After 34 years, Mega Man is getting the live-action treatment with Netflix’s movie. Here are six rising stars who can bring Mega Man to life.
Netflix is making a Mega Man movie, and here’s a list of actors who would be great to cast for the lead role. Capcom’s classic video game series is getting a live-action adaptation from the streaming giant, and the internet is buzzing with speculation about who might play the famous robotic hero. Most likely, Netflix is banking on Mega Man to launch a new TV and movie franchise, and getting the right actor to carry it will be critical if they want it to be a hit.
First appearing in 1987 on the Nintendo Entertainment System, Mega Man (known in Japan as Rockman), is a cybernetic Pinnochio dedicated to defending the world from evil in the year 20XX. That might sound simple enough for a movie, but legions of dedicated fans and an increasingly critical culture make it imperative that Netflix stick the landing. And, as previous attempts have shown, video game adaptations are tricky to get right.
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It’s possible Netflix ends up not casting a big star as Mega Man, even likely. When beginning a franchise, it can help to cast a lesser-known name in the lead role to make the content feel fresh, even if it is based on old intellectual property. Netflix is great at identifying new and emerging talent, so don’t be surprised when one of these actors end up getting the part. Here are six rising stars who could help Netflix bring Mega Man to life.
With a spree of acclaimed film and television performances, Noah Jupe has made a name for himself as a serious actor from a very early age. The British teen star exudes a meditative charisma that has landed him projects ranging from A Quiet Place to Honey Boy to HBO’s The Undoing cast. The inner turmoil he captures on screen could be taken advantage of to explore the psychological experience of Mega Man.
A Netflix adaptation could dive into Mega Man’s existential pain. As a robot, Mega Man may struggle to feel truly human, and with no real parents, he might be afflicted with feelings of purposelessness and anger towards his creator, roboticist Dr. Light. That might be a bridge too far for Netflix, but if they did decide to go in this direction, Jupe has plenty of experience playing complicated father-son relationships.
Another great choice is the star of the Netflix movie Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, Rohan Chand. Chand is no stranger to filming action sequences or acting alongside computer-generated characters. In the science-fiction world of Mega Man, whole environments will likely be constructed digitally. Having a young actor who is comfortable working in those environments could make for a Mega Man that feels like an authentic citizen of his world.
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What’s more, Chand has excellent comedic chops. He is the funniest part of Jason Bateman’s directorial debut, Bad Words. A Mega Man movie should be as fun for audiences as the series has been for generations of gamers. Rohan Chand brings fun and adventure to the front.
Like Rohan Chand, teen actor Ian Chen has had important experience on big-budget, CGI-driven franchise films. Though he’s mostly known for the television comedy Fresh Off the Boat, Chen made his blockbuster debut as Eugene in DC’s Shazam! The foster-family scenes were some of the funniest and most endearing parts of the film.
The Mega Man franchise has a seemingly endless ensemble of characters. Between his television and film work, Chen knows how to work well in an ensemble cast. With Ian Chen as Mega Man, Netflix could lean into the friendships and rivalries Mega Man has made over the decades.
The oldest of the bunch, Tanner Buchanan stands apart with real-life combat training experience. Having spent time practicing the martial arts he uses as Robby Keene on Netflix’s Cobra Kai, Buchanan has what it takes to make some killer action sequences. It’s easy to imagine him as Mega Man fighting in a well-choreographed arm-cannon-to-hand combat scene.
He’s also a naturally gifted actor with plenty of screen presence. Roles in Designated Survivor and Netflix’s He’s All That have made Buchanan rightfully popular. If Netflix wants to lean into the fights, but needs an actor with charisma to match, they should look no further.
It’s hard to imagine a movie in which Mega Man needs to sing, but if he does, Alex Bello is the man for the job. Hailing from Broadway, Bello got his big break when he joined the cast of John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch. In one scene, he sings and dances á la Singin’ in the Rain as he recounts the story of a time he saw a woman crying on the street.
Alex Bello performs with a dry sense of humor beyond his years. He could infuse the character with that same wit and wryness. Netflix can reimagine Mega Man as a hero who may look young, but whose brain is the most powerful supercomputer on the planet.
Another actor from Fresh Off the Boat, 17-year-old Forrest Wheeler approaches his characters with wide-eyed humility. His characters tend to lean quieter and sensitive, but crave adventure. There’s a case to be made that Mega Man should be the same. Since Mega Man is a perpetual youth, Wheeler can portray Mega Man with an unwavering drive to explore and discover (while still saving the world from Dr. Wiley). Wheeler has a fresh face and comedic timing. Netflix would be lucky to have him aboard the upcoming Mega Man movie.
Mega Man presents Netflix with an opportunity to create a new movie star and redefine a beloved video game series for a new generation. So much rides on getting the casting right. Whoever is lucky enough to be the face of Mega Man will bear a responsibility to decades of fans. That doesn’t mean an actor has to please everybody. No two people will want the same thing from Mega Man, and no actor should feel an obligation to give everybody what they want. At the end of the day, Netflix’s upcoming Mega Man movie and its star just have to do what every other movie and actor have to do: tell a good story. note: Contra 2021 streamen auf deutsch