking with WWG, Shankar discussed his recent run of films and series based on what he termed “nerd culture.” He explained how he has followed the cultural shift in the popularity of comic books, video games, and other elements of nerd culture that has spawned massive success in recent years. When asked what particular adaptations he’d like to make in the future, he said, “I’d love to do a hard-R Mega Man.”
A self-described “massive gamer,” Shankar spoke about the amount of research that went into producing the Castlevania Netflix series. He would ostensibly put the same kind of work into an R-rated Mega Man adaptation — and it wouldn’t be made just to sell tickets:
“Even though I have one foot in the door in Hollywood, I’m not trying to rape and pillage culture for profit. I’m trying to take the things I loved as a kid and bring them to life in an interesting way.”
Shankar is no stranger to ramping up the violence, even when unexpected. His unauthorized 2015 short Power/Rangers is a vulgar, blood-soaked subversion of the popular Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers kids TV series. Dredd, meanwhile, paid tribute to its source material with unrestrained ultra-violence. And Netflix’s Castlevania may be animated, but Shankar teased a violent series with a “Game of Thrones vibe.” An R-rated Mega Man would certainly follow a similarly subversive path — and if it were anywhere near the quality of Dredd, it would easily rank among the best video game adaptations.
The reason a Mega Man adaptation could give studios pause would be, of course, the remarkable string of failures that has plagued video game-based films and TV series. Shankar is willing to at least attempt to reverse course with Castlevania and then, possibly, Mega Man. He is also aware of the pitfalls associated with video game adaptations — but that is apparently why he intends to subvert them.
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