Studios still can’t seem to make a good movie based on a video game, which could explain why more of them are turning to television as a way of bringing the medium to life. With the live-action version of 80’s shooter Contra, however, there will be both a movie and a TV show.
The original Contra was a run-and-gun shoot-‘em-up that hit arcades in 1987, before making its way to various console and computer platforms. There have been numerous games in the series since then, most recently the Contra: Return mobile game that was released in China a couple of years ago.
Contra developer Konami had this to say about the upcoming project:
“At Konami, we not only use our IP to develop games, but we are also working to bring various forms of entertainment to people all over the world. For this project, we will be headquartered in Beijing, China, and partnered with Starlight Film, among others, to produce the films."
There seems to be little info on the TV series, but China Film Insider reported on the contra movie earlier this year. While the game's commandos—Bill Rizer and Lance Bean—remain, the plot includes new Chinese locations and characters. It also appears to incorporate elements from both the Japanese and Western versions of Contra. Here is the synopsis:
In 1988, a huge meteorite lands on an uninhabited island in the South China Sea. Chen Qiang and Li Zhiyong investigate but come up empty handed. 29 years later, Chen sends commandos Bill and Lance into a combat mission there to neutralize the villainous Red Falcon Organization, but end up facing a different enemy altogether.
Following the well-received Castlevania animated series on Netflix, more TV shows inspired by video games are in the works, including one based on the Witcher (though that may be closer to the books) and a series by Johnny Depp’s production company based on the Secret World MMO.
Check out the teaser for the live action Contra movie below. It may not be official, but it’s still pretty cool.