Hello, everyone! It’s One Of Us’ weekly article series, “The Weekly Wrap-Up.” Covering everything from film announcements to comic books, “The Weekly Wrap-Up” ensures that the biggest stories of the week are analyzed and discussed by our team of writers. This week we cover the trailer for Concussion, 20th Century Fox’s Mega Man film and a supposed Avengers-style nostalgia fueled team-up movie starring 90s Nicktoons from Paramount.
Directed and written by Peter Landesman, Concussion is based off of the 2009 GQ article Game Brain by Jeanne Marie Laskas, and follows forensic pathologist and neuropathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu (Will Smith), who discovers a disturbing connection between chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease, and football players. Believing that many NFL players are at serious risk, Omalu fights an uphill battle against the NFL, who attempt to deny and discredit his research. In addition to Smith, the film co-stars Albert Brooks, Alec Baldwin, Adewale Akinnuoge-Agbaje and Paul Reiser.
Despite the fact that Concussion seems to be a dramatic return to form for Smith, the recent discussion surrounding the film is how Sony Pictures is downplaying the criticism of the NFL and removing scenes that cast the organization in a negative light. Revealed via emails provided by The New York Times, specific scenes in Concussion were removed due to legal concerns, most notably one scene that dramatized the moment before former Chicago Bears Dave Duerson fatally shot himself. Evidence like that shows that some of the bite may be removed from this film’s potential bark.
Mega-Man Movie Announced
In a surprising reveal this week by The Tracking Board, both 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment have announced that a Mega Man movie, based on the Japanese video game franchise of the same name, is currently being developed. Though no director, writer or cast has been revealed, David Ready and Michael Finfer, the producers behind the recent Planet of the Apes films, have been confirmed to be producing the adaptation.
For those unfamiliar with Mega Man, the series made its debut in 1987 under the name Rock Man and was published by Capcom. The series follows Mega Man, a creation of the virtuous Dr. Light, as he battles the villainous Dr. Wiley and his own robotic creations. Though an important and revolutionary franchise among side-scrollers, the Mega Man series has drifted off into irrelevancy over the years. Only recently has Capcom made efforts to resurrect the franchise with the release of the Mega Man Legacy Collection, which collects the first six Mega Man games, and the announcement that an animated series based off of the original games was being developed by the creators of Ben 10. With Capcom putting so much effort in marketing Mega Man, it makes sense that the Japanese developer would be pursuing a film-adaptation of some kind with Fox.
Though video game movies have had less than a stellar track record, it’s possible that a Mega Man film could be good. If Fox and Chernin Entertainment are smart, an animated adaptation of Mega Man and his adventures could be really fun and even more accurately showcase the colorful aesthetics that the franchise is known for.
90s Nicktoons Team Up Movie to Come from Paramount?
With the massive worldwide box office success of Jurassic World, it only seems natural that studios would want to pursue more properties from that last decade of the 20th century to portray cinematically. In this case, The Tracking Board reported that Paramount Pictures is developing a huge live action/animation crossover with various 90s Nicktoon characters in an Avengers/The Lego Movie style meeting of intellectual properties. This would include the likes of Rugrats, Hey Arnold, Doug, Ren & Stimpy, Rocko’s Modern Life, Aaah Real Monsters and several others that were favorites during the decade. Producers Mary Parent (Pacific Rim, Godzilla) and Cale Boyter (The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water) are currently workshopping the concept through their production company Disruption Entertainment, who signed an overall deal with Paramount in March of this year.
In a summer that included the very nostalgic pandering efforts like Terminator Genisys, Pixels and the above mentioned Jurassic World, it’s hard for me to feel invested in the idea of a story like this. After losing their money making ticket of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to Disney, Paramount clearly wants something they can expand into a new universe building franchise that also hits their current desired market of millennials craving 90s nostalgia. Technically, I’m a prime target for that market. I still have fond memories of all those cartoons, which helped shape the sense of humor and rebellious nature of my generation. Yet, this feel like a very thinly veiled plea from a studio desperate to grab an audience. Well, hopefully that Goosebumps movie manages to stay true to its roots… or doesn’t pander quite as much as this likely will.