Although an adaptation was once in the works, the big screen version of Metroid ultimately fell apart long before it ever came to fruition.
After acquiring the rights to the franchise in 2004, John Woo and producers intended to shoot and edit a movie in time for a tentative 2006 release. According to Kotaku, Nintendo’s reluctance to re-enter the movie business may have played a hand in derailing the project.
For the film, Woo and company intended to delve into Samus’ back story, which Nintendo and Team Ninja would later explore in Metroid: Other M.
During his conversation with IGN, former Metroid producer Brad Foxhoven shed some light on what went wrong behind-the-scenes.
He explained to the website:
“Nintendo was definitely discouraged by [Super Mario Bros.], 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.”
Foxhoven explained that writers wanted to chronicle Samus as an individual, which required tackling elements of the character’s back story that Nintendo hadn’t previously considered. Since the company was uncomfortable having the screenwriters answer these questions, the proverbial plug was pulled.
“We wanted to see her struggle, to be humbled, and to be forced to rise up against crazy odds. And of course we wanted to see the cool weapons in all of their glory,” the producer explained.
Since the cinematic disaster that was Super Mario Bros., Nintendo has yet to return to Hollywood. According to Wii U Daily, a recent Rifftrax survey listed the movie as one of the worst of all time.
Would you like to see a Metroid movie?